Surgery For Breast Cancer
Most women with breast cancer have some type of surgery. Common types of breast surgery are lumpectomy, mastectomy, and taking out lymph nodes from the underarm. Women who have a mastectomy may also decide to have the breast shape rebuilt, either at the same time or later on.
Choosing between lumpectomy and mastectomy
Lumpectomy only takes out the lump and a little bit around it. It lets you keep most of your breast. The downside is that youll most likely need radiation treatment after surgery. But some women who have a mastectomy also need radiation afterward.
When choosing between a lumpectomy and mastectomy, be sure to get all the facts. At first you may think that a mastectomy is the best way to get it all out. Some women tend to choose mastectomy because of this. But in most cases, lumpectomy is just as good as mastectomy. Talk to your cancer care team. Learn as much as you can to make the right choice for you.
If you have a mastectomy, you may want to think about having your breast shape rebuilt. This is called breast reconstruction. Its not done to treat the cancer. Its done to build a breast shape that looks a lot like your natural breast.
If youre going to have a mastectomy and are thinking about having reconstruction, you should talk to a plastic surgeon before the mastectomy is done. Your breast can be rebuilt at the same time the mastectomy is done or later on.
Side effects of surgery
How Long After Breast Cancer Treatment Do Recurrences Occur
The risk of recurrence for all breast cancers was highest in the first five years from the initial cancer diagnosis at 10.4%. This was highest between the first and second years after the initial diagnosis. During the first five years after the initial diagnosis, patients with oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer had lower rates of recurrence compared with those with ER negative disease. However, beyond five years, patients with ER positive disease had higher rates of recurrence.
The late recurrence or relapse of breast cancer refers to cancers that come back after five years, but may not return for 10 years, 20 years, or even more. For people who have estrogen receptor-positive tumours, the cancer is actually;more;likely to recur;after five years than in the first five years.
In contrast to the common belief that surviving for five years after cancer treatment is equivalent to a cure, with hormone-sensitive breast tumours there is a steady rate of recurrence risk for;at least;20 years after the original diagnosis, even with very small node-negative tumours.
An awareness of the risk of late recurrence is important for a number of reasons. People are often shocked to learn that their breast cancer has come back after say, 15 years, and loved ones who dont understand this risk are often less likely to be supportive as you cope with the fear of recurrence.
- The long bones of the arms and legs
Symptoms and Detection;
What Are The Complications Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer that comes back can be harder to treat. The same therapy isnt always effective again. Tumors can develop a tolerance to certain treatments like chemotherapy. Your healthcare provider will try other therapies. You may be able to try drugs under development in clinical trials.
If breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, your healthcare providers still treat it like breast cancer. For instance, breast cancer cells that move to the lungs cause breast cancer in the lungs not lung cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is more difficult to treat than cancer in only one part of the body.
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How Long Does It Take Breast Cancer To Spread
Breast cancer has to divide 30 times before it can be felt. Up to the 28th cell division, neither you nor your doctor can detect it by hand. With most breast cancers, each division takes one to two months, so by the time you can feel a cancerous lump, the cancer has been in your body for two to five years.
What Are The Side Effects Of Radiation
Radiation therapy can have side effects, and these vary from person to person.
The most common side-effects are:
- Sunburn-type skin irritation of the targeted area
- Red, dry, tender, or itchy skin
- Breast heaviness
- Discoloration, redness, or a bruised appearance
- General fatigue
What should I do about side effects from breast cancer radiation?If you experience difficulty from side effects, you should discuss them with your doctor, who may be able to suggest ways you can treat side effects and help yourself feel more comfortable. These problems usually go away over a short period of time, but there may be a lasting change in the color of your skin.Here are some good general tips for dealing with the most common side effects of radiation:
Survival Rates For Triple
The five-year survival rate for someone with localized triple-negative breast cancer, cancer that has not spread beyond the breast, is 91 percent . For cancer that has spread into nearby lymph nodes or nearby areas, the five-year survival rate is 65 percent. For cancer that has spread further into the body, such as into the bones, lungs or liver, survival is 11 percent.
Survival rates are averages determined by whats happened in the past. As research and cancer treatment evolve, the outlook may improve.
These statistics are recorded in the SEER database, which is maintained by the NCI, and do not differentiate between stages of cancer or take into account variables such as patient age and overall health.
How Is Tnbc Diagnosed
Imaging tests are usually the first tests done:
- Mammography, the most common screening tool for breast cancer, uses X-rays;to take images of the breast and can uncover tumors that may be too small to feel.
- MRI uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to make detailed images of the breast with a much greater resolution than a mammogram offers.
The next step is a biopsy to remove a sample of suspicious cells from the breast to analyze them. Techniques include:
The appropriate type of biopsy for you depends on factors such as the size and location of the tumor. You may also have a biopsy of your underarm lymph nodes at the same time to see if any cancer is there.
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Chemotherapy Is Powerful Stuff But Data Is Too
Today sees the publication of a paper in the journal The Lancet Oncology written by PHE and Cancer Research UK on 30-day mortality following chemotherapy on patients with breast and non-small cell lung cancer treated in England in 2014.
The paper is accompanied by a PHE report which includes trust-level data.
Chemotherapy given to treat cancer patients is powerful medication used to kill cancer cells and its impossible to avoid causing some damage to other cells and tissues in the body.
So when we give the medication to kill the cancer cells patients get sick – sometimes very sick – and some may die. Getting the balance right on which patients to treat aggressively and which not to treat, can sometimes be hard.
There are lots of factors a doctor has to take into account.; How advanced is the cancer? ;What is the potential gain from treatment? Does the patient have other illnesses? ;How generally fit and well are they? Are their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys working well?; Are they overweight?; A smoker?
These are all factors that we know can affect how well someone might be able to tolerate the serious side effects that come with these strong medicines.
Trends In Breast Cancer Deaths
Breast cancer is the;second leading cause of cancer death in women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about;1 in 39 .
Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have;been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older;women. From 2013 to 2018, the death rate went down by 1% per year.
These decreases are;believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening;and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.
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Radiation Therapy And Sun Exposure
During radiation treatment, its best to keep the treated area completely out of the sun. This can be especially difficult if youre having radiation therapy in areas or seasons with warmer weather. To help avoid sun exposure:
- Wear clothing or a bathing suit with a high neckline, or wear a rash guard top.
- Try to keep the area covered whenever you go outside. An oversized cotton shirt works well and allows air to circulate around the treated area.
- Avoid chlorine, which is very drying and can make any skin reactions youre having worse. Chlorine is used to disinfect most pools and hot tubs.
- If you do want to swim in a pool, you might want to spread petroleum jelly on the treated area to keep the chlorine away from your skin.
After your radiation treatment is completed, the treated skin may be more sensitive to the sun than it was in the past, so you might need to take extra protective steps when you go out in the sun:
- Use a sunblock rated 30 SPF or higher on the area that was treated.
- Apply the sunblock 30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
- Reapply the sunblock every few hours, as well as when you get out of the water.
Written by: Jamie DePolo, senior editor
This content was developed with contributions from the following experts:
Chirag Shah, M.D., breast radiation oncologist, director of breast radiation oncology and clinical research in radiation oncology at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio
Getting A Breast Biopsy
In a breast;biopsy, the doctor takes out small pieces of breast tissue to check them for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to tell for sure if you have breast cancer.
There are many types of biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has risks and benefits. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to take out all or part of the lump to find out if its cancer. This is often done in a hospital using local anesthesia . You might also be given medicine to make you sleepy.
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Investigations For Stages Of Breast Cancer
The following procedures may be necessary to check for metastasis:-
- bone scan
- MRI scan
- blood tests
So, after a breast cancer diagnosis, while in general, the outlook is favorable , it should really be considered a chronic condition.
But the progression is not going to be the same for everyone, even for patients with similar stages of breast cancer presentation.; It is SO important to remember that each case is individual.; Indeed breast cancer has been known to return even 20 years after a mastectomy, whilst in others, the progression and systemic development of the disease may be rapid.
Are you considering having NO treatment?
Anxiety, fear, panic, anger and sadness are all common emotions following a breast cancer diagnosis.; If you are in the middle of a combination of these feelings, today is not a good day to make important decisions.
Here is my quick imagine a way this all gets better line of reasoning, to help you. Firstly, treatments are so effective nowadays and very well organized.; Cancer research and treatments are improving all the time and the people who treat breast cancer are experienced experts.
Give the team some trust and time to explain things properly and accept the treatments. Do one step at a time, one day at a time, and you will be amazed at the results.
Add onto that the following self-help methods:-
- lots of sleep
Cure Versus Progression Delay: Models
For the following hypothetical scenarios, we consider the basic model to recapitulate the survival experience of 45,647 ER-positive breast cancer patients diagnosed in the SEER database between 1990 and 1995 and then introduce two theoretical treatments. In this database, the actuarial 20-year breast cancer mortality was 72.4%. By simulation, we can evaluate how the effects of cytotoxic and cytostatic treatments are expected to influence the shape of the mortality curves. To illuminate the two models in terms of expected survival patterns, we have simulated cohorts of 91,294 women under the two scenarios.
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Risk Factors For Triple
Doctors aren’t sure what makes you more likely to get triple-negative breast cancer. Not many women do — it only affects up to 20% of those who have breast cancer. You’re most at risk for triple-negative breast cancer if you:
- Are African-American or Latina
- Are under 40
- Have what your doctor will call a BRCA mutation , especially the gene BRCA1
Treatment For Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Typically, treatment for stage 4 breast cancer includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy .
Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the protein that allows cancer cells to grow and this type of therapy may also be an option for people with stage 4 breast cancer.
Sometimes, surgeons will operate to try and remove tumors though this is not usually the first option for treatment.
Doctors, however, may recommend surgery to help with pain relief by treating some of the issues that may develop as a result of having stage 4 breast cancer. These include spinal cord compression, removing single masses caused by metastasis, and fixing any broken bones.
A doctor may also prescribe medication to treat related symptoms such as:
- antidepressants to help mood
- anticonvulsants to manage pain or neurologic conditions
- local anesthetics to manage pain
New treatments and therapies are emerging all the time, and anyone who has breast cancer at any stage can volunteer to try out these new treatments. People considering this should talk to their doctor to see whether any trials are available in their area.
Trials for a new treatment called immunotherapy are currently taking place. Immunotherapy works by raising the bodys natural ability to fight off cancer and has fewer side effects than chemotherapy.
As well as numbers, a zero or an X often follow the letters T, N, and M. According to the AJCC, the meanings are as follows:
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Problems With Blood And Blood Vessels
Cancers that push into blood vessels can cause serious damage. In the brain, this can lead to a stroke.
Cancer that affects bone marrow can interfere with the production of:
- red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body
- platelets, which are needed to stop bleeding
- white blood cells, which are needed to fight infection
Looking At The Figures
When we look at the figures we see that most of the people who died within one month were in the palliative treatment group 7.5% of women with breast cancer and 10% of people with non-small cell lung cancer.; These are patients who could not be cured of their disease and between 8-9% of this group died within a month of starting therapy.
There were also deaths in those patients given treatment with the intention to try and achieve cure.; These were much fewer; 0.3% of breast cancer patients and 2.7% of non-small cell lung cancer patients.; It is the next steps in the investigation of these patients that makes this study so powerful and important.
No doctor sets out intentionally to harm their patient and we all know that chemotherapy has risks.; Patients need to be selected and assessed carefully before they start treatment to make sure they can withstand the side effects that will get from these drugs.
In some cases it is a difficult judgement one that clinical teams must make every day.; It would be all too easy to have excellent early survival figures by choosing not to treat any patients; but then the majority who might get the longer-term benefit will miss out.; As so often it is a fine judgement of benefits and risks for each patient.
It is important to emphasise that while there are clearly risks that come with chemotherapy, the number of deaths in the first 30 days is very small and there is no evidence that they are excessively clustered in one or two providers.
Where Does Breast Cancer Spread To
Breast cancer cells seem to prefer to settle into:-
- long bones in the arms and legs
With an osteolytic metastasis, the cancer kind of eats away at the bone, creating holes.
With an osteoblastic bone metastasis, the bone mineral density actually increases, but this can cause the bones to fracture more easily. This requires a little more explanation. Breast cancer metastases tend to be lytic when they are untreated, and then they become densely sclerotic as they respond to treatment.
Even if no treatment is given yet, an osteoblastic metastasis from breast cancer generally indicates that the persons own body is trying to fight cancer with some success.
A CT scan may also be used to check for metastasis to the lungs or liver. A CT scan is essentially an X-ray linked to a computer. The breast cancer doctor injects a contrast dye agent into the bloodstream and this makes any cancer cells in the liver and chest easier to see.