What Should A Person With Stage 0 Or Stage 1 Breast Cancer Expect Regarding Treatment
Even though Stage 0 breast cancer is considered non-invasive, it does require treatment, typically surgery or radiation, or a combination of the two. Chemotherapy is usually not part of the treatment regimen for earlier stages of cancer.
Stage 1 is highly treatable, however, it does require treatment, typically surgery and often radiation, or a combination of the two. Additionally, you may consider hormone therapy, depending on the type of cancer cells found and your additional risk factors. Like stage 0, Chemotherapy is often not necessary for earlier stages of cancer.
Material on this page courtesy of National Cancer Institute
Vitamins To Avoid During Radiation Therapy
Your radiation oncologist may tell you to avoid taking certain antioxidant vitamin supplements, such as vitamins C, A, D, and E, while you’re having radiation therapy. These vitamins might interfere with radiation’s ability to destroy cancer cells. This is because radiation works in part by creating free radicals highly energized molecules that damage cancer cells. Free radicals in the environment can damage all cells, but in the case of radiation treatment they are focused on the cancer cells. Antioxidants help keep free radicals from forming or neutralize them if they do form.
Because of the potential conflict between the goal of radiation therapy and the goal of antioxidants , it makes sense to stop taking any antioxidant supplements during radiation therapy. When radiation is finished, you can resume taking your supplements.
Throughout your treatment, do your best to eat a well-balanced diet that contains all of the vitamins you need. Vitamins that come naturally from food are unlikely to interfere with treatment.
High Percentage Of Body Fat
Having an overall high body fat percentage at any weight can lead to increased fat storage around the chest. Having a higher body fat percentage is also linked to higher estrogen levels.
Fat tissue is the major tissue where testosterone is converted into estrogen by the enzyme aromatase. About of the estrogen in the body of a person with a penis comes from the activity of this enzyme.
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What Are The Stages Of Breast Cancer
There are two different staging systems for breast cancer. One is called anatomic staging while the other is prognostic staging. The anatomic staging is defined by the areas of the body where the breast cancer is found and helps to define appropriate treatment. The prognostic staging helps medical professionals communicate how likely a patient is to be cured of the cancer assuming that all appropriate treatment is given.
The anatomic staging system is as follows:
Stage 0 breast disease is when the disease is localized to the milk ducts .
Stage I breast cancer is smaller than 2 cm across and hasn’t spread anywhere including no involvement in the lymph nodes.
Stage II breast cancer is one of the following:
- The tumor is less than 2 cm across but has spread to the underarm lymph nodes .
- The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm .
- The tumor is larger than 5 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm .
Stage III breast cancer is also called “locally advanced breast cancer.” The tumor is any size with cancerous lymph nodes that adhere to one another or to surrounding tissue . Stage IIIB breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread to the skin, chest wall, or internal mammary lymph nodes .
Stage IV breast cancer is defined as a tumor, regardless of size, that has spread to areas away from the breast, such as bones, lungs, liver or brain.
Physical Emotional And Social Effects Of Cancer
In general, cancer and its treatment cause physical symptoms and side effects, as well as emotional, social, and financial effects. Managing all of these effects is called palliative care or supportive care. It is an important part of your care that is included along with treatments intended to slow, stop, or eliminate the cancer.
Palliative care focuses on improving how you feel during treatment by managing symptoms and supporting patients and their families with other, non-medical needs. Any person, regardless of age or type and stage of cancer, may receive this type of care. And it often works best when it is started right after a cancer diagnosis. People who receive palliative care along with treatment for the cancer often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report that they are more satisfied with treatment.
Palliative treatments vary widely and often include medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional and spiritual support, and other therapies. You may also receive palliative treatments similar to those meant to get rid of the cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.
Music therapy, meditation, stress management, and yoga for reducing anxiety and stress.
Meditation, relaxation, yoga, massage, and music therapy for depression and to improve other mood problems.
Meditation and yoga to improve general quality of life.
Acupressure and acupuncture to help with nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
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Five Things To Know About Cording
Axillary Web Syndrome, or Cording, is commonly associated as a side effect of sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection. However, it can actually occur in breast cancer patients, post-treatment. We spoke to Lindsay Davey, Physiotherapist and Clinic Director at Toronto Physiotherapy, to find out more about the symptoms of cording and how it can be both treated and prevented.
WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL SYMPTOMS?
Cording can take on a few different forms. It can be several cord-like bands or just a single one or two. They can feel like a tight band or ropeyness in the armpit, upper arm, elbow, or even the wrist/thumb. Cording can also be felt on the trunk as well, typically lower than the mastectomy scar or breast, or under the chest pectoral muscle at the junction of the trunk and arm. They typically feel like a tight cord-like structure, quite thin and floss-like in nature, that does not feel it is stretched easily by classic chest and arm stretches. It can limit the range of motion of the arm, or, can just make it tighter in feeling without limiting range.
HOW COMMON IS IT?
ARE THERE ANY WAYS TO PREVENT IT?
HOW IS IT TREATED?
WHAT SHOULD EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT CORDING?
Want to learn the best post-treatment exercises? Click here.
Studies On Time To Surgery And Survival
Several studies have been done, but there are some differences in how these were conducted that can affect the results. For example, some studies have looked at the time between a definitive diagnosis and surgery, and others have looked at the time between the onset of symptoms and the time of surgery. Some have looked at averages of all people, whereas others have separated out people based on age, tumor type, and receptor status. Studies can also be skewed, as doctors may recommend surgery sooner for women who have more aggressive tumors. Let’s look at time to surgery and survival rates in different groups of people.
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Checking The Lymph Nodes Before Surgery
You have an ultrasound scan of the lymph nodes under your arm at the same time as having other tests to diagnose breast cancer.
You usually have a biopsy of any lymph nodes that look abnormal. The biopsy is sent to the laboratory to check for cancer cells. If this shows that the cancer has spread to the nodes in the armpit, you will have surgery to remove all or most of them. You have this at the same time as your breast surgery. This is called an axillary lymph node dissection or clearance.
If the lymph nodes look normal during the ultrasound scan, you dont have a biopsy. But you will have a sentinel lymph node biopsy during your surgery.
Genetics And Family History
Treatment for breast cancer may depend partly on having a close relative with a history of breast cancer or testing positive for a gene that increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Patients with these factors may choose a preventive surgical option, such as a bilateral mastectomy.
Clinical trials are studies in which patients volunteer to try new drugs, combinations of drugs, and methods of treatment under the careful supervision of doctors and researchers. Clinical trials are a crucial step in discovering new breast cancer treatment methods.
Emerging treatments for breast cancer being studied in clinical trials include:
- PARP inhibitors that block protein used to repair DNA damage that occurs during cell division are being used and tested for TNBC.
- Drugs that or prevent androgen production are being used and tested for TNBC.
If youre interested, ask your oncologist for information about available trials.
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Talk With Your Doctor
Breast cancer is scary, but it can be successfully treated.
Talk with a breast cancer surgeon about your choices. Find out:
- what happens during surgery
- the types of problems that sometimes occur
- any treatment you might need after surgery
Be sure to ask a lot of questions and learn as much as you can. You may also wish to talk with family members, friends, or others who have had surgery.
When To Consider Joining A Clinical Trial
If youre newly diagnosed with early or locally advanced breast cancer, consider joining a clinical trial before starting treatment. For most people, treatment doesnt usually start right after diagnosis. So, theres time to look for a clinical trial that youre eligible for and fits your needs.
Once youve begun standard treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer, it can be hard to join a clinical trial.
Learn more about clinical trials.
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How Much Do Tamoxifen And Raloxifene Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Multiple studies have shown that both tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in healthy postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen lowered the risk by 50 percent. Raloxifene lowered the risk by 38 percent. Overall, the combined results of these studies showed that taking tamoxifen or raloxifene daily for five years reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by at least one-third. In one trial directly comparing tamoxifen with raloxifene, raloxifene was found to be slightly less effective than tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer.
Both tamoxifen and raloxifene have been approved for use to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Tamoxifen is approved for use in both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women . Raloxifene is approved for use only in postmenopausal women.
Less common but more serious side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include blood clots to the lungs or legs. Other serious side effects of tamoxifen are an increased risk for cataracts and endometrial cancers. Other common, less serious shared side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Breast Cancer Treatment In As Little As One Day
Women who are in the early stages of breast cancer and live on the Treasure Coast now have an advanced alternative for radiation treatment. *, more commonly known as IORT, offers treatment in a single session of high-intensity, highly targeted radiation administered at the time of lumpectomy surgery. This treatment is available through the at Martin Health, the only health care provider offering IORT in the area.
The standard method of radiation therapy requires daily radiation to the whole breast for up to seven weeks. While a highly effective treatment, it requires a number of outpatient visits. In comparison, treatment with IORT can take as little as eight minutes.
The greatest benefit with IORT is that we are able to reduce the volume and dose of radiation to the normal surrounding tissue, said Kiran Reddy, MD, radiation oncologist at the Robert and Carol Weissman Cancer Center. As a result, we can minimize damage to the healthy tissue and reduce side effects for our patients.
With IORT, a complete dose of highly localized radiation is delivered directly into the tumor site when the patient is undergoing breast surgery.
We are able to treat a very small, localized area with a concentrated dose of radiation, said Dr. Reddy. When the incision in closed and the patient leaves the operating room, she is done with radiation treatment.
Learn more about IORT at .
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I Cannot Recall A Case Of Breast Cysts In Which The Result Was Not Positive John Lee Md
brings up the prospect of cancer and advises surgical removal of the offending tumor. If “merely” a breast cyst is found , the patient is supposed to feel grateful. Sheusually receives no other medical treatment for her breast cysts other than a suggestion to try warm packs and put up with her painful monthly experiences.
If she makes the rounds of enough doctors, she will come across someone who wants her to take a drug to suppress her excess estrogen. Besides being expensive,she finds that a few, mostly masculinizing side effects are part of the bargain: acne, seborrhea, hair growth on the face and body, male pattern baldness, lower pitch to voice, vaginal dryness,and sagging smaller breasts. Most women find the treatment is worse than the disease.
From my women patients, I learned that breast cysts were most often a sign of estrogen dominance relatively high estrogen and low progesterone. In my experience, using naturalprogesterone routinely solves the problem. I also recommend adding vitamin E in dosages of 600 IU at bedtime, supplemental magnesium , and vitamin B6 *.I cannot recall a case of fibrocystic disease in which the result was not positive. Once the breast cysts have cleared up, you can reduce the progesterone dose to find the smallest dose that is still effective each month andcontinue the treatment as needed through menopause. This treatment for breast cysts is simple, safe, inexpensive, successful, and natural.”
Think About What Is Important To You
After you have talked with a breast cancer surgeon and learned the facts, you may also want to talk with your spouse or partner, family, friends, or other women who have had breast cancer surgery.
Surgery Choices: Theresa, Cindy, Paula
Three women describe how they decided which type of breast cancer surgery was right for them.
Then, think about what is important to you. Thinking about these questions and talking them over with others might help:
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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.
Testing Genes To See If Your Breast Cancer Is Likely To Come Back
Gene activity tests are also called tumour profiling tests, genetic expression profiling tests or gene assays. They look at groups of cancer genes to find out how active they are. The activity of particular genes helps doctors work out whether a cancer is likely to come back
Your doctor may suggest you have a tumour profiling test when the benefit of having chemotherapy is not clear. This gives them more detailed information on whether or not you should have chemotherapy to lower the risk of the cancer coming back.
Some of these tumour profiling tests are available for breast cancer, depending on your situation. Your doctor can explain whether this testing is an option for you. Examples include EndoPredict , Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score, and Prosigna.
Doctors do this test using a sample of the cancer taken during your surgery. This means that you will not need any extra tests or examinations.
These tests should not be confused with tests that look for an inherited faulty gene that increases a persons risk of getting cancer.
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Which Treatment Is Right For Me
Choosing the treatment that is right for you may be hard. Talk to your cancer doctor about the treatment options available for your type and stage of cancer. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and their side effects. Side effects are how your body reacts to drugs or other treatments.
Sometimes people get an opinion from more than one cancer doctor. This is called a second opinion. Getting a second opinionexternal icon may help you choose the treatment that is right for you.
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