Being Your Own Advocate
While there arent currently any studies looking at self-advocacy and survival, being your own advocate cant hurt in maximizing your survival. Oncology is changing rapidly and its difficult for any oncologisteven those who specialize in breast cancerto stay aware of all of the latest research and clinical trials taking place.
It can be helpful to research your cancer yourself. Becoming involved via social media such as Twitter is also an excellent way to learn about the latest research, using the hashtag #bcsm, which stands for breast cancer social media.
Getting a second opinion can be helpful as well, especially from one of the larger cancer centers such as a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
There are ways to learn about opportunities, however, that dont require traveling for opinions. There are now clinical trial matching services in which a nurse navigator can help to match your particular tumor and characteristics with clinical trials in progress all over the world.
Several of the larger cancer centers are now also offering remote second opinions, in which an oncology team can review your medical information and talk to you on the phone about whether there are any opportunities for treatment for you that may not be available elsewhere.
Youll Be Asked To Remove Your Clothing From The Waist Up
Youll stand in front of the mammogram machine.
Your breasts will be placed one at a time on the x-ray machine. The breast will be pressed down firmly on the surface by a clear plate.
At least two pictures of each breast will be taken, one from top to bottom and then a second from side to side to include the part of your breast that extends into your armpit. Youll need to stay in position while the pictures are taken.
Taking the pictures only takes a few seconds.
COVID-19 booster vaccinations
Some people report swelling in the armpit or to the lymph nodes under the arm after a COVID-19 booster vaccination, so you may want to mention to staff at the screening unit if you have recently had a COVID-19 vaccination. Swelling seems to be more common with the Moderna booster vaccination. If you notice any swelling following your booster vaccination, it should disappear within about 10 days, if not, or you have any concerns, contact your GP.
What About Other Treatments That I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
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Breast Cancer: What Every Woman Should Know
All women are at risk for breast cancer, and risk increases with age. Knowing about breast cancer can help a woman detect problems early, when chances of a cure are greatest.
You are the first line of defense when it comes to breast cancer. Thats why its crucial to know how your breasts normally look and let your doctor know if something seems unusual, says Dr. Esther Dubrovsky, breast surgeon at Houston Methodist Cancer Center.
What Are Some General Signs And Symptoms Of Cancer
Most signs and symptoms are not caused by cancer but can be caused by other things. If you have any signs and symptoms that don’t go away or get worse, you should see a doctor to find out whats causing them. If cancer is not the cause, a doctor can help figure out what the cause is and treat it, if needed.
For instance, lymph nodes are part of the bodys immune system and help capture harmful substances in the body. Normal lymph nodes are tiny and can be hard to find. But when theres infection, inflammation, or cancer, the nodes can get larger. Those near the bodys surface can get big enough to feel with your fingers, and some can even be seen as swelling or a lump under the skin. One reason lymph nodes may swell is if cancer gets trapped there. So, if you have unusual swelling or a lump, you should see your doctor to figure out whats going on.
Here are some of the more common signs and symptoms that may be caused by cancer. However, any of these can be caused by other problems as well.
Sometimes, its possible to find cancer before you have symptoms. The American Cancer Society and other health groups recommend cancer-related check-ups and certain tests for people even though they have no symptoms. This helps find certain cancers early. You can find more information on early detection at the American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer.
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What Are The Risk Factors
Several factors can increase a mans chance of getting breast cancer. Having risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer.
- Getting older. The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are found after age 50.
- Genetic mutations. Inherited changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, increase breast cancer risk.
- Family history of breast cancer. A mans risk for breast cancer is higher if a close family member has had breast cancer.
- Radiation therapy treatment. Men who had radiation therapy to the chest have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Hormone therapy treatment. Drugs containing estrogen , which were used to treat prostate cancer in the past, increase mens breast cancer risk.
- Klinefelter syndrome.Klinefelter syndromeexternal icon is a rare genetic condition in which a male has an extra X chromosome. This can lead to the body making higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of androgens .
- Certain conditions that affect the testicles. Injury to, swelling in, or surgery to remove the testicles can increase breast cancer risk.
- Liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver can lower androgen levels and raise estrogen levels in men, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
- Overweight and obesity. Older men who are overweight or have obesity have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than men at a normal weight.
Talk to your doctor about your familys history of cancer.
Whats The Pact Act And How Will It Affect My Va Benefits And Care
The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act.
The PACT Act will bring these changes:
- Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
- Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
- Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
- Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
- Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures
If youre a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits.
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Breast Cancer Can Be Invasive Or Noninvasive
Noninvasive cancer that is confined to the ducts of the breast is called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, and is considered stage 0 breast cancer, says Dr. Dubrovsky. Noninvasive breast cancers rarely cause symptoms or lumps you can feel, but they may appear as tiny areas of calcification on a mammogram.
Breast cancer is classified as invasive if it has grown outside the duct or lobule where it started and into surrounding breast tissue, explains Dr. Dubrovsky. It then has the potential to spread to other areas of the body.
About 80% of breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas . IDC appears as a hard, firm lump. In advanced stages of IDC, the skin over the lump may appear dimpled or the nipple may be retracted .
About 12% of breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinomas . Rather than appearing as a hard lump, this cancer may feel like a thickening. ILC may be more difficult to detect on a mammogram than IDC.
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/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.
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Who Provides Breast Cancer Treatment
A medical team may involve several different health professionals. It may include a GP, a radiologist, an oncologist, a breast care nurse, a surgeon and other allied health professionals such as counsellors and therapists. Having a multi-disciplinary team means a patient can receive the best care possible.
There Are Several Types Of Breast Cancer
Many women think of breast cancer as a single disease. In fact, there are many different types of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is classified based on where in the breast it arises from. The most common place for cancer to start is in the ducts of the breast, says Dr. Dubrovsky.
The milk ducts of the breast are tubes that carry milk from the milk-producing glands to the nipple.
Breast cancers that start in the milk ducts are called ductal carcinomas, while breast cancers that start in the lobules are called lobular carcinomas.
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How Do I Know If Medical Malpractice Is To Blame For My Misdiagnosis
If you think your breast cancer was misdiagnosed as a result of malpractice, consider scheduling a free consultation with a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases. They should be able to determine if you are qualified and can give you more information about the process based on your individual case.
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How Do U Know When U Have Cancer 7 Cancer Warning Signs No One Should Ignore
How do u know when u have cancer? There are many overlooked signs that you dont notice but are telling you that cancer is growing somewhere on your body.
Routine tests, regular doctor appointments, eating healthy and being active does not always protect us from cancer. Cancer could be growing in our bodies without us being aware of it.
There are a lot of tell-tell signs and weve categorized them and listed them for you, so you could check and always beware of them.
Your body communicates with you, and whenever you get some of these symptoms, immediately pay your doctor a visit.
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How Is Breast Cancer Treated
Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread.
Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.
- Surgery. An operation where doctors cut out cancer tissue.
- Chemotherapy. Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
- Hormonal therapy. Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
- Biological therapy. Works with your bodys immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.
- Radiation therapy. Using high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells.
Doctors from different specialties often work together to treat breast cancer. Surgeons are doctors who perform operations. Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine. Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.
For more information, visit the National Cancer Institutes Breast Cancer Treatment Option Overview.external icon This site can also help you find health care services.external icon
What Are The Symptoms
The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men are
- A lump or swelling in the breast.
- Redness or flaky skin in the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Nipple discharge.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
These symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer. If you have any symptoms or changes, see your doctor right away.
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Breast Cancer In Women Under 40
Throughout her lifetime, a woman has a 1 in 8 risk of developing breast cancer. No matter what your age you need to be aware of risk factors. In many cases of breast cancer early diagnosis is the key to survival.
This slideshow will tell you 10 things every young woman should know about breast cancer.
Being Recalled To The Breast Clinic Following A Routine Screening Mammogram
About four women in a hundred are called back to a breast clinic following routine screening because they need more tests. This happens more often after a womans first mammogram, usually because there are no other mammograms to compare with. Something that may look unusual on your mammogram may be entirely normal for you, and most women who are recalled for assessment will not have breast cancer.
Sometimes you may be recalled because the image taken isnt clear and needs to be repeated. This is called a technical recall and should be made clear in your letter.
If youve been recalled to a breast clinic after a routine mammogram as part of a national breast screening programme, you should receive a letter within two weeks of your mammogram explaining when your breast clinic appointment will be.
How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated
Inflammatory breast cancer treatments use a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy for breast cancer uses drugs to kill cancer cells. You may receive chemo intravenously or as a pill. Chemotherapy shrinks cancer cells so theyre easier to remove during surgery. You may also receive chemotherapy after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may remain after surgery.
- Surgery: Surgery removes your entire affected breast and nearby lymph nodes. More conservative treatments that remove tissue while sparing your breast arent effective with IBC. The cancer spreads too quickly.
- Radiation therapy:Radiation therapy uses a machine to direct energy toward the cancer, destroying the cancer cells. After surgery, you may receive radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells that surgery may have missed.
Depending on the characteristics of your cancer cells , you may receive treatments like targeted therapy, hormone therapy or immunotherapy.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you take part in a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a study that tests the safety and effectiveness of new cancer treatments. Treatments that are successful in clinical trials often become the standard treatment approaches.
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 its 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.
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How To Know If You Have Breast Cancer
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.There are 22 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 580,850 times.
Studies show that breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women, though men can also get breast cancer. Although breast cancer is so common, you’re likely really scared if you’ve noticed changes in your breasts or have a family history of breast cancer. Experts say symptoms of breast cancer can be different for each person, but common symptoms include a lump, thickening or swelling in your breast, breast pain, unusual discharge, and skin changes around your breast.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source Talk to your doctor if you think you might have breast cancer because early detection may increase your chances of successful treatment.