An overview: Sites on breast cancer and screening

Dr Keith Barnard recommends websites relating this week's Clinical Review

All aspects of breast screening are covered in this three-page document from cancerbackup. This fashion for not using upper case letters in proper nouns seems pointless to me, but there is nothing unfashionable about the way this site has a section specifically for health professionals.  

I didn’t know that the UK was the first EU country to introduce a national mammography programme — maybe with all the bad publicity we health service workers are constantly bombarded with, we should blow our own trumpet a little more.  

The article that the link takes you to deals with the mechanics of the screening programme, and then covers important areas that we should be aware of, such as screening intervals and radiation risks.  

The value of screening seems certain and it is estimated that by 2010 there could be a halving of breast cancer deaths compared with 1990.  

We are also reminded that over 90 per cent of breast cancers are found by women themselves, therefore encouraging breast awareness remains vital.  

Why go there: interesting and informative.  

Downside: none.  

Information from: cancerbackup  

Address: www.cancerback up.org.uk/Healthprofessionals/Discussiontopics/Cancerscreening/Breastscreening
 

BRCA1 and BRCA2  

We are all familiar what these terms now, but if you want to know more you can easily become drowned in gene mapping sites, complex molecular biology, or just too much information.  

This is a commercial site, but GPs are not going to be influenced by that. If you want a sensible, brief explanation of the role these genes play, you could do worse than visit this page.  

And if you click the ‘more’ link at the bottom, it will take you to a table that details the estimated cancer risk for patients carrying the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.  

Why go there: answers in a nutshell.  

Downside: none.  

Information from: Myriad Laboratories.  

Address: www.myriadresourceguide.com/bracanal/risk.htm  

Li-Fraumeni syndrome  

I’d like to think I’m not alone in not knowing much about this rare but important familial type of breast cancer.  

Articles about it range from the long and extremely complex, to the oversimplified. This account is one of the best, and sums it up with all the relevant facts in straightforward language. It ends by reminding us that the Li-Fraumeni syndrome gene is not sex-linked, so it can be inherited from either side of the family.  

Why go there: good, brief coverage.  

Downside: Messy page to look at.  

Information from: University of Virginia  

Addresswww.healthsystem.virginia.edu/uvahealth/adult_breast/lifrau.cfm  

Dr Barnard is a former GP in Fareham, Hampshire
 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

Dr Jim Brockbank from Myanmar UK GP Health Action provides an update on how the military...

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

More than four fifths of GPs say e-consultation systems adopted in the pandemic have...

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Tens of millions of COVID-19 jabs have been administered across England, but how...

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

In this episode we look at data extraction from GP records, ask whether the additional...

Red flag symptoms: Loss of consciousness

Red flag symptoms: Loss of consciousness

Red flag symptoms to look out for in presentations of loss of consciousness, including...

£20m fund to speed up second jabs as CCGs told to limit pressure on practices

£20m fund to speed up second jabs as CCGs told to limit pressure on practices

NHS England has announced £20m in funding to help local COVID-19 vaccination sites...