How Banner Health is tackling breast cancer

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Banner Health is finding ways to help patients with metastatic breast cancer live longer, discovering which age groups are seeing an increase in rates, and how breast cancer disproportionately affects women of color.

Dr. Hung Khong, the Breast Medical Oncologist and Co-Director Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss Banner Health’s efforts.

Breast cancer is a disease where cells in the breast grow out of control. It often starts in the breast’s milk ducts, but it can also start in glands and other tissues. Finding a breast lump is usually the first symptom for many women, however, it is not present in all breast cancers.

“What we’re learning is that we are getting better at treating breast cancer. The death rate for breast cancer has reduced by about 43%, so we’re doing a lot better,” Dr. Khong said.

According to Banner Health, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most diagnosed type of cancer in women. The risk of breast cancer generally increases with age.

Dr. Khong said if a close blood relative has had breast cancer, your risk of developing it may increase. Lifestyle factors can also increase the risk, such as being overweight, sedentary lifestyle and drinking alcohol.

“We have come a long way compared to 20 or 30 years ago,” Dr. Khong said.

For more information on breast cancer and information from Banner Health, click here.

Dr. Hung Khong, Breast Medical Oncologist and Co-Director Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

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