What Can You Tell Me About The Alcohol And Breast Cancer Link
While countless studies support that wine is good for your heart health, you have to weigh these benefits against its link to cancer.
“There is good evidence that alcohol increases the risk for breast cancer,” Schnabel explained. “Specifically, women who drink at the rate of seven drinks per week have about a 20-percent increase in their risk for breast cancer.”
I Am A Brca Carrier What Do I Need To Know
“BRCA carriers are the highest risk group for breast cancer,” stated Schnabel. “BRCA1 carriers are at risk for breast and ovarian cancer their lifetime risk for breast cancer may be as high as 50 to 85 percent. BRCA2 carriers have a 40- to 60-percent lifetime risk for breast cancer, and are at an increased risk for ovarian cancer, and are also at increased risk for pancreatic cancer.”
According to Schnabel, BRCA carriers have three options to manage their breast cancer risk:
- intensive surveillance
- risk-reducing surgery
Can A Woman With Breast Cancer Get Pregnant
For young women, a breast cancer diagnosis also creates uncertainty about having a family. Because cancer treatments can affect ovarian function, specialists with expertise in working with women with cancer can help preserve fertility before treatment begins by freezing eggs or embryos, through a process called cryopreservation. In Connecticut, insurance carriers cover the cost of cryopreservation for men and women under the age of 40 who have cancer.
It also may happen that a young woman is already pregnant when diagnosed with breast cancer, which requires careful conversations between the provider and patient.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer we see in pregnant women, says Dr. Silber. Because pregnancy brings about a variety of changes in the breastand pregnant women arent getting mammogramsit may make the disease harder to diagnose, she notes, but it doesnt mean the prognosis is worse.
In such cases, she explains, Our goal is to do what we can to treat the cancer and protect the pregnancy, adding that there are some types of chemotherapy treatments that can be given during pregnancy to treat breast cancer.
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I Went About Life As Usual Refusing To Let Cancer Take Over
“As soon as I learned I had breast cancer, I knew I would be fine. I was determined to go through life with complete normalcy, not only for myself but for my kids. My cancer was very aggressive so treatment lasted 14 months. I never stopped working and told almost no one what I was going through. People can react strangely when they hear you have cancer and I just didn’t want that. Two surgeries, 14 monoclonal antibody treatments, 25 rounds of chemo and 12 rounds of chemo later, I was able to keep my hair thanks to scalp cooling and mitigate the side effects of treatment with a strict vegan diet and weekly high dose vitamin C infusions.”Monica Ruffo
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Normal Swelling And Tenderness
Your breasts change throughout your menstrual cycle each month because of your hormones. At least half of all women who have periods will have some pain, tenderness and lumpiness in their breasts at some time in the month. This is usually most obvious in the week before your period. It quickly goes when your period starts.
When this pain and lumpiness cause problems, the condition is known as fibrocystic change. Pain and lumps may occur which are severe enough to need checking by a doctor. It is more common in women aged 30-50.
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What Is The Chance I Could Die In The Next 5 Years
The average 5-year survival rate for all people with breast cancer is 89%. The 10-year rate is 83%, and the 15-year rate is 78%. If the cancer is located only in the breast , the 5-year survival rate is 99%. More than 70% of breast cancers are diagnosed at an Early Stage.
All survival statistics are primarily based on the stage of breast cancer when diagnosed. Some of the other important factors are also listed below that affect survival.
Stage 0 breast cancer can be also described as a pre-cancer. If you have DCIS you can be quite confident you will do well. DCIS does not spread to other organs. What can be concerning is when an invasive cancer grows back in the area of a prior lumpectomy for DCIS. This type of local recurrence does carry a risk to your life. Luckily, this does not happen frequently. Also, be aware that those who have had DCIS in the past are at a higher risk for developing an entirely new, invasive breast cancer. Take our video lesson on Non-Invasive DCIS to learn more.
Stage I invasive breast cancer has an excellent survival rate. The chance of dying of Stage I breast cancer within five years of diagnosis is 1 to 5% if you pursue recommended treatments.
Stage II breast cancer is also considered an early stage of breast cancer. There is a slightly increased risk to your life versus a Stage I breast cancer. Altogether, the risk of Stage II breast cancer threatening your life in the next 5 years is about 15%.
Benefits Of Mammographic Screening
The ACS systematic review also examined the effect of screening mammography on life expectancy. Although the review concluded that there was high-quality evidence that mammographic screening increases life expectancy by decreasing breast cancer mortality, the authors were not able to estimate the size of the increase 23.
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What Are The Risk Factors
Risk factors are conditions that may increase the chance of developing breast cancer. It is important to understand that most women will have some of these risk factors. Having one or more risk factors does NOT mean you will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition, many women who develop breast cancer have no obvious risk factors. Why some women develop breast cancer while others do not is not fully understood.
Generally recognized risk factors for breast cancer are listed below.
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Breast Cancer
A change seen on your mammogram may be the first sign of breast cancer. Or you may have found a lump or other change in your breast.
The doctor will ask you questions about your health and will do a physical exam. A breast exam is done to look for changes in the nipples or the skin of your breasts. The doctor will also check the lymph nodes under your arm and above your collarbone. Swollen or hard lymph nodes might mean breast cancer has spread there.
Mammogram: This is an x-ray of the breast. Mammograms are mostly used to find breast cancer early. But another mammogram might be done to look more closely at the breast problem you might have.
MRI scan: MRIs use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays to make detailed pictures. MRIs can be used to learn more about the size of the cancer and look for other tumors in the breast.
Breast ultrasound: For this test, a small wand is moved around on your skin. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off tissues. The echoes are made into a picture that you can see on a computer screen. Ultrasound can help the doctor see if a lump is a fluid-filled cyst , or if it’s a tumor that could be cancer.
Nipple discharge exam: If you have fluid coming from your nipple, some of it may be sent to a lab. There, it will be checked to see if there are cancer cells in it.
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What Is A Normal Breast
No breast is typical. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by getting your period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts also tend to change as you age. For more information, see the National Cancer Institutes Breast Changes and Conditions.external icon
I Decided I Wouldn’t Let This ‘nuisance’ Dictate My Life
“At age 21 and a senior in college, the last thing I expected was to be diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Being so young, I was never told by anyone to get breast exams or mammograms. One day, I was at the gym with my best friend and just felt something that hurt. Soon after, I made an appointment with a doctor. After he felt the lump, I was sent to get an ultrasound. They convinced me that, because of my age, the lump wasn’t malignant. Sure enough, I got a call from the doctor when I was in class saying I had breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy, fertility treatments, three rounds of chemo and am now on an anti-estrogen pill. My hope for survival was fueled by my incredible support system and the idea that I have so much more life to live and so much to give to the world! I knew I would survive the second I was diagnosed and am here today as a survivor!”Rachael Ocello
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Myth: Breast Cancer Only Happens To Middle
It is true that being female and growing older are the main risk factors for developing breast cancer. In 2017, about 4% of invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in women under age 40, while about 23% were diagnosed in women in their 50s and 27% in women ages 60 to 69. 6 While 4% might sound small, it isnt zero: This percentage means that one in every 25 invasive breast cancer cases occurred in women under 40.
Women of all ages need to pay attention to their breasts, perform self-exams, and report any unusual changes to their doctors and insist that breast cancer be ruled out if theres a concerning symptom. Even some doctors buy into the myth that women in their 20s and 30s dont get breast cancer. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer, especially cancers diagnosed in relatives before age 40, may wish to start screenings sooner.
Breast cancer is even rarer in men, but it does happen. People often think that men cant get breast cancer because they dont have breasts but they do have breast tissue. Male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. In 2019, about 2,670 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. 7 Even though male breast cancer is rare, it tends to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage because breast changes and lumps typically dont lead men and their doctors to think breast cancer. Changes in male breasts need to be checked out, too.
Absolute Risk And Relative Risk
Understanding the terms absolute risk and relative risk can help you better understand your own risk of breast cancer.
The absolute risk of a disease describes a persons risk of developing the disease in this case, breast cancer over a defined period of time. The National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society report the absolute risk of breast cancer in the general population over a lifetime. So, for the average U.S. woman , 12.9% is the absolute risk of developing breast cancer at some point during her life.
Relative risk compares the risk of two different groups of people. Relative risk also can tell you how much something you do can change your risk compared to your absolute risk.
Some examples may help explain the difference.
We know the absolute risk of breast cancer in U.S. women is 12.9%. A 2017 study found that women who started smoking before age 17 had a 24% higher risk of breast cancer.
This 24% increase in risk is relative risk. It doesnt mean that women who start smoking before age 17 have a 24% risk of developing breast cancer some time in their lives. It means their risk is 24% higher than the average risk of 12.9%.
To figure out the increase in absolute risk, we have to do some math: 24% of 12.9% is 3% . So a woman who started smoking before age 17 has a 3% increase in absolute risk, which means her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 15.9% .
Now lets look at an example of breast cancer risk decreasing.
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You Have Enlarged Lymph Nodes Around Your Collarbone
Your armpits aren’t the only subtle place you might experience lymph node swelling due to breast cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, the same issue can also occur above or below your collarbonesa location most people don’t even realize they have a set of lymph nodes in the first place. And for more red flags that aren’t always so obvious, check out 40 Subtle Signs Your Body Is Telling You Something’s Seriously Wrong.
Your Breast Is Changing Colors
Another symptom of inflammatory breast cancer is when your breast skin turns pink or reddish on more than half the breastsomething that can be hard to tell in those with darker skin tones. “Sometimes these changes in coloration can be difficult to find in African Americans and in obese patients with very large breasts,” Ricardo H. Alvarez, MD, leads the Breast Cancer Center Institute at Cancer Treatment Centers of America , said on the CTCA website. And for harmful habits you should be aware of, check out 30 Things You Had No Idea Could Cause Cancer.
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What Are Some Of The Issues For Younger Women With Breast Cancer
Younger women are likely to face particular issues because of their age and life stage. If you are younger than 40 when your breast cancer is diagnosed, you are likely to face different issues in your treatment and follow-up than older women with the disease. You might be concerned about the effects of treatment on your ability to have children, your sexuality or your body image, or you might be worried about what your diagnosis means for your future and for your family. When deciding about treatment, you will need to balance the benefits in terms of your survival with the effects of the treatment on your quality of life.
Treatments such as chemotherapy and hormonal therapies can have side effects on ovarian function including menopausal symptoms or infertility. These effects may be permanent or temporary. Osteoporosis is thinning of the bone that can lead to an increased risk of fracture. Although it usually occurs in older women who have been through the menopause, it is also an issue for younger women who have had treatment for breast cancer. This is because oestrogen plays an important part in keeping bones strong and without it your bones will be weakened. If you have been made post-menopausal by your treatment your oestrogen levels will be lowered and your risk of osteoporosis may have increased.
I Kicked Cancer To The Curb And Wrote A Book To Help Others
“A full day of mammograms, a biopsy and a trip to the emergency room for uncontrolled bleeding was the start of my cancer journey. Then came September 12, 2006 a follow-up visit to the doctor. ‘It’s cancer,’ is all I heard before I saw stars. The next two weeks was a marathon of trips in and out of New York City for testsconsultations, scans, chemo, and blood work. After surgery and 42 radiation treatments, I danced around the maypole on May 1st, 2007. All tests showed all was well! The experience motivated me to write a book for friends and caregivers, For Family and Friends: 39 Things to Make a Cancer Patient Smile.”Susan Reif
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Clinical Considerations And Recommendations
How should individual breast cancer risk be assessed?
Health care providers periodically should assess breast cancer risk by reviewing the patients history. Breast cancer risk assessment is based on a combination of the various factors that can affect risk Box 1610111213. Initial assessment should elicit information about reproductive risk factors, results of prior biopsies, ionizing radiation exposure, and family history of cancer. Health care providers should identify cases of breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, pancreatic, and other types of germline mutation-associated cancer in first-degree, second-degree, and possibly third-degree relatives as well as the age of diagnosis. Women with a potentially increased risk of breast cancer based on initial history should have further risk assessment. Assessments can be conducted with one of the validated assessment tools available online, such as the Gail, BRCAPRO, Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm, International Breast Cancer Intervention Studies , or the Claus model 34.
Is screening breast self-examination recommended in women at average risk of breast cancer, and what should women do if they notice a change in one of their breasts?
Should practitioners perform routine screening clinical breast examinations in average-risk women?
When should screening mammography begin in average-risk women?
How frequently should screening mammography be performed in average-risk women?
When To Start Screening
We recommend mammogram screening to start no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50 for women of average risk for breast cancer, and continue through to at least age 74, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Screening mammography should occur at least once every two years. For women whose screening mammograms show they have dense breasts, an extra testa breast ultrasoundis recommended.
Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says it is important to talk with a health care provider about when you should start getting mammograms, based on your unique health profile, and to make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice any unusual breast changes.
Any time a woman feels a breast mass, which does not go away, while doing a breast self-exam at any age, she should get it checked out, says Dr. Silber.
More than half of the time, women detect breast cancers themselves when they notice an unusual breast change. Whenever there is a new mass or lump, tell your doctorit should be evaluated by a clinical physical examination followed by breast imaging, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Other signs to be aware of include asymmetry of the breasts and nipple changes such as discharge or peeling skin around the nipple.
Says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright, These symptoms dont mean you have breast cancer, but its a reason to seek an opinion from a medical provider.
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