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How To Identify Breast Cancer

When Should I See A Doctor

How To Identify Your Breast Cancer Risk And Steps To Reduce It

It is important to remember that most breast changes are not caused by cancer, and the signs and symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions. However, if you have noticed any symptoms or changes in your breasts, it is important that you see your doctor without delay so that the changes can be checked. This may include a physical examination or imaging of your breasts. Early detection gives the best possible chance of survival if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is important to remember that breast awareness does not replace having regular mammograms and other screening tests as recommended by your doctor. Some people diagnosed with breast cancer have signs or symptoms. However, some women have no signs/symptoms and the breast cancer is found during a screening mammogram.

In order to detect breast cancer early, it is recommended that all women between 50-74 years attend regular screening mammograms every two years. These are offered for free by BreastScreen Australia. Women aged 40-49 and 75 years and older are also eligible for free mammograms if they choose to attend. In deciding whether to attend a screening mammogram, women in these age groups can speak with their doctor and should also consider the potential benefits and downsides of screening mammograms for them.

What Does A Lump In Your Breast Feel Like

A new lump is one of the most common signs of breast cancer. Lumps that are breast cancers can vary. For example, they may be painless or painful. Lumps can also be a sign of a benign breast condition. However, if you have found a new lump or breast change, it is important to see your doctor so that it can be checked by a health professional.

Today is the perfect day to check your breasts because you cant afford to waste a single precious one when it comes to fighting this beast. Every day counts. Lather up in the shower and give your boobies a good feel! If anythings not right, go straight to the doctor.NBCF ambassador Camilla, diagnosed 2018

What Should I Expect With A Breast Mri

Your doctor may recommend a breast MRI for the following:

  • Determining the extent of cancer after a new breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Evaluating a breast tumor when planning surgery to remove it.
  • Evaluating an abnormality from another imaging exam, such as a mammogram or breast ultrasound.
  • Evaluating an old lumpectomy site when something changes on a mammogram or ultrasound.

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How Breast Cancer Is Diagnosed

There are many tests used for diagnosing breast cancer. Not all tests described here will be used for every person. Your doctor may consider these factors when choosing a diagnostic test:

  • The type of cancer suspected

  • Your signs and symptoms

  • Your age and general health

  • The results of earlier medical tests

The series of tests needed to evaluate a possible breast cancer usually begins when a person or their doctor discovers a mass or abnormal calcifications on a screening mammogram, or a lump or nodule in the breast during a clinical or self-examination. Less commonly, a person might notice a red or swollen breast or a mass or nodule under the arm.

The following tests may be used to diagnose breast cancer or for follow-up testing after a breast cancer diagnosis.

What Are The Causes Of Breast Cancer

" Breast self exam, breast cancer monthly examination infographics ...

The exact cause of breast cancer has not been determined. Researchers have found that several factors can increase the risk of breast cancer. It could either be a single risk factor or a combination of risk factors that cause breast cancer. Some common risk factors that have been identified to cause breast cancer are as follows

  • Genetic factors: A family history of breast cancer increases the risk of the disease. Breast cancers may occur due to the inheritance of mutated genes. The most commonly affected genes causing breast cancer are BRAC1 and BRAC2. They also increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Age: The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most women with breast cancer are over the age of 50.
  • Radiation exposure: This could be due to occupational exposure, imaging or radiotherapy for other conditions to the chest during childhood.
  • Early menarche: This is the onset of periods before the age of 12.
  • Late onset of menopause after the age of 55.
  • Late first pregnancy after the age of 30 or never being pregnant.
  • Hormone replacement therapy: Hormonal therapy to reduce the side effects of menopause or for other reasons increases breast cancer risk.

Perlmutter Cancer Center, Section for Global Health, Division of Health and Behavior, Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Health, New York, New York

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Getting A Second Opinion

Getting a second opinion during your cancer care process is common. Its a good idea to get your second opinion before starting treatment, because a second opinion can alter your diagnosis and thus your treatment. However, you can get a second opinion at any point during treatment.

During your cancer care, consider asking for a second opinion in these instances:

  • after your pathology report is complete
  • after your staging work is complete, if you are uncomfortable with the treatment plan your doctor recommends
  • while planning treatments following surgery
  • during treatment, if you believe there may be a reason to change the course of your treatment
  • after completing treatment, especially if you didnt ask for a second opinion prior to starting treatment

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What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

The following early signs and symptoms of breast cancer can happen with other conditions that are not cancer related.

  • New lump in the breast or underarm
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area of the breast
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

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Can Breast Mri Be Used For Breast Cancer

It is often done in women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer to measure size and extent of the breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly breast MRI and mammogram for high risk patients. The breast MRI should not be used in lieu of a breast biopsy to distinguish between benign and malignant

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Doctors

How to Recognize Breast Cancer Symptoms

Would you put your health into the hands of an algorithm? Dont worry robots arent going to be running hospitals just yet! Often when people think of AI in healthcare, theres a vast misconception that clinicians will be replaced by robots, thats simply not the case, says Professor Peter Bannister from The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

AI is being increasingly used to assistnot replacedoctors, meaning they can help more people, says Professor Bannister. Well eventually see widespread use of AI, helping people lead healthier and longer lives, regardless of their socio-economic status or background.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

Learning everything you can about your diagnosis can help you make informed decisions about your health. Here are some questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • Where is the tumor located?
  • Has the tumor spread?
  • What stage breast cancer do I have?
  • What do the estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor and HER2 tests show and what do the results mean for me?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • Is breast cancer surgery an option for me?
  • Will I be able to work while I undergo treatment?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • What other resources are available to me?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can feel scary, frustrating and even hopeless. If you or a loved one is facing this disease, its important to take advantage of the many resources available to you. Talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options. You may even want to get a second opinion before making a decision. You should feel satisfied and optimistic about your treatment plan. Finally, joining a local support group can help with feelings of isolation and allow you to talk with other people who are going through the same thing.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/21/2022.

References

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Guardant Health To Showcase New Data At San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2022 Demonstrating Utility Of Its Blood Tests For Advanced

Presentations to highlight role of Guardant liquid biopsy tests and real-world data to help identify actionable biomarkers, co-occurring mutations and molecular response to therapy

PALO ALTO, Calif., December 01, 2022—-Guardant Health, Inc. , a leading precision oncology company, announced today that new data from its portfolio of blood tests will be presented at the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 6-10 in San Antonio, Texas. The six poster presentations highlight the use of the Guardant360® blood test and the GuardantINFORM real-world evidence dataset to identify critical biomarkers and acquired co-mutations, track associated treatment patterns and clinical outcomes, and monitor molecular response to therapy based on specific breast cancer driver mutations.

“We look forward to sharing new data at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium demonstrating the utility of our blood tests to increase the understanding of potential biomarker targets and the mechanisms of molecular response in patients with advanced breast cancer,” said Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health co-CEO. “The presentations will show how data from comprehensive genomic profiling tests provide critical insights that can contribute to the development of more effective therapies and improved patient outcomes.”

Full List of Guardant Health Presentations

Guardant360

Guardant360 and GuardantINFORM

The full abstracts are available on the official SABCS 2022 website.

About Guardant Health

Contacts

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Have You Noticed Changes In Your Breasts Recently

Many of the symptoms of breast cancer are invisible and not noticeable without a professional screening like a mammogram or ultrasound. But some symptoms can be caught early just by looking out for certain changes in your breasts and being proactive about your breast health.

Our new guide, Know the Symptoms, provides a checklist of symptoms that will help you know what to look for in your breasts during a self-exam and take note of the important information to provide your doctor to guide them in their professional evaluation of your health. Know what to look for when checking your breasts by getting this free guide.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ Symptoms

How To Detect Breast Cancer Early

Lobular carcinoma in situ does not cause symptoms and cannot be seen with a mammogram. This condition is usually found when a doctor is doing a breast biopsy for another reason, such as to investigate an unrelated breast lump. If a person has LCIS, the breast cells will appear abnormal under a microscope.

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What Results Can Be Found In A Mri With Contrast

So, a contrast MRI can give details that a non-contrast MRI cant provide. Possible medical diagnoses from contrast MRIs include cancer, pituitary disease, vascular malformations, central nervous system aneurysms, acoustic neuromas, and seizure causes are completely evaluated with contrast MRI exams. 2. Non-contrast MRI.

What Is Breast Cancer

The human body is composed of cells. Cancer transpires when the deoxyribonucleic acid inside of the cells is damaged. DNA is found inside of every cell and controls the cells functions. Normal cells can repair their damaged DNA, or they die. Cancer cells do not repair their damaged DNA nor die they continue to replicate and create more cancer cells.

The result of these cancer cells multiplying generates the growth of tumors in the breast that develop slowly over time. Not all tumors are dangerous some are benign and are rarely life-threatening, whereas some tumors are malignant, meaning they are aggressive and can grow rapidly.

Over 50 percent of breast cancer cases originate in the milk ducts of the breast. Learn more about the anatomy of the breast.

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What Causes Breast Cancer

Breast cancer happens when there are changes in the genetic material . Often, the exact cause of these genetic changes is unknown.

But sometimes these genetic changes are inherited, meaning that you are born with them. Breast cancer that is caused by inherited genetic changes is called hereditary breast cancer.

There are also certain genetic changes that can raise your risk of breast cancer, including changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These two changes also raise your risk of ovarian and other cancers.

Besides genetics, your lifestyle and the environment can affect your risk of breast cancer.

When Do Breast Lumps Need Attention

How to Check for Breast Cancer [Dr. Claudia]

One should visit the doctor when:

  • You find a new breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue.
  • There is a change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast.
  • Breast pain stays for a longer time.
  • There is some change in the skin near the breast, such as itchiness, redness, scaling or puckering.
  • The nipple has become little inverted
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    Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer

    To determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or a benign breast condition, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam in addition to a breast exam. They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help understand whats causing your symptoms.

    Tests that can help your doctor diagnose breast cancer include:

    • Mammogram. The most common way to see below the surface of your breast is with an imaging test called a mammogram. Many women ages 40 and older get annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have a tumor or suspicious spot, they will also request a mammogram. If an atypical area is seen on your mammogram, your doctor may request additional tests.
    • Ultrasound. A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the tissues deep in your breast. An ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.

    Your doctor may also suggest tests such as an MRI or a breast biopsy.

    If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.

    What Increases Your Risk Of Breast Cancer

    Factors that can elevate risk breast cancer risk include:

    • A personal or family history of breast cancer, including DCIS and LCIS
    • Inherited genetic predispositions, most commonly with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations
    • Elevated lifetime estrogen exposure, including:
    • Early onset of menstruation
    • Late-onset of menopause
    • Older age of first childbirth or never having given birth
    • Taking estrogen and progesterone after menopause
  • Having dense breast tissue
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    What To Do If You Find A Lump

    Dont panic if you think you feel a lump in your breast. Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be benign . There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition, or an injury.

    Dont hesitate to call your doctor if youve noticed a lump or other breast change that is new and worrisome. This is especially true for changes that last more than one full menstrual cycle or seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way. If you menstruate, you may want to wait until after your period to see if the lump or other breast change disappears on its own before calling your doctor. The best healthcare provider to call would be one who knows you and has done a breast exam on you before for example, your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or a nurse practitioner who works with your gynecologist or primary care doctor.

    Make sure you get answers. Its important that your doctor gives you an explanation of the cause of the lump or other breast change and, if necessary, a plan for monitoring it or treating it. If youre not comfortable with the advice of the first doctor you see, dont hesitate to get a second opinion.

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    Help Detect Breast Cancer Earlier

    Invasive Breast Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Treatment, Outlook

    This year, over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The good news is that when breast cancer is detected early, it can be treated more successfully, increasing the chances for survival.

    It is important to know the signs and symptoms of what could potentially be breast cancer. To help with this, National Breast Cancer Foundation has identified three steps you can take to be proactive about your breast health and help increase your chances of detecting breast cancer early.

    This potentially life-saving information can be found in our free guide, 3 Steps to Early Detection. This free resource helps you answer three important questions:

  • What should I look for if I examine my own breast?
  • When should I see my doctor?
  • When and how often should I get a mammogram?
  • Get answers to these questions and more in this free guide.

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    Get An Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnosis

    Yearlybreast cancer screenings are the best way to identify cancer early. It is important to be familiar with how your breasts usually look and feel, and to get regular mammograms. This enables you to notice any changes and report them to your doctor. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the better the chances of successful treatment.

    Diagnostic Steps

    Cancer specialists may use many tests to diagnose breast cancer. They may also conduct tests to see if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm and other areas of the body.

    After reviewing a complete medical history, your health professional will likely recommend:

    • A physical examination to check for lumps in the breasts, nearby tissue and lymph nodes.
    • A screening to look for changes in the breast, including masses and unusual calcifications.

    In the event a lump or other possible symptom of breast cancer is detected during a physical examination or screening, health care providers usually order:

    • A diagnostic mammogram, or in some cases an MRI, to aid in further identifying the breast condition.
    • Breast ultrasound to evaluate information from the physical exam or mammography.
    • Laboratory tests of any discharge, other than milk, from the nipples.

    If the diagnostic mammogram results warrant further investigation, the next step is a breast cancer biopsy to obtain a sample for testing.

    Breast Cancer Biopsies

    A breast cancer biopsy involves taking a sample of breast tissue to examine it closely.

    Diagnosis

    Staging Breast Cancer

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