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Can You Get Breast Cancer In Both Breast

Connection Between Colon And Breast Cancer

Does Insulin Effect Breast Cancer Growth?

I have read some articles stating a relationship between colon and breast cancer. I wanted to know more about this because I had breast cancer 5 years ago and was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon with mets. I was told the colon cancer may have been there for close to ten years.

Hi Mary, Like you and have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society: Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

Hi Mary, Like you and have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society: Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

Colon cancer is very slow progressing and often doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages. How was colon cancer detected in your case?

Hi Mary, Like you and have also had both colon and breast cancer. I found this article from the American Cancer Society: Second Cancers After Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Experts Weigh In

“Nobody would recommend a prophylactic mastectomy in a group that over the next four years only had a 2.4% chance of getting it on the other side,” says Gralow, referring to the comparison group in Hunt’s study.

Women who have had breast cancer are at “high risk” for another breast cancer, “but ‘high’ is a relative term,” notes Victor Vogel, MD, the American Cancer Society’s national vice president for research.

“Whether the Gail model is the appropriate way to estimate that risk is highly debatable,” Vogel says. “What you’d want is a study in which patients with a first breast cancer had a Gail model score, and then in five years, you look to see whether the Gail model accurately predicted the number of second breast cancers. And I am not aware that any such study has ever been done.”

Gralow and Vogel also point out that when breast cancer is diagnosed, many doctors now perform MRI scans of both breasts. Those scans help show the extent of breast cancer in the affected breast and check the other breast for cancer.

Hunt’s study started before that practice became common, so not all of the patients got MRI scans before opting for preventive mastectomy. Genetic testing also wasn’t a routine procedure for the patients in Hunt’s study, and isn’t recommended for most breast cancer patients.

What Are The Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.
  • A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.
  • A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.
  • A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.
  • A change in the look or feel of the skin on the breast or nipple .
  • Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.
  • An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
  • A marble-like hardened area under the skin.

These changes may be found when performing monthly breast self-exams. By performing breast self-exams, you can become familiar with the normal monthly changes in your breasts.

Breast self-examination should be performed at the same time each month, three to five days after your menstrual period ends. If you have stopped menstruating, perform the exam on the same day of each month.

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Cancers Linked To Radiation Treatment

Lung cancer: The risk of lung cancer is higher in women who had radiation therapy after a mastectomy as part of their treatment. The risk is even higher in women who smoke. The risk does not seem to be increased in women who have radiation therapy to the breast after a lumpectomy.

Sarcoma: Radiation therapy to the breast also increases the risk of sarcomas of blood vessels , bone , and other connective tissues in areas that were treated. Overall, this risk is low.

Certain blood cancers: Breast radiation is linked to a higher risk of leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome . Overall, though, this risk is low.

Moles May Be Linked To Breast Cancer Risk


Common moles are small growths on your skin that are usually pink, tan, or brown and have a distinct edge. Moles develop when pigment cells grow in clusters. Most adults have about 10 to 40 moles, mostly above the waist on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. While common moles arent cancerous, people who have more than 50 common moles have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Now two studies seem to have found a link between moles and breast cancer. Both studies suggest that women with more moles are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Both studies were published in the June 10, 2014 issue of the PLoS Medicine. Read the abstracts of:

Both of these studies were prospective studies. A prospective study follows a group of similar people who are different in terms of the factors that are being studied to see how the factors affect rates of a certain outcome.

In the French E3N study, the researchers followed 89,902 women to see if the number of moles they had were linked to breast cancer risk. The women in the study were ages 40 to 65 and were followed from June 1990 to June 2008. Most of the women in the study were school teachers.

At the beginning of the study, the researchers asked the women if they had:

  • no moles

and other questions about their lifestyle and medical history.

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What Is The Prognosis Of Patients With Inflammatory Breast Cancer

The prognosis, or likely outcome, for a patient diagnosed with cancer is often viewed as the chance that the cancer will be treated successfully and that the patient will recover completely. Many factors can influence a cancer patients prognosis, including the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, the patients age and overall general health, and the extent to which the patients disease responds to treatment.

Because inflammatory breast cancer usually develops quickly and spreads aggressively to other parts of the body, women diagnosed with this disease, in general, do not survive as long as women diagnosed with other types of breast cancer.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that survival statistics are based on large numbers of patients and that an individual womans prognosis could be better or worse, depending on her tumor characteristics and medical history. Women who have inflammatory breast cancer are encouraged to talk with their doctor about their prognosis, given their particular situation.

Ongoing research, especially at the molecular level, will increase our understanding of how inflammatory breast cancer begins and progresses. This knowledge should enable the development of new treatments and more accurate prognoses for women diagnosed with this disease. It is important, therefore, that women who are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer talk with their doctor about the option of participating in a clinical trial.

How Can I Protect Myself From Breast Cancer

Follow these three steps for early detection:

  • Get a mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends having a baseline mammogram at age 35, and a screening mammogram every year after age 40. Mammograms are an important part of your health history. Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force came out with new recommendations regarding when and how often one should have mammograms. These include starting at age 50 and having them every two years. We do not agree with this, but we are in agreement with the American Cancer Society and have not changed our guidelines, which recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40.
  • Examine your breasts each month after age 20. You will become familiar with the contours and feel of your breasts and will be more alert to changes.
  • Have your breast examined by a healthcare provider at least once every three years after age 20, and every year after age 40. Clinical breast exams can detect lumps that may not be detected by mammogram.

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You Got Your Mother’s Eyes Will You Get Her Breast Cancer

by Pennsylvania State University

Sometimes, when you look in the mirror you find your family looking back. It can be a source of pridein some families, chins, noses, earlobeseven the way your brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles talk and laugh all seem to pass from generation to generation. But the possibility you might inherit the risk for developing breast or other cancers from your family is something no one wants to consider.

Fortunately, only 5% to 10% of all cancers can be linked to a genetic mutation passed on from mom or dad. Most cancer is sporadic and has more to do with personal risk factors, like aging, hormones, environment, lifestyle and even your own immune system.

“We know we are all born with the same genes. As time marches on, we start acquiring changes in our genes,” said Donna Lamp, a credentialed clinical genomics nurse and coordinator of the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at Penn State Health St. Joseph Cancer Center. “Typically that’s what sets the stage for cancer. It is like the perfect storm of risk factors coming together to potentially develop cancer or put individuals at risk to develop cancer.”

Conversely, with hereditary cancer, someone most commonly is born with a copy of a gene that is not working correctly.

“It can’t deliver messages to the cells like it should,” Lamp said. “If a gene mutation is passed on to you, you can be at a higher risk to develop cancer versus the general population that was born with two healthy gene copies.”

What Is Secondary Breast Cancer In The Lung

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Secondary breast cancer in the lung happens when breast cancer cells spread to the lung. It can also be known as lung metastases or secondaries in the lung.

Secondary breast cancer in the lung is not the same as cancer that started in the lung.

Usually secondary breast cancer occurs months or years after primary breast cancer. But sometimes its found at the same time as the primary breast cancer, or before the primary breast cancer has been diagnosed. In this situation, the breast cancer has already spread to the other parts of the body such as the lung. This is referred to as de novo metastatic breast cancer, meaning the breast cancer is metastatic from the start.

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How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

During your regular physical examination, your doctor will take a thorough personal and family medical history. He or she will also perform and/or order one or more of the following:

  • Breast examination: During the breast exam, the doctor will carefully feel the lump and the tissue around it. Breast cancer usually feels different than benign lumps.
  • Digital mammography: An X-ray test of the breast can give important information about a breast lump. This is an X-ray image of the breast and is digitally recorded into a computer rather than on a film. This is generally the standard of care .
  • Ultrasonography: This test uses sound waves to detect the character of a breast lump whether it is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass . This may be performed along with the mammogram.

Based on the results of these tests, your doctor may or may not request a biopsy to get a sample of the breast mass cells or tissue. Biopsies are performed using surgery or needles.

After the sample is removed, it is sent to a lab for testing. A pathologist a doctor who specializes in diagnosing abnormal tissue changes views the sample under a microscope and looks for abnormal cell shapes or growth patterns. When cancer is present, the pathologist can tell what kind of cancer it is and whether it has spread beyond the ducts or lobules .

Who Is At Risk

Any woman can get a breast infection, but its more likely to happen when youre breastfeeding. Cracked nipples can allow bacteria to enter your body. Youre also at higher risk for an infection if you have blocked milk ducts.

Inflammatory breast cancer isnt common. The median age at diagnosis is 57. Black women have a higher risk than white women. Youre also at higher risk if youre obese.

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Risks For Breast Cancer

A risk factor is something that increases the risk of developing cancer. It could be a behaviour, substance or condition. Most cancers are the result of many risk factors. But sometimes breast cancer develops in women who dont have any of the risk factors described below.

Most breast cancers occur in women. The main reason women develop breast cancer is because their breast cells are exposed to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones, especially estrogen, are linked with breast cancer and encourage the growth of some breast cancers.

Breast cancer is more common in high-income, developed countries such as Canada, the United States and some European countries. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Breast cancer mostly occurs in women between 50 and 69 years of age.

Further Tests For Breast Cancer

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If a diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed, more tests will be needed to determine the stage and grade of the cancer, and to work out the best method of treatment.

If your cancer was detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme, you’ll have further tests in the screening centre before being referred for treatment.

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Breast Pain Linked To Periods

Many women feel discomfort and lumpiness in both breasts a week or so before their period.

The pain can vary from mild to severe and the breasts can also be tender and sore to touch.

You may experience heaviness, tenderness, a burning, prickling or stabbing pain, or a feeling of tightness.

The pain usually affects both breasts but it can affect just one breast. It can also spread to the armpit, down the arm and to the shoulder blade.

Cyclical breast pain is linked to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. The pain often goes away once a period starts. In some women, this type of pain will go away by itself, but it can come back.

This type of pain usually stops after the menopause, though women taking hormone replacement therapy can also have breast pain.

Breast pain can also be associated with starting to take or changing contraception that contains hormones.

Collecting Your Family History

Your mother is an important figure in your cancer risk profile if she has or has had breast cancer. But, given the above, it’s also helpful to find out if cancer has affected other family members, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Don’t assume that you know this informationit’s worth specifically asking.

For the purpose of building your own family history, you need to know:

  • What type of cancer a relative had
  • What age they were diagnosed
  • If they were cured, still living with cancer, or have died

Other details, such as the grade, type, and stage of cancer are not as important for you to know. If you develop breast cancer, your medical team will identify your own grade, type, and stage rather than relying on your family history.

If your mother or father are alive and able to share your family’s background with you, filling out the Cancer Family History Questionnaire that was created by the American Society of Clinical Oncology can help you keep track of the information. Once you gather your family history, it would be useful to keep that record for yourself and for other family members who share some of your family medical history.

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Heinz’s Form Of Cancer Rare But Treatable


  • Teresa Heinz revealed that she has been diagnosed with early-stage cancer in both breasts
  • Only about 2 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in both breasts simultaneously
  • Tumors can be of different severity and/or type in each breast
  • Expert: Prognosis depends on the side with the most aggressive type of cancer

— The recent revelation by Teresa Heinz, wife of U.S. Senator John Kerry, that she has been diagnosed with early-stage cancer in both of her breasts has likely left many women wondering, “Could this happen to me?”

It could, but it’s unlikely. Only about 2 percent to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in both breasts at the same time, experts say.

” not unheard of, because whatever causes breast cancer on one side can act on both breasts,” says Nayana Dekhne, M.D., the director of the Comprehensive Breast Care Program at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Even if you are one of the few women to experience this type of breast cancer, the scenario isn’t always as dire as it sounds. Breast cancer experts are quick to point out that a woman’s prognosis is not necessarily worse if she has breast cancer in both breasts, and that the outcomes in such cases are often excellent.


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