Black Women And Triple
Black women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than White and Hispanic women.
Triple-negative breast cancer is harder to treat and more likely to come back. Black women are also more likely to have larger tumors, requiring longer courses of treatment.
The effect of triple-negative breast cancer on Black women can be devastating. Its aggressive nature often does not provide Black women with enough time to adapt to their diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment regimens.
Triple-negative breast cancer is extremely lethal, with a five-year survival rate of 12% when diagnosed in late stage, compared to 91% when found early and localized. This underscores the importance of mammogram screening and early detection in Black communities.
What To Expect At The Breast Clinic
Your breast clinic appointment may take several hours so that all the necessary tests can be carried out. You will usually have a breast examination, followed by one or more of the following tests:
The order in which the tests are done will vary between clinics.
You can take a partner, friend or relative with you for company and support. Some people prefer to go on their own.
You may be asked to fill in a short questionnaire before you are seen by a doctor or specialist nurse. This includes questions about:
- any family history of breast problems
- any medicines youre taking, including hormone replacement therapy or the contraceptive pill
- any previous breast surgery, including breast implants
During your breast examination, the doctor or nurse may want to check both your breasts when you are sitting, and again when you are lying down. As part of the examination, its normal to examine the lymph nodes under your arm and around your neck.
If you have been referred from a breast screening clinic, you may not have a breast examination.
Having a breast examination, breast imaging and tissue removal is known as a triple assessment. This may be necessary to make a definite diagnosis.
Can Blood Work Detect Breast Cancer
Yes. Cancerous tumors produce specific proteins that can be found in blood marker tests. Certain markers, such as CA 15.3, TRU-QUANT, and CA 27.29, typically indicate breast cancer may be present or if there is a cancer recurrence. Other markers, like CEA , can indicate that breast cancer is present and can also determine if it has traveled to other areas of the body. Doctors will often order blood tests before treatment and throughout the process to help diagnose the cancer, as well as to see how the cancer is responding to treatment methods. A blood test is a supplement to other breast cancer detection strategies, but it is not a foolproof method and should not be used in place of other cancer screenings.
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Planning Financially For Breast Cancer Treatment
An unexpected cancer diagnosis often comes with a heavy financial burden. Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, surgeries, and medications throughout the treatment journey can come as a shock, especially if they turn out to be out-of-pocket expenses. Medical bills can create additional stress in already trying times, so it’s important that patients understand any and all expenses that may arise during breast cancer treatment.
Patients should always contact their insurance company to see what expenses will be covered by insurance and what resources will require funds from elsewhere. Crowdfunding via sites like GoFundMe has become a popular way to cover medical and living expenses throughout the treatment journey, as patients look to the support of their friends, family, and even generous strangers in their community. If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer after receiving a misdiagnosis, compensation from a successful medical malpractice lawsuit can also help ease the financial stress of growing medical bills.
When Can I Expect To Receive A Pfizer Booster If I Received Another Covid
The exact date is unknown, but it shouldnt take too long, given Moderna recently submitted data to the FDA, and Johnson & Johnson will be following suit very shortly.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD, on Friday said getting boosters approved for everyone, including those who originally got the Moderna or J&J vaccine, is a high, high priority.
William Schaffner, MD, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, agrees it should happen soon.
I would hope that within the next month to 6 weeks, we will get information about both of those vaccines, he says. It will be one right after the other. Each one dealt with separately.
I know it leads to a certain amount of confusion, but thats the way you have to do it because all the data were not assembled at exactly the same time.
Just the fact that Pfizer boosters are now available to certain high-risk groups is a big sign that boosters for other COVID-19 vaccines arent far behind, says Eric Ascher, DO, a family medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
To me, that is a strong indicator that they will be made available to the rest of the population soon, he says.
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Survival Rate With Metastatic Breast Cancer
Many people wonder about the life expectancy for stage 4 breast cancer . It’s important to note that everyone is different and survival rates vary widely. There are some people who survive many years and even decades with stage 4 disease. At the same time, it’s important to understand that stage 4 breast cancer isn’t curable.
It can be helpful to look at current statistics and consider the many variables that affect life expectancy. While it’s important not to raise false hope, it may help to know the reality that there are some long-term survivors.
Some people want to know the statistics, but many don’t. If you’re living with stage 4 breast cancer, there is absolutely no requirement that you know the prognosis. The information provided here is only for those who truly wish to know what the current research iseven this research has many limitations.
You’re Experiencing Abnormal Discharge
While nipple discharge from breast milk is totally normal, if you’re noticing discharge that’s clear or bloody, that’s something you should get checked out since it could be a sign of breast cancer, says the National Breast Cancer Foundation. If you have discharge that’s milky, it could be something else, like hormonal changes or certain medication use.
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There’s Dimpling On Your Breast Skin
Noticing some dimpling in the skin of one of your breasts might not seem like a big deal, but it could be a sign of breast cancer, says the Mayo Clinic. The issuewhich is called peau d’ orange, due to its resemblance of the texture of an orange peelcould be a sign of a more invasive type of breast cancer.
What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
The most common types of breast cancer are:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma. This cancer starts in the milk ducts of the breast. It then breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the surrounding tissue in the breast. This is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for 80% of cases.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage, or precancerous . In situ refers to the fact that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond its point of origin. In this case, the disease is confined to the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. If untreated, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer. It is almost always curable.
- Infiltrating lobular carcinoma. This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast where breast milk is produced, but has spread to surrounding tissues in the breast. It accounts for 10 to 15% of breast cancers. This cancer can be more difficult to diagnose with mammograms.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ is a marker for cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It isn’t a true cancer, but serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later, possibly in both or either breasts. Thus, it is important for women with lobular carcinoma in situ to have regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
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What If The Person ‘s Cancer Comes Back
In some cases, a persons cancer will come back and treatment might begin again or a new treatment might be needed. The person with cancer may or may not react the same way they did the first time. Again, communication is key. Most people are quite upset if they learn their cancer is back. They may feel they dont have the emotional or physical reserves to get through it again, they might be empowered to be as strong as possible. They may have expected it to come back, or are simply ready to face it again. By equipping yourself with the knowledge of how best to talk to the person with cancer, you can be most helpful to them.
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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Just Found Out I Have Breast Cancer
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 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;
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast. It starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control.
Breast;cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. Breast cancer is most common in women, but;men can get breast cancer, too.
Breast cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and grow there, too. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis.
Cancer is always named based on the place where it starts. So even if breast cancer spreads to the bones , its still called breast cancer. Its not called bone cancer unless it starts from cells in the bone.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
In its early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a tumor may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on a mammogram.
If a tumor can be felt, the first sign is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all lumps are cancer.
Each type of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar, but some can be different. Symptoms for the most common breast cancers include:
- a breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surrounding tissue and has developed recently
- breast pain
- changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
- a lump or swelling under your arm
If you have any of these symptoms, it doesnt necessarily mean you have breast cancer. For instance, pain in your breast or a breast lump can be caused by a benign cyst.
Still, if you find a lump in your breast or have other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further examination and testing.
Establishing A Breast Cancer Healthcare Team
Patients should form a care team to ensure complete care is provided upon receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. Whether it is through emotional support or medical procedures, establishing a team that can help a patient’s treatment and recovery journey from all angles is essential in the process. Members of this team can include:
- Primary care doctor
- Plastic surgeon
- Patient navigator
This team of individuals can provide quality care, whether it be through counseling or medical procedures, along with the comfort that patients will need during a critical time in their lives. If a patient must undergo a double mastectomy to prevent the cancer from spreading, post-cancer treatment such as breast reconstruction surgery may be necessary and may require another doctor and specialist. Depending on the severity of the prognosis, a team of palliative care or spiritual support providers may be needed throughout the process to help support both patients and their families.
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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.
Understanding A Breast Cancer Diagnosis
When being diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important for patients and their loved ones to take time to process the situation above all else. Although time may be of the essence, it’s important that patients enter their treatment journey with a clear head to ensure that every decision is made with their best interest in mind. Coming to terms with a diagnosis is a critical step in the process.
HER2 refers to the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, a gene that can play a role in breast cancer development. The gene controls how breast cells grow, divide, and repair themselves, making overproduction a potential red flag for breast cancer.
Patients and their families should also bring any questions or concerns to a doctor as soon as possible, especially if they relate to treatment options. A doctor should provide information regarding the type of cancer, the HER2 status, and its stage during the first appointment, so patients and families can begin to make a plan to move forward. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions about where the cancer is located, long-term outlook, and next steps. Having these conversations as quickly as possible and implementing a treatment plan will give the patient the best chance of survival, as diagnoses often worsen when left untreated.
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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