The Breast Cancer Centers At Ctca
At the Breast Cancer Centers at each of our CTCA® hospitals, located across the nation, our cancer experts are devoted to a single missiontreating breast cancer patients with compassion and precision. Each patients care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a registered oncology nurse, who helps track the various appointments, follow up on tests and answer questions that come up along the way. Your care team also may include a breast surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with advanced training in helping patients restore function and appearance. Fertility preservation and genetic testing;are also available for qualifying patients who need them.
Our pathologists and oncologists are experienced and trained in tools designed to diagnose, stage and treat different types of breast cancer, from early-stage ductal carcinoma in situ;to complex diseases such as triple-negative;and inflammatory breast cancer. As part of our patient-centered care model, which is designed to help you keep strong during treatment, your multidisciplinary care team may recommend various evidence-informed supportive therapies, such as naturopathic support, psychosocial support, nutritional support, physical and occupational therapy;and pain management. The entire team works together with a whole-person focus, which is at the heart of our centers dedication to personalized and comprehensive care.
How Might Pain Affect People With Cancer
Any type of pain, not just cancer pain, can affect all parts of a person’s life. Some days it may be better or worse than others.
If you have pain, you might not be able to do your job well or take part in other day-to-day activities. You may have trouble sleeping and eating. You might be irritable with the people you love. Its easy to get frustrated, sad, and even angry when youre in pain. Family and friends dont always understand how youre feeling, and you may feel very alone. This is not unusual, so it’s important to talk about your pain with your health care team so they can help.
Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Your GP may suggest some things you can try which might help reduce pain, but theres limited evidence to show these work. These include:
- eating a low-fat diet;
- increasing the amount of fibre you eat
- reducing caffeine and alcohol
Wearing a supportive and well-fitting bra during the day, during any physical activity and at night can be helpful.;
Relaxation and complementary therapies;
Some women have found relaxation therapy useful in reducing their symptoms of cyclical breast pain, such as relaxation CDs or apps, or other complementary therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy.;
If your pain started when you began taking a contraceptive pill, changing to a different pill may help. If the pain continues, you may want to try a non-hormone method of contraception such as condoms, a non-hormonal coil or a cap .;
If your pain started or increased while taking HRT and doesnt settle after a short time, tell your GP.;
Evening primrose or starflower oil
Theres evidence that having low levels of an essential fatty acid called GLA can contribute to cyclical breast pain. However, research has shown that taking additional GLA doesnt always help the pain. Despite this, your GP may suggest that you try evening primrose or starflower oil , as some women have found it helps them to feel better generally. Your GP will tell you how much to take and for how long.;
Recommended Reading: How Many Chemo Sessions For Breast Cancer
Swelling In Or Around Your Breast Collarbone Or Armpit
Swelling in these areas can occur for many reasons but may indicate cancer. Breast swelling can be caused by certain types of breast cancer. ; Swelling or lumps around your collarbone or armpits can be caused by breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes in those areas. The swelling can occur even before you can feel a lump in your breast. If you have swelling, be sure to let your health care team know as soon as possible.
I Had A Double Whammy Kris Diagnosed At 41
Kriss first diagnosis was when she was 41-years-old. She had a mastectomy on her left breast with reconstruction and was on Tamoxifen for five years. Kris was nine months out from the initial diagnosis when her oncologist found another lump on her right side.
For that, Kris went through six rounds of chemo and got a mastectomy on her right side. She also had part of her chest wall removed.
After two diagnoses and losing both breasts, 70 pounds, and a husband, Kris has a new outlook on life and lives every day with faith and love. Shes been cancer-free for seven years and counting.
Don’t Miss: Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer
How Is Benign Breast Disease Diagnosed
If you feel a lump or notice breast changes, see your healthcare provider immediately. Sometimes a mammogram or your healthcare provider first detects a change. Your provider may order one or more of these tests:
- Imaging scans, including mammogram, ultrasounds or magnetic resonance imaging .
- Lab test of nipple discharge to check for cancer cells.
- Image-guided core needle breast biopsy, fine-needle aspiration biopsy or excisional biopsy to test cells for cancer.
Myth : Women With Lumpy Breast Tissue Have Dense Breasts
False. Lumpy breast tissue has nothing to do with breast density, Dr. Pederson says. Your breasts can feel lumpy but not appear dense on a mammogram.
Nearly one in two women have dense breast tissue, indicated by the amount of milk glands and ducts and supportive tissue, which appear solid white on a mammogram. Because cancer can appear the same way, women with dense breasts may choose to have 3D mammography for better cancer detection and fewer false positives. Women at high risk may qualify for MRI screening.
You May Like: What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
What Is Benign Breast Disease
If you feel a lump in your breast, your first thought may be that you have breast cancer. Fortunately, a majority of breast lumps are benign, meaning theyre not cancerous.
Both women and men can develop benign breast lumps. This condition is known as benign breast disease. While these breast changes arent cancerous or life-threatening, they may increase your risk of developing breast cancer later on.
Be Aware Of Your Breasts To Detect Breast Cancer Symptoms Early
Studies show that regular breast self-exams are not the best way to detect breast cancer early.
What does work? Being aware of how your breasts look and feel and seeing a doctor as soon as you notice changes or abnormalities.
The vast majority of breast cancers are found during daily activities like showering, applying deodorant or even scratching, says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center.
Bevers advises women to see a doctor if they have one or more symptoms of breast cancer, no matter how mild they may seem.
You dont need to wait for any particular size or severity of symptoms to get checked out, she says. “The earlier that breast cancer is detected, the better our chances of treating it successfully.”
And you shouldnt ignore symptoms just because you breasts don’t hurt. Pain is rarely a symptom of breast cancer, she says.;
The vast majority of breast cancers are found during daily activitieslike showering, applying deodorant or even scratching.
Therese Bevers, M.D.
Read Also: What To Eat To Cure Breast Cancer
What Causes Pain In People With Cancer
The cancer itself often causes pain. The amount of pain you have depends on different factors, including the type of cancer, its stage , other health problems you may have, and your pain threshold. People with advanced cancer are more likely to have pain.
Cancer surgery, treatments, or tests can also cause pain. You may also have pain that has nothing to do with the cancer or its treatment. Like anyone, you can get headaches, muscle strains, and other aches or pains.
How Breast Cancer Really Affects Your Sex Life
Sexual side effects during or after breast cancer are commonand not so fun to deal with. And when youre ready, its something you can tackle together with your partner.
Here, sexual health experts go over some common ways that breast cancer may affect your sex life and what you can do about it. Consider this the first step toward reclaiming your sexuality.
Don’t Miss: How To See If You Have Breast Cancer
Breast Pain Not Linked To Periods
Its often unclear what causes non-cyclical breast pain.
It can be related to:
- a benign breast condition
- previous surgery to the breast;
- injury to the breast
- having larger breasts;
- a side effect from a drug treatment, such as certain antidepressant drugs and some herbal remedies such as ginseng
Stress and anxiety can also be linked to breast pain.;
Non-cyclical breast pain may be continuous or it may come and go. It can affect women before and after the menopause.;
The pain can be in one or both breasts and can affect the whole breast or a specific area. It may be a burning, prickling or stabbing pain, or a feeling of tightness.;
Non-cyclical breast pain often goes away by itself over time. This happens in about half the women who experience it.
How Can I Learn To Love My New Body
Many women who experience breast cancer leave the experience feeling like their body has betrayed them. They will see the effects of their cancer every day when they look in the mirror, whether theyve had a lumpectomy, whether theyve had a mastectomy, and whether or not they had reconstruction. There will be clear reminders of that experience even long after surgical recovery, Carpenter says.
If youre uncomfortable in your new body, Carpenter recommends doing things that made you feel good about yourself before cancer that you may have given up, like buying flattering clothes, putting makeup on, having your hair and nails done, and starting back up your exercise regime.
And, there is even more support out there for you on your road to sexual health if you feel like you need it. Reach out to your medical team, or consider joining a support group, such as the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery Program.
Don’t Miss: How Old To Get Breast Cancer
Symptoms Of Secondary Breast Cancer
Secondary breast cancer means that a cancer that began in the breast has spread to another part of the body. Secondary;cancer can also be called advanced or metastatic cancer.
It might not mean that you have secondary breast;cancer;if you have the symptoms described below. They can be caused by other;conditions.
Fat Necrosis Vs Oil Cysts
Oil cysts can also cause a lump in your breast. Oil cysts are benign, or noncancerous, fluid-filled sacs that can appear in your breast. Like other cysts, they will most likely feel smooth, squishy, and flexible. Oil cysts can form for no reason, but they often appear after breast surgery or trauma. As your breast heals from surgery or trauma, breast fat necrosis can melt instead of hardening into scar tissue. The melted fat can collect in one place in your breast and your body will cause a layer of calcium to form around it. This melted fat surrounded by calcium is an oil cyst.
If you have any oil cyst, the lump is probably the only symptom youll notice. These cysts can show up on mammograms, but theyre usually diagnosed with a breast ultrasound.
In many cases, an oil cyst will go away on its own, so your doctor might recommend watchful waiting. If the cyst is painful or is causing you anxiety, a doctor can use needle aspiration to drain the fluid. This usually deflates the cyst.
You May Like: Can You Have Breast Cancer At 21
Why Am I Experiencing Vaginal Dryness And What Can I Do About It
Vaginal dryness and discomfort are common in women undergoing estrogen-inhibiting treatments, says Kristen Carpenter, PhD, director of Womens Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Decreased estrogen levels impair the vaginal lubrication that occurs when youre sexually aroused, plus vaginal tissue loses volume, becoming more delicate and less elastic.
To minimize discomfort, Carpenter recommends using a non-hormonal vaginal moisturizer for regular maintenance, along with a lubricant during sexual activity . In other words, lube up for a healthy flow of fluids.
If this combination doesnt do the trick, a local estrogen cream may be useful, Bober says. For vaginal dryness, we know that vaginal estrogen and vaginal DHEA are very effective. These are medications that you can speak with your oncologist or gynecologist about that are often used even after breast cancer, Bober says.
Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer With Early Detection And Prevention
When it comes to cancer, early detection is important, but so is reducing your risk. There are several healthy lifestyle choices you can make to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Stay lean after menopause. Keep a healthy weight and a low amount of body fat. Eating a healthy diet can help.
Get active and sit less. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. Do strength-training exercises at least two days a week.
Avoid alcohol. If you drink, limit yourself to one drink per day if you are a woman, and two drinks per day if you are a man.
Choose to breastfeed. Try to breastfeed exclusively for six months after giving birth, and continue even when other foods are introduced.
Manage hormones naturally. If you are going through menopause and trying to control the symptoms, try non-hormonal methods before turning to hormone replacement therapy.
In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices, get regular;breast cancer screening exams. Screening exams can detect cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat.;Women age 25 to 39 should consider a clinical breast exam every one to three years. Women 40 and older should get an annual breast exam and a screening mammogram.
Also Check: Where Does Triple Negative Breast Cancer Metastasis To
Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To The Bones
You may have any of these symptoms if your cancer has spread to the bones:
- an ache or pain in the affected bone
- breaks in the bones because they are weaker
- breathlessness, looking pale, bruising and bleeding due to low levels of blood cells – blood cells are made in the bone marrow and can be crowded out by the cancer cells
Sometimes when bones are damaged by advanced cancer, the bones release calcium into the blood. This is called hypercalcaemia and can cause various symptoms such as:
Facts You Should Know About Breast Lumps In Women
- Breast lumps can be caused by infections, injuries, non-cancerous growths, and cancer.
- Breast cancer usually causes no pain in the breast. The symptoms of breast cancer include painless breast lumps, nipple discharge, and inflammation of the skin of the breast.
- The chances that a particular breast lump could be cancerous depends on many factors, including past medical history, physical examination, as well as genetic and other risk factors.
- The only way to be certain that a lump is not cancerous is to have a tissue sampling . There are several ways to do the biopsy. The treatment of a breast lump depends on its cause.
Read Also: Can Getting Hit In The Breast Cause Cancer
What Do Lumps In My Breast Mean
Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. But most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. The two most common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts. Fibrocystic condition causes noncancerous changes in the breast that can make them lumpy, tender, and sore. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Metastatic Breast Cancer & Pain
Metastatic breast cancer may also cause pain.;It could be from a larger tumorthese are often over two centimeters in diameteror pain in other regions of the body due to the spread of cancer. If breast cancer spreads to your bones, it may cause bone pain in your chest, or back pain with leg weakness.;If cancer spreads to your brain, it may cause headaches.;
If breast cancer travels to the adrenal glands, you may feel a dull back pain. If your breast cancer spreads to your liver, you could have pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and develop jaundice .
Also Check: Does Breast Pain Indicate Cancer
Breast Or Nipple Pain
Breast cancer can cause changes in skin cells that lead to feelings of pain, tenderness, and discomfort in the breast. Although breast cancer is often painless, it is important not to ignore any signs or symptoms that could be due to breast cancer.
Some people may describe the pain as a burning sensation.
Breast Cancer Types And Symptoms
There are several kinds of breast cancer. Many of them share symptoms.
Symptoms of ductal carcinoma
This is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in your ducts. About 1 in 5 new breast cancers are ductal carcinoma in situ . This means you have cancer in the cells that line your ducts, but it hasnât spread into nearby tissue.
You may not notice any symptoms of ductal carcinoma. It can also cause a breast lump or bloody discharge.
Symptoms of lobular carcinoma
This kind begins in the glands that make milk, called lobules. Itâs the second most common type of breast cancer. Symptoms include:
- Fullness, thickening, or swelling in one area
- Nipples that are flat or point inward
Symptoms of invasive breast cancer
Breast cancer thatâs spread from where it began into the tissues around it is called invasive or infiltrating. You may notice:
- A lump in your breast or armpit. You might not be able to move it separately from your skin or move it at all.
- One breast that looks different from the other
- A rash or skin thatâs thick, red, or dimpled like an orange
- Skin sores
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Muscle weakness
Symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer
Breast cancer is called triple-negative if it doesnât have receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone and doesnât make a lot of a protein called HER2. This kind tends to grow and spread faster than other types, and doctors treat it differently.
Symptoms of male breast cancer
- A small, hard cyst
Don’t Miss: What To Do If I Think I Have Breast Cancer