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How Did You Know You Had Breast Cancer

A History Of Breast Cancer Or Breast Lumps

How Did I Know I Had Breast Cancer?

Women who have previously had breast cancer are more likely to have it again than those who have no history of the disease.

Having some types of noncancerous breast lump increases the chance of developing cancer later on. Examples include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.

Individuals with a history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer

Urgent Advice: You Should See Your Gp If You Notice:

  • a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

Hormones And Hormone Medicine

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, the risk is a very low one.

Contraceptive pill

Women who use the contraceptive pill have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk starts to decrease once you stop taking the pill. Your risk of breast cancer is back to normal 10 years after stopping.

Also Check: Adjuvant Therapy Breast Cancer

Just Found Out I Have Breast Cancer

    Hi all,

    well today has been a shock to the system to say the least. Been having breast ache for a number of weeks so went to doctors who said she couldnt feel anything and not to worry yet due to being breast they have to refer. So today I went with my mum thinking worse case scenario its a cyst to be then scanned and had a mammogram then a biopsy in 5 areas and then went into Dr rooms and straight away knew wasnt good as saw the McMillan nurse. I was told that I have a number of abnormal growths and 90% sure its cancer.. both mum and I broke down in tears but they couldnt give me any more info until next Friday when the biopsy results come in. I am so scared and dont know what to expect. Im a single mum to a 5 year old and heads a shed! Any help or advice would be appreciated 🙂

    I Hi

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer a week ago. Im 35 mum of two beautiful children who are my world. I took my mum along too even though I also thought it would just be a cyst. I just broke down hearing the news. Im absolutely devastated and cant handle this at all. My children need me and I cant bear the thought of not watching them grow up. My son is 10 and the sweetest boy, he was distraught when I told him and he said if I die hed kill himself. My heart is broken.

    Ive been told that chemo starts on Wednesday, Im petrified of whats coming. I dont know who to talk to or how to function normally with this going on. I cant think about anything else.

    lots of love

    Tests To Determine Specific Types Of Treatment

    How To Know if You Have Breast Cancer Male or Female ...

    You’ll also need tests that show whether the cancer will respond to specific types of treatment. The results of these tests can give your doctors a more complete picture of the type of cancer you have and how best to treat it. The types of test you could be offered are discussed below.

    In some cases, breast cancer cells can be stimulated to grow by hormones that occur naturally in your body, such as oestrogen and progesterone.

    If this is the case, the cancer may be treated by stopping the effects of the hormones, or by lowering the level of these hormones in your body. This is known as “hormone therapy”.

    During a hormone receptor test, a sample of cancer cells will be taken from your breast and tested to see if they respond to either oestrogen or progesterone. If the hormone is able to attach to the cancer cells , they’re known as “hormone receptor positive”.

    While hormones can encourage the growth of some types of breast cancer, other types are stimulated by a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 .

    These types of cancer can be diagnosed using a HER2 test, and treated with medication to block the effects of HER2. This is known as “biological” or “targeted” therapy.

    Read Also: Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer Curable

    Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

    Metastatic breast cancer symptoms depend on the part of the body to which the cancer has spread and its stage. Sometimes, metastatic disease may not cause any symptoms.

    • If the breast or chest wall is affected, symptoms may include pain, nipple discharge, or a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm.
    • If the bones are affected, symptoms may include pain, fractures, constipation or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels.
    • If tumors form in the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain or extreme fatigue.
    • If the liver is affected, symptoms may include nausea, extreme fatigue, increased abdominal girth, swelling of the feet and hands due to fluid collection and yellowing or itchy skin.
    • If breast cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord and forms tumors, symptoms may include pain, confusion, memory loss, headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty with speech, difficulty with movement or seizures.

    Treatments To Reduce Your Risk

    If you have a greatly increased risk of developing breast cancer, for example, a BRCA gene carrier, treatment might be available to reduce your risk. This applies to a very small minority of women.

    Your level of risk is determined by factors such as your age, your family’s medical history, and the results of genetic tests.

    You will usually be referred to a specialist genetics service if it’s thought you have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer. Healthcare professionals working at these services might discuss treatment options with you.

    The 2 main treatments are surgery to remove the breasts or medication. These are described in more detail below.

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    Getting Breast Cancer Was A Spiritual Wake

    I was diagnosed at 41 with breast cancer. I was a mother to two young children and a wife who had much more living to do. When I prayed, I got the message that it would be a hard year, but that I would live because, although Id accomplished five life goalsbeing a therapist, marrying my soulmate, having a boy and girl, owning a house by the beach, and publishing a bookI still had a legacy of at least 22 books to write and this would prompt me to do it. Ive since published 21 books and am working on number 22. Three of these books were about breast cancer and helping other women get through their illness based upon what Id learn about surviving mine. Paulette Sherman

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    3 Signs Of Breast Cancer You Should Never Ignore | Ask The Doctor

    I was never one to do regular breast self-exams. I was in my thirties and didnt even think breast cancer was a possibility. But then one day my best friend found a lump in her breast and started freaking out about it. It was enough to make me finally check my own and, surprisingly, I too found a lump. Hers turned out to be nothing major but mine was breast cancer. I went through treatment, doing eight rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of radiation.

    “Unfortunately, my breast cancer returned last year, in the same breast. So I decided to have a double mastectomy. Im doing well now but Ive learned just how important breast self-exams can bemine saved my life! I was blessed to catch things early. Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence.Rose Judkins, 39, Minneapolis, MN

    When I was 42 years old, I made an appointment at the famous Mayo Clinic to get checked for a neurological problem. While they were evaluating me for that, the doctor just happened to notice a suspicious-looking spot on my hip and recommended I get it checked out. I was extremely shocked to find out it was melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer. I had two surgeriesone that removed the obvious culprit off my hip, and a second one that went deeper. It took about six weeks to really recover.

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    Myth: Wearing A Bra Can Cause Breast Cancerfact: There Is No Evidence That Bras Cause Breast Cancer

    From time to time, media coverage and the internet have fueled myths that wearing a bra can increase breast cancer risk.

    The theory was that wearing a bra especially an underwire style could restrict the flow of lymph fluid out of the breast, causing toxic substances to build up in the tissue.

    However, there is no evidence to support this claim. A 2014 study of roughly 1,500 women with breast cancer found no link between bra-wearing and breast cancer.

    Relationships With Friends And Family

    It’s not always easy to talk about cancer, either for you or your family and friends. You may sense that some people feel awkward around you or avoid you.

    Being open about how you feel and what your family and friends can do to help may put them at ease. However, don’t be afraid to tell them that you need some time to yourself, if that’s what you need.

    Want to know more?

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    Stage Of Breast Cancer

    When your breast cancer is diagnosed, the doctors will give it a stage. The stage describes the size of the cancer and how far it has spread and helps to predict the outlook.

    Ductal carcinoma in situ is sometimes described as stage 0. Other stages of breast cancer describe invasive breast cancer:

    • stage is â the tumour is “in situ” and there’s no evidence of invasion
    • stage 1 â the tumour measures less than 2cm and the lymph nodes in the armpit aren’t affected there are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
    • stage 2 â the tumour measures 2-5cm, the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected, or both there are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
    • stage 3 â the tumour measures 2-5cm and may be attached to structures in the breast, such as skin or surrounding tissues, and the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected there are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
    • stage 4 â the tumour is of any size and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

    What Are The Stages Of Breast Cancer

    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.

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    Breast Cancer Survivors Tell All: If You Feel Something And It Doesnt Show On The Mammogram Keep Pointing It Out

    Michelle Ganley, Digital Content Team Managing Editor, Graham Media Group

    For someone who has never had to experience or endure breast cancer, it might be understandable that there are questions involved. Does a diagnosis typically come as a surprise, or do people often suspect that something feels not quite right?

    How often should we be performing self-examinations, anyway?

    We asked some of those questions, and more, to our readers — and as you can imagine, there was quite a range when it came to the answers we received.

    Like with many things in life, its hard to generalize. Many peoples responses sounded familiar, and you could certainly find some common themes, but each story was also different in its own way.

    Its not too late to participate, by the way, if you or someone you love is battling the disease and youre interested in sharing. It might be therapeutic.

    Self-checks? Did you suspect it? How did you learn of your breast cancer? If you’re open to sharing your story,

    By the way, respondents had the option to self-identify however theyd like. We asked for names, ages and locations, but people were able to provide as many information or as few details as theyd prefer, which is why youll see some full names, and some people on a first-only basis. Some responses have been edited for length, clarity and grammar.

    Here are those answers to a few of our questions.

    Did You Have A Feeling

    meena1Joined: Oct 2008

    Jun 23, 2010 – 11:57 am

    Before you were diagnosed with cancer, did you have a feeling that something was wrong, even before you found the lump or had any symptoms. Was there something nagging at you that the sky was about to fall down on you? Did you wake up to a black aura and a feeling of dread? Did you dream of sitting in a doctor office while he told you that they do not know if there is anything they can do for you? Did you google “swollen breast” one morning, and Inflammatory breast cancer came up, and you just knew that was what you had? Did you wake up one morning and feel like you were 10 years old again..you could feel the summer heat as you ran out the door in your bobos to play doubledutch, or sit in a kiddie pool, your childhood running before you like a black and white film? When you were diagnosed, did you think about blueberry pancakes and speghetti and meatballs, your fave foods? Were you like “hey, something is not right” or were you totally in the dark? Did you see the curtain blowing in the breeze and felt a total peace come over you? You see, i had these things happen to me, so i want to know if you had any psycic or gut feelings. As always, my prayers are with you.

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    Will I Die Of Breast Cancer

    This is a difficult question to answer early in your cancer care but it is still worth asking. Many people just diagnosed with cancer have no idea how much of a risk to their life their unique situation poses. Most breast cancers carry a low risk of recurrence, especially early-stage cancers. The answer is usually reassuring.

    Living With Breast Cancer

    Did you know that men can have breast cancer?

    Being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stage it’s at and the treatment you will have.

    How people cope with the diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. There are several forms of support available, if you need it.

    Forms of support may include:

    • family and friends, who can be a powerful support system
    • communicating with other people in the same situation
    • finding out as much as possible about your condition
    • not trying to do too much or overexerting yourself
    • making time for yourself

    Find out more about living with breast cancer.

    Recommended Reading: Side Effects Of Breast Cancer Chemo

    Myth: Breast Cancer Always Causes A Lump You Can Feelfact: Breast Cancer Might Not Cause A Lump Especially When It First Develops

    People are sometimes under the impression that breast cancer always causes a lump that can be felt during a self-exam. They might use this as a reason to skip mammograms, thinking theyll be able to feel any change that might indicate a problem. However, breast cancer doesnt always cause a lump. By the time it does, the cancer might have already moved beyond the breast into the lymph nodes. Although performing breast self-exams is certainly a good idea, it isnt a substitute for regular screening with mammography.

    There are some other myths about what types of breast lumps are less worrisome, such as: If the lump is painful, it isnt breast cancer, and If you can feel a lump that is smooth, and/or that moves around freely under the skin, its not breast cancer. Any lump or unusual mass that can be felt through the skin needs to be checked out by a healthcare professional. Although most lumps are benign , there is always the possibility of breast cancer.

    As Community member Simone RC says, that you only need to worry if your lump is hard, not movable, and not smooth. Every single doctor who felt my always-lumpy breasts said they never would have thought what I felt was suspicious. I noticed the new lump on one of my best old lumps. Smooth, movable, soft, like a grape cut in half lengthwise. Thank goodness my gynecologist took me seriously despite having my annual 3D mammogram completely clear a few months before.

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