What exactly does early detection mean when refering to breast cancer?

Better outcome. Early detection means finding the cancer at a stage before larger growth of the cancer, or spread has occurred. It means there is a higher rate of cure with surgery/treatments, and better chance of successful treatment and survival.

Related Questions

What is the best early detection for breast cancer?

BreastCA detection. Breast cancer is best found and found early if the lady is performing monthly self exams, taking annual mammograms , and having her md check her once a year. Annual exams start in late 30s for the base line than annually from 40 on...Unless you feel something now. The physical will find one out of three cas that don't show up on mammography. Read more...
Self exam & see doc. Monthly self examinations can help. Yearly examinations with your doctor. Consider yearly mammograms after age 40 depending in family risks. Read more...

What symptoms or tests you think help early detection of breast cancer?

Mammography. Is the current standard for early detection of breast cancer. You can read more about it here (and on related pages): http://www.Conciergeradiologist.Com/bilateral-mammogram.Html http://www.Conciergeradiologist.Com/mammogram-guidelines.Html. Read more...
Annual Mammography. A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women in the us comply. Read more...

Do small breasts have a better survival rate with breast cancer because of early detection (via self-exam)? Or are they handicapped by breast density?

Not a factor. Breast size does not seem to change a woman's risk of getting breast cancer, her chances of the tumor being found early, or her chances of being cured. Small breast size may rarely limit some surgical options (lumpectomy/breast conservation) due to the final cosmetic outcome. Read more...
Possibly yes. Unless you have a lump do not worry. Breast size does not affect whether you develop breast cancer or not. Read more...

What exactly does it mean when you have breast cancer in three different areas?

See below. Do you mean 3 areas in the same breast? Then that is considered multi focal breast cancer and may need mastectomy if the areas are far apart, and depends on if invasive or in situ breast cancer. If it is in other areas then it may be metastatic such as to lymph nodes or other sites. Your oncologist would be able to be much more specific for your situation. Read more...
Multicenteric. Breast cancer may be present in more than one area in the breast being called multifocal or multicenteric. Usually a mastectomy is recommend for surgical treatment. Read more...
Not sure what u mean. If the cancer is in multiple areas of the same breast, it is called multifocal, and is treated by total mastectomy, and possibly follow up chemotherapy. If however, you mean several different areas of the body, beyond the breast then that is stage IV disease, or metastatic cancer, and is treated primarily with chemotherapy, . Read more...