If You Are Age 55 Or Over:
Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.
Clinical breast exams and self-exams are not recommended. But you should be familiar with your breasts and tell a health care provider right away if you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel.
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Is Breast Cancer A Death Sentence
Breast cancer is curable, its okay to be afraid to get screened but dont let fear cause you to lose your life. Breast cancer doesnt have to be a death sentence. Read on breast cancer, go and get screened by a medical professional at least once a year, learn to examine your breast by yourself and do it regularly.
How Soon After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis Should You Have Surgery
Surgery should come within a few weeks of diagnosis. Research shows the sooner you receive surgery, the better the overall prognosis. For example, a study showed women ages 15 to 39 who had surgery within two weeks had a 84 percent five-year survival rate compared to a 78 percent five-year survival rate for women who waited six weeks or more until surgery. Overall, the optional time for surgery after diagnosis is less than 90 days.
Lumpectomy, mastectomy and lymph node removal are three common surgical procedures to treat breast cancer. A lumpectomy is a breast-conserving procedure in which only a part of the breast that contains cancer cells is removed. A mastectomy removes the entire breast. Some women also undergo a double mastectomy to remove both breasts.
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No History Of Breastfeeding
If you breastfed, your risk of developing breast cancer may be reduced, especially if you did it for a year or longer. Breast cancer reduction is just one of many benefits associated with breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for about the first six months of life, then continuing to breastfeed, supplementing with appropriate foods, for one year or longer.
What to do: Consider breastfeeding, if possible, as it also protects your baby from many diseases.
Risk Factors You Cant Control
At the most basic level, women usually have breast cancer for two reasons: 1) They are a woman and 2) They are aging. These reasons might seem obvious, but its as simple as that.
Notice I didnt mention family history of breast cancer. While family history is critical to understanding a patients susceptibility to breast cancer, it does not rank as one of the most important risk factors. Eighty-five percent of my patients had no known family history of breast cancer.
We also can look at a handful of other factors that might slightly increase breast cancer risk but are really out of our hands. These include:
- Menstruating before age 11
- Undergoing hormone replacement therapy, especially a combination of estrogen and progesterone therapy
- Not having children or breastfeeding before age 30
- Starting menopause later in life
None of these factors will automatically cause breast cancer, but we can consider them clues about a patients specific cancer diagnosis.
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A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
A 2019 study showed, however, that the rate in the United States may no longer be declining in women aged 2039 years.
The American Cancer Society reports that:
- There are more than cancer survivors in the U.S.
- The chance of dying from breast cancer is around 1 in 38 .
- About 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed by the end of 2021
- About 43,600 deaths from breast cancer are likely to occur by the end of 2021
Awareness of the symptoms and the need for screening is key in reducing the risk of mortality.In rare instances, breast cancer can also affect males. This article will focus on breast cancer in females.
The first symptom of breast cancer is usually an area of thickened tissue in the breast or a lump in the breast or an armpit.
Other symptoms :
- armpit or breast pain does not change with the monthly cycle
- pitting, like the surface of an orange, or color changes such as redness in the skin of the breast
- a rash around or on one nipple
- discharge from a nipple, which may contain blood
- a sunken or inverted nipple
- a change in the size or shape of the breast
- peeling, flaking, or scaling of the skin of the breast or nipple
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Breast Cancer
A change seen on your mammogram may be the first sign of breast cancer. Or you may have found a lump or other change in your breast.
The doctor will ask you questions about your health and will examine you. A breast exam is done, which includes looking for changes in the nipples or the skin of your breasts. The doctor will also check the lymph nodes under your arm and above your collarbone. Swollen or hard lymph nodes might mean breast cancer has spread there.
Mammogram: This is an x-ray of the breast. Mammograms are mostly used to find breast cancer early. But you might have another mammogram to look more closely at the breast problem you could have.
MRI scan: MRIs use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays to make detailed pictures. MRIs can be used to learn more about the size of the cancer and look for other tumors in the breast.
Breast ultrasound: For this test, a small wand-like instrument is moved around on your breast. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off tissues. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen. Ultrasound can help the doctor see if a lump is a fluid-filled cyst , or if it’s a solid mass that could be cancer.
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Take Advantage Of Patient Navigators
Though intuition would tell us that people who are insured would experience shorter delays before surgery, that doesnt appear to be true. A large 2019 study in PLoS One looked at over 1.3 million people to see how time to initial treatment affected survival. In this study, they found that with early stage breast cancer, waiting more than 35 days between diagnosis and surgery reduced survival rates. Surprisingly, uninsured people had faster times to initiation of treatment.
While the reasons werent certain, it was thought that perhaps those who were insured lost precious time going through prior authorization procedures for diagnostic tests and treatment. Difficulty navigating the maze of large treatment centers may also be at play, and the authors made mention of recent clinical trials showing patient navigation could have a beneficial effect on assuring timely cancer care.
What Do You Give Someone After A Mastectomy
Most Important Items to Have Post-Mastectomy
- Drain lanyard for shower Once surgery is completed, you will most likely have drains that are coming out of your body and being held in place with stitches.
- Mastectomy pillow THIS WAS MY FAVORITE ITEM!
- Shower seat I had no idea how weak I would be after surgery.
Who Gets Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates there will be about 231,840 new cases of and 60,290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer in 2015. Nearly 150,000 people are living with in the United States. Anyone with breast can get breast cancer, even men.
People of all ethnicities get breast cancer. People with different lifestyle habits and from different walks of life develop breast cancer. People with breast cancer can be fit or , vegetarians or meat-eaters, regular exercisers or couch potatoes.
What all people with breast cancer have in common are bad copies, or mutations, in the DNA of their breast cells. DNA makes up the genes of a . It carries a set of directions that tell cells when to grow and how to stop growing.
These mutations can sometimes come from your mother or father at birth. More often, these mutations develop at some point in your life. Some people are more likely to develop a because cancers run in the family. Others who have been exposed to certain things during their lives are more likely to get a mutation. We are still learning about the causes of these mutations and why people get them.
Breast cancer is less common in women whose menstrual periods started at a later age, whose started early, who breastfed, who had children before age 30, who exercise and who are not overweight. But even these traits do not prevent breast cancerthey only give you some protection from developing it. Nothing can completely protect you.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A new lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the armpit
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast. It may look like the skin of an orange.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk. The discharge might happen suddenly, be bloody, or happen in only one breast.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin in the nipple area or the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
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Avoid Birth Control Pills Particularly After Age 35 Or If You Smoke
Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill particularly if a woman smokes. However, long-term use can also have important benefits, like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer not to mention unwanted pregnancy so theres also a lot in its favor. If youre very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk.
Can Exercise Help Reduce My Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer
Exercise is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a useful way to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer in your postmenopausal years. Women often gain weight and body fat during menopause. People with higher amounts of body fat can be at a higher risk of breast cancer. However, by reducing your body fat through exercise, you may be able to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
The general recommendation for regular exercise is about 150 minutes each week. This would mean that you work out for about 30 minutes, five days each week. However, doubling the amount of weekly exercise to 300 minutes can greatly benefit postmenopausal women. The longer duration of exercise allows for you to burn more fat and improve your heart and lung function.
The type of exercise you do can vary the main goal is get your heart rate up as you exercise. Its recommended that your heart rate is raised about 65 to 75% of your maximum heart rate during exercise. You can figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your current age from 220. If you are 65, for example, your maximum heart rate is 155.
Aerobic exercise is a great way to improve your heart and lung function, as well as burn fat. Some aerobic exercises you can try include:
Remember, there are many benefits to working more exercise into your weekly routine. Some benefits of aerobic exercise can include:
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Risk Factors You Can Change
Being physically active can help lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
- Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Being overweight or having obesity after menopause. Older women who are overweight or have obesity have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those at a normal weight.
- Taking hormones. Some forms of hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can raise risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Certain oral contraceptives also have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
- Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
- Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a womans risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.
Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.
When Should I See My Doctor
See your doctor or healthcare professional if you notice symptoms of possible breast cancer, such as a lump, pain, itch, nipple discharge or dimpling, or if you have any concerns about your breast cancer risk.
Your doctor or healthcare professional will assess you and work out if you need further tests. If required, they can refer you to a local service and provide necessary follow-up care.
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Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables And Limit Alcohol
A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and limit alcohol. While moderate drinking can be good for the heart in older adults, even low levels of drinking can increase the risk of breast cancer. And with other risks of alcohol, not drinking is the overall healthiest choice.
Fact : Shift Work May Increase Risk Of Breast Cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently concluded that women who worked night shifts for 30 years or more were twice as likely to develop breast cancer. However, women who work nights are advised not to panic. Itâs worth noting that no link was found between higher breast cancer risk and periods of night work which were shorter than 30 years.
All photography is for illustrative purposes only and all persons depicted are models.
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Stage 2 Breast Cancer
- Stage 2A. The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has spread to 1 to 3 nearby lymph nodes, or its between 2 and 5 cm and hasnt spread to any lymph nodes.
- Stage 2B. The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes, or its larger than 5 cm and hasnt spread to any lymph nodes.
Fear Of Cancer Coming Back
After treatment, many people might be afraid that their cancer will come back . You may become concerned about new symptoms youre having and wonder if theyre related to breast cancer.
Its important to talk with your healthcare provider about any new symptoms you notice. Many of these issues are normal parts of healing and your body returning to a new normal after breast cancer treatment. Your healthcare team is always available to discuss your concerns or fears with you.
You can call or send messages to your doctor or nurse through MyMSK . It may also be helpful to talk with a social worker, therapist, or chaplain. You can also join a support group. For more information, read MSK Support Services.
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What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast. It starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. It can start in one or both breasts.
Breast cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on a mammogram or ultrasound or felt as a lump. Breast cancer is most common in women, but men also can get breast cancer .
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 named for 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.
Combination Drug Therapy For Early
Combination drug therapy means that you receive more than one type of drug at a time.
Combining drug therapies allows your care team to increase the chances that your treatment will be effective against the breast cancer. If a tumor becomes resistant to one drug, your treatment may still be effective because the tumor responds to the second or third drug in the combination you receive.
Combination therapy can be given before or after breast surgery. Most women receive a combination of two or three drugs at the same time. Some of these drugs are breast cancer targeted therapies. These drugs work by targeting specific molecules involved in breast cancer development.
Here are some of the drug combinations that MSKs medical oncologists commonly prescribe:
- Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel
- Used to treat early-stage breast cancer, particularly in younger women or women with aggressive disease
- Given intravenously before or after surgery
- Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel and trastuzumab
- Used to treat early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer
- Given intravenously before or after surgery
- Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, followed by paclitaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab
- Used to treat early-stage breast cancer
- Given intravenously before or after surgery
- Used to treat early-stage breast cancer
- Given intravenously or by pill after surgery, depending on what your doctor recommends
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