How Do I Find A Specialist
Your regular doctor is a good first source. They can give you a referral. They should know from experience who the most appropriate cancer specialists are in your area.
You can also search online. Check reliable websites such as the American College of Surgeons or the American Society of Clinical Oncology. You can also look on the websites of universities, medical schools, or the federal government.
And the American Board of Medical Specialties offers information on their website for patients and families on finding specialists.
Hospitals offer free and confidential telephone or online referral services for finding doctors. They give you information about a doctor’s professional background.
Insurance companies can also give you names of cancer specialists along with referral requirements.
Once you have the names of a few candidates, find out:
- How many procedures or cases the doctor has been involved with
- The doctor’s areas of special interest or research
- Which hospitals the doctor is affiliated with
- Whether the doctor is board-certified in the area of specialization
- Any fellowships theyve done in cancer care
- Where the doctor was trained
If you cant find the information, call the doctors office and ask some questions.
Women: Breast Implants And Cancer Risk
In about 90% of breast cancer cases, women find a breast lumpthemselves. So, check your breasts regularly. If you have implants, payextra attention to how your new breasts look and feel.
Have breast implants? Or thinking of getting implants? You may be worried theyll make it hard for your doctor to detect and treat breast cancer.
No need for concern, says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of MD Andersons Cancer Prevention Center. Just take the extra precautions listed below.
Get familiar with your new breasts
In about 90% of breast cancer cases, women find a breast lump themselves. So, check your breasts regularly. Its one of the best ways to detect breast cancer early.
If you have implants, pay extra attention to how your new breasts look and feel.
Itll take a while to get used to your new breasts because theyll have a different texture. Theyll also have new folds or dimples, Bevers says.
But after you get comfortable with your new breasts, you shouldnt have any problems noticing changes.
Women with implants can sometimes even notice changes more easily than women without implants, Bevers says. Implants tend to push the natural breast tissue closer to the surface of the breast, making a lump easier to feel.
Take extra screening steps
Most women, including those with breast implants, should start annual mammograms at age 40.
Worried that flattening your breasts during the exam will damage your implants? That rarely happens, Clemens says.
How To Do A Breast Self
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here’s what you should look for:
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:
|Breast Self-Exam Step 1|
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Learn Who Else Can Help
Its important to know that youre only one person and that its impossible to provide the wide range of support that a breast cancer patient needs alone. It would help if you familiarized yourself with agencies in place to provide various services designed to support breast cancer patients.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation is one of the leading organizations dedicated to providing breast cancer support to women at all stages of the disease. The organization has programs that provide mammograms to women who need them and services that help breast cancer patients get the help they need. These services include support groups and educational programs to help women understand their medical records, risk factors, and treatment plan. The Foundation even provides support services for breast cancer survivors.
The American Cancer Society also provides support to patients. It also works to expand cancer research through fundraising for research. The organization has funded many grants that have provided innovative clinical trials to find a cure for cancer.
Its also essential that you look for your own support network as well. Family members and caregivers of breast cancer patients are often put under a lot of stress when trying to help their loved ones. Many organizations like the ones listed above can assist you in finding the assistance you need, so you can continue to support the fighter in your life.
Apps And Tools To Help With Breast Cancer Self
If you’re having trouble remembering the usual look and feel of your breasts, try making a “map” to log the different colors and consistencies of your breast tissue. These apps and tools can help with your breast cancer self-exams and keep you on track.
Keep a Breast: Provided by the Keep A Breast Foundation, this app helps you establish a regular routine for self breast checks. You can set a date to get a monthly push reminder and the app guides you through your self-exam each time.
Know Your Lemons: This app is designed to improve early detection by offering self-exam instructions, quizzes, symptoms, screening tools and more. It even allows you to calculate your own personal level of risk of breast cancer.
B4BC: This app from Boarding for Breast Cancer teaches you how to perform a self breast exam, allows you to set a schedule that’s in sync with your menstrual cycle and provides resources like educational content, healthy recipes and wellness tips.
Pink Luminous Breast Light: This handheld tool from the Pink Luminous Advocacy Project intends to make self-exams for breast cancer easier and more effective. It uses LED technology to identify lumps, dark spots, clusters and other signs you may not be able to see with your eyes or feel with your fingers. This tool does not replace screenings with a doctor, but can increase the likelihood of early detection.
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What Should You Look For
Its not just lumps that you should be checking for. There are several other indicators of breast cancer that you can look out for too. Get in touch with your doctor if you notice one or a combination of the following changes in your breast:
- Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
- A nipple that has changed position
- An inverted nipple
- Clear or bloody fluid leaking from the nipple
What Is The Best Breast Cancer Screening For People With Implants
Because breast implants make mammograms more difficult, it is better to get a 3D mammogram than the traditional 2D screening for breast cancer. 3D images allow your doctor to see your breast tissue better, whether you have implants or not. 3D mammograms also give doctors more pictures to look through, increasing the probability that any tumors present will be seen.
Ultrasounds and MRIs can also be used in screening for breast cancer. These are other good alternatives to 2D mammograms for people with breast implants. Talk to your doctor about which type of screening is best for you.
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What To Do If You Feel Something
If you feel something abnormal during these at-home exams, dont panic. Contact your doctor, but be aware that 8 out of 10 lumps are non-cancerous. And, be familiar with what your breasts typically feel like since many can fluctuate in size and firmness during different menstrual cycle stages. This helps you know note abnormalities more confidently.
Checking for breast abnormalities routinely can save your life by detecting breast cancer early. It takes very little time, has a huge payoff, and can detect cancerous lumps before you reach the age of recommended breast cancer screenings.
What Should I Do If I Find A Lump
Donât panic. It could be many things other than cancer. But do check in with your doctorâs office if you notice any new breast changes, such as:
- An area that is different from any other area on either breast
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that lasts through your menstrual cycle
- A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
- A mass or lump
- A marble-like area under the skin
- A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple
- Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
- Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple
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How Is A Mammogram Different If I Have Breast Implants
For a woman with breast implants, a standard 2D mammogram includes four extra pictures , called implant displacement views.
For these views, the technologist gently pushes the implant back toward the chest wall and brings the breast tissue forward and in front of the implant, Dr. Reddy said. This allows more of the breast tissue to be evaluated.
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What Happens After The Local Breast Cancer Treatment
Following local breast cancer treatment, the treatment team will determine the likelihood that the cancer will recur outside the breast. This team usually includes a medical oncologist, a specialist trained in using medicines to treat breast cancer. The medical oncologist, who works with the surgeon, may advise the use of the drugs like tamoxifen or anastrozole or possibly chemotherapy. These treatments are used in addition to, but not in place of, local breast cancer treatment with surgery and/or radiation therapy.
After treatment for breast cancer, it is especially important for a woman to continue to do a monthly breast examination. Regular examinations will help you detect local recurrences. Early signs of recurrence can be noted in the incision area itself, the opposite breast, the axilla , or supraclavicular region .
Maintaining your follow-up schedule with your physician is also necessary so problems can be detected when treatment can be most effective. Your health care provider will also be able to answer any questions you may have about breast self-examination after the following procedures.
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Risk Factors You Can Change
- Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Being overweight or obese after menopause. Older women who are overweight or obese 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.
Be Honest About What You Need
Many patients grapple with how to interact and communicate their needs with those around them, Baumgartner said. This is especially true in relaying how much or how little patients may feel like discussing their cancer with family and friends.
Some people find it helpful to put information about their health and treatments on a blog or site like CaringBridge, so if family and friends have questions, they can be referred there.
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No One Should Have To Face Breast Cancer Alone
Knowing exactly what to do after a breast cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. But the good news is that you dont have to face all the questions and decisions alone.
You can count on us to help you through it all with a personalized treatment plan and an integrated team of specialists to take care of you at every step of your breast cancer journey.
With award-winning cancer centers and clinics in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, were here for you and your family.
If youve been referred to an oncologist or surgeon, and have yet to schedule an appointment, choose a location and then give us a call.
Were your cancer-answers-fast partner
Male Breast Cancer Resources
HIS Breast Cancer AwarenessHIS Breast Cancer Awareness offers education and resources to men with breast cancer and men at high risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer. By providing connection and support, the organization works to reduce the stigma often felt by men diagnosed with breast cancer.
Male Breast Cancer CoalitionThe Male Breast Cancer Coalition is an online space for men with breast cancer to share their stories. The site includes a resource directory and an online discussion community. MBCC also hosts an annual conference featuring medical experts and advocates working to help men feel more supported after a breast cancer diagnosis.
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How Do I Spot The Symptoms
It is important to know the symptoms of breast implant associated cancer. The most common symptom is swelling of a breast caused by fluid build-up around the implant, but in some cases it may appear as a lump in the breast or armpit.
As this is a rare disease, changes in your breast are unlikely to be breast implant associated cancer. For example, swelling immediately after your breast implant surgery is normal. But you should raise all concerns with your surgeon, including the possibility of breast implant associated cancer. If the surgeon or clinic which performed your original implant operation is no longer available, you should see your GP for referral to another surgeon.
How To Look For Changes
Standing in front of a mirror, a person should look at the overall appearance of the breasts and nipples. Here are some questions to think about while doing so:
- Are they similar in size, shape, and height?
- Is one a different color than the other?
- Are there any visible skin lesions, marks, color changes, or moles?
- Are there any signs of swelling, lumpiness, pitting, or contour changes?
- Are the nipples facing outward or inward?
A person should run through this checklist twice: once with their arms at their sides and once with their arms above their head.
Breasts are rarely identical, but noticing changes can help detect a problem early. Having an idea of the usual size, shape, appearance, and feel of the breasts can help a person be aware of any changes.
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Baking Soda And Cancer: The Fungus Angle
Baking soda and cancer have been making the headlines these days, which has had the grand effect of confusing cancer patients even more than usual. With all of the information, and disinformation out there, who is right when it comes to deciphering the new findings about the correlation between cancer, fungus, and baking soda? Let us highlight a few important points first before we connect baking soda and cancer:
Truth #1 about Cancer: Doctors still dont know what really causes cancer. Scientists now have a good grip on the nature of cancers, how it grows, and have a wide array of chemicals that affect or retard the growth of cancer once it starts. But how does it come about? It remains a much debated mystery.
Truth #2 about Cancer: Theres still no cure. While scientists and researchers have made many significant discoveries concerning cancer, none have come up with the definitive preventative or cure.
Truth #3 about Cancer: Cancer behaves like a fungus. While this notion has been around for many years, it is now beginning to attract attention. The National Institute of Health has funded many research projects along these lines, meaning that even the government sees the merit in this avenue of thought.
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Using Baking Soda To Help Beat Cancer:
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a natural substance used for a number of different household tasks such as baking and cleaning. Research has shown that it is a powerful tool in identifying and stabilizing cancer growth as well . Cancer is a complex disease process and there is no one cause or one cure.
It is a disease that develops from damage to the bodies internal environment creating genetic mutations and alterations in the bodies metabolic dynamics. The use of baking soda along with a number of other intensive health strategies to boost the bodies natural healing rhythms are necessary to reverse the process in a natural way.
The human internal ecosystem is stabilized by several different buffering systems that keep the body functioning at a high level for as long as possible. One of these buffering systems is pH.
Our blood stream should be slightly alkaline at 7.365 pH at all times for the body to be healthy. Maintaining pH balance through proper diet and lifestyle is one of the most critical tools to optimizing your health.