ONCOLOGY

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor in women (1). 99% of breast cancers concern women and almost 1 in 8 women develops breast cancer during her lifetime (1).

Even though breast cancer is the deadliest cancer (2), detected early, breast cancer heals in 9 out of 10 cases (1).

  • The most frequent breast cancers are adenocarcinomas (in 95% of cases) (1).
  • In 2018, in France, it is estimated that (1):
    • nearly 59,000 new breast cancers have been detected,
    • more than 12,100 deaths have been attributed to this cancer,
  • Thus, breast cancer is the primary cause of death in women (14% of female deaths from cancer in 2018) (2).
  • However, over the past 30 years, even though the annual number of new cases of breast cancer in women has increased (+ 1.1% per year on average), the mortality rate has decreased year after year (2).
  • The management of breast cancer calls for a multidisciplinary team: surgeon, radiotherapist, oncologist, treating physician, who in consultation determine the treatment best suited to each woman (1).
  • The choice of treatment depends on (1):
    • the type of breast cancer and its characteristics defined by its anatomopathological analysis;
    • whether or not there are hormone receptors for estrogen and  progesterone at the level of cancer cells (hormone-dependent / hormone receptor-positive breast cancer);
    • the presence of HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) found on the surface of mammary cells (tumor HER 2 positive);
    • the location of the tumor in the breast;
    • its size, whether or not there is damage to the lymph nodes or metastases;
    • the patient’s state of health.
  • The treatment of breast cancer is mainly based on surgery, supplemented, depending on the case, by other therapeutic methods (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy) (1).

Prostate cancer

In France, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. This cancer occurs in about 66% of cases in men aged 65 and over.  The risk of prostate cancer increases with age and it’s mainly a slowly evolving cancer (10 to 15 years) (1).

  • Prostate cancer is:
    • A malignant tumor developed from prostate cells, the gland of the male reproductive system.
    • In 90% of cases, prostate cancer is an adenocarcinoma resulting from the progressive malignant transformation of epithelial cells that form the lining of the prostate (1).
  • This cancer ranks third among cancer deaths in men (1).
    • Here are the established risk factors (1):
      • Age . The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. It is rare before 50 years of age. It is around 70 that the number of cases diagnosed is greatest.
      • Family history . According to family history, prostate cancer can occur in three forms: i) the sporadic form which is the non-hereditary form. It’s the most common form; ii) the familial form, when there are at least two cases of prostate cancer in first or second degree relatives. This familial form represents 20% of prostate cancers; iii) the hereditary form, which is defined by the existence of at least 3 cases of prostate cancer in relatives, or of 2 members of the family diagnosed before age 55 (5% of prostate cancers).
      • Certain ethnic origins . Men of African origin (especially Afro-Caribbean) have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than Caucasians; themselves being more at risk than Asians.
    • In 2013, 48,427 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in mainland France. At the same time, there has been a slight drop in the number of deaths between 2013 and 2017 as well as a relative decrease in the number of cases in recent years (1).
    • If necessary, the urological surgeon, the radiotherapist, the oncologist and the referring physician work together to prescribe the treatment(s) best suited to each person (depending on age, general condition, degree of progression of prostate cancer, etc.) (1).
    • The treatment generally involves different therapeutic approaches : surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and possibly chemotherapy (1)

(1) AMELI : Comprendre le cancer de la prostate (consulté le 12/02/2020)