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.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
Ask your healthcare provider about what your cancer diagnosis means for your treatment options and likely outcomes. Questions to ask include:
- What stage is my breast cancer?
- Which specialists will be involved in my care?
- What treatment options would you recommend?
- What outcomes should I expect from treatment?
- What are potential side effects or complications related to treatment?
- Can you connect me with resources ?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of cancerthat spreads quickly. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider immediately if you notice changes in your breasts, especially a change in one breast but not the other. The changes may be a sign of a less serious condition, like an infection. Still, IBC spreads fast. If your symptoms are a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, youll want to begin treatment as early as possible. Dont delay seeking care that can potentially improve your prognosis.
Skin Puckering Or Dimpling
Dimpling can often result from scar tissue forming in the breast, whether due to previous surgery, infection or obesity. However a specific type of dimpling known as Peau dorange is important to recognize as it is associated with inflammatory breast cancer. The skin over the breast will resemble an orange peel due to cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin over the breast.
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Why Do I Have Puckered Skin On My Breast
Why do I have puckered skin on my breast? To reiterate, puckered skin on the breast is not necessarily a sign of cancer, nor is a feeling of lumpiness or even when accompanied by pain in the breast. Puckering can have several causes, it is usually age related or from dieting, or past sun exposure.
When to see a doctor for puckered skin? Puckering can have several causes, it is usually age related or from dieting, or past sun exposure. But its always best to see your doctor who may refer you to a higher consultation, even when these benign causes are suspected. I hope this helps someone.
Why do I have so much skin on my face? Patches and flakes of dryness also occur on the skin making it feel too rigid. People are usually unable to figure out what might have caused the thickening of their skin, especially on the face. A good skincare regime, proper diet and in-time recognition of any skin issues encountering is the key to a good texture.
Why does my face get a rash when Im stressed? Cortisol Hormone released as a result of stress and anxiety can also cause the skin to rash or irritate. This is due to the delicate connection between your skin and your mind. Cortisol affects the mental nervous functioning and can cause the skin to fall an easy victim of irritation and patchiness.
Age At First Menstrual Period First Pregnancy And Menopause
The earlier menstruation begins , the higher the risk of developing breast cancer.
The later the first pregnancy occurs and the later menopause occurs, the higher the risk. Never having had a baby increases the risk of developing breast cancer. However, women who have their first pregnancy after age 30 are at higher risk than those who never have a baby.
These factors probably increase risk because they involve longer exposure to estrogen, which stimulates the growth of certain cancers.
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Treatment Of Specific Types Of Breast Cancer
For inflammatory breast cancer, treatment usually consists of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Mastectomy is usually done.
For Paget disease of the nipple, treatment is usually similar to that of other types of breast cancer. It often involves simple mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery plus removal of the lymph nodes. Breast-conserving surgery is usually followed by radiation therapy. Less commonly, only the nipple with some surrounding normal tissue is removed. If another breast cancer is also present, treatment is based on that type of breast cancer.
For phyllodes tumors, treatment usually consists of removing the tumor and a large amount of surrounding normal tissue around the tumor)called a wide margin. If the tumor is large in relation to the breast, a simple mastectomy may be done to remove the tumor plus wide margins. Whether phyllodes tumors recur depends on how wide the tumor-free margins are and whether the phyllodes tumor is noncancerous or cancerous. Cancerous phyllodes tumors can metastasize to distant sites, such as the lungs, bone, or brain. Recommendations for treatment of metastatic phyllodes tumors are evolving, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be useful.
Benign Breast Changes Due To Inflammation Infections Pregnancy And More
There are other benign breast conditions that result from inflammation, infection, pregnancy, or simply other unusual changes. They can lead to the development of lumps, growths, irritated areas, unusual discharge, and/or pain. These conditions arent associated with increased risk of breast cancer. However, their symptoms often will lead you and your doctor to consider breast cancer as a possibility. Youll often need additional imaging tests, such as ultrasound and mammography, and perhaps even a biopsy, to make sure the condition is truly benign.
Many benign breast conditions are linked to inflammation, pain, and infection. There can be areas of redness and swelling involving the nipple, areola, and/or skin of the breast. Such symptoms are usually not a sign of breast cancer. However, any breast changes that persist over time should be checked by a breast specialist. Infections usually get better quickly and completely resolve after a couple weeks treatment with antibiotics. If you have symptoms of inflammation and infection that wont go away, you can ask your doctor to rule out a rare form of cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer . Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon but aggressive form of breast cancer that usually starts with redness and swelling in the breast rather than a distinct lump. Learn more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
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How To Reduce Risk
There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, but there are certain steps a person can take to lower their risk.
Actions that may lower the risk of breast cancer include:
- Get to a healthy weight: High body weight and weight gain as an adult increase the risk of breast cancer after menopause. The
Several benign breast conditions can cause symptoms that resemble those of cancer. Some of these issues require treatment, while others go away on their own.
Though these conditions are benign, they can cause:
- discomfort or pain
Some common benign breast conditions include:
If a person is unsure what is causing any breast-related symptom, they should talk with a doctor as soon as possible.
As with most cancers, early breast cancer detection and treatment leads to a better outcome. People should attend regular breast examinations and tell a doctor about any breast-related symptoms or changes.
According to the ACS , when a doctor diagnoses breast cancer before it has spread beyond the breast, the relative 5-year survival rate is 99%.
Relative survival rates can help people understand the likelihood of treatment being successful. A relative 5-year survival rate indicates the percentage of people living 5 years after their diagnosis compared to people without the disease.
When breast cancer has spread beyond the breast to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 86%. The same survival rate for cancer that has spread to other organs is 29%.
Signs And Symptoms Of Benign Breast Conditions
There are many different types of benign breast conditions but they all cause unusual changes in breast tissue. Sometimes they affect the glandular tissue . Or they can involve the supportive tissue of the breast, also called stromal tissue.
A benign breast condition can lead to a distinct growth or lump that sometimes can be felt through the skin. Or it can be something unusual picked up on a screening mammogram.
If you have symptoms, theyre often similar to those associated with breast cancer, such as:
Your testing plan will depend on your symptoms and what type of benign breast condition is suspected. Your doctor might not be able to tell you much until the test results come back. Waiting is hard, but remember that benign conditions are more common than breast cancer.
In most cases, todays imaging techniques are advanced enough to tell the difference between a benign breast condition and cancer, notes Alan Stolier, M.D., a surgical breast oncologist with St. Charles Surgical Hospital and the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans. If anything about the imaging is suspicious, we will go a step further with biopsy, he says. If we dont recommend anything else be done, we have a high level of confidence it is benign.
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Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells on one milk duct.
When a person receives this diagnosis, the cells have not invaded the surrounding breast tissue. However, having ductal carcinoma in situ can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer later.
This condition generally does not cause symptoms. Doctors find through mammography. Rarely, a person may notice a lump in the breast or some discharge from the nipple.
Five Early And Common Nipple Signs
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The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chance of successful treatment and cure, Walk The Walk confirmed.
While a lump in the breast tissue could be a sign of the disease, nine out of 10 breast lump are not cancerous.
Other signs of breast cancer can include:
- Any unusual change in the shape or size of one of your breasts
- If one breast has changed and become lower than the other
- Puckering or dimpling of the skin
- A lump or thickening within the breast or armpit
- Constant pain in one part of the breast.
People are encouraged to check their breasts every month, on the same day.
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For menstruating women, it is advisable to do so immediately after the end of your period.
Trustee of Walk The Walk, Stephen Johnston head of the breast unit at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust shared his words of advice.
I wanted to take this opportunity to urge those of you that may have any potential symptoms that might indicate breast cancer, to visit your doctor and have a breast check as soon as possible please dont put it off.
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Oral Contraceptives Or Hormonal Therapy
Some studies show that women taking oral contraceptives have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. Once the pills are stopped, this risk seems to go back to normal within about 10 years.
for a few years or more increases the risk of breast cancer. Taking estrogen alone does not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Other Causes Of Dimpling
Dimpling can also be a symptom of fat necrosis, a condition where the fatty tissue in the breast dies. It can happen for various reasons, including breast surgery, a bruise or injury, or as a side effect of a biopsy.
There is no link between fat necrosis and breast cancer, but it can also cause a lump and dimpling. Dimpling is more likely if the fat necrosis occurs near the surface of the breast.
The only way to find out if dimpling is due to breast cancer or fat necrosis is by having an examination with a doctor and a breast biopsy.
The easiest way to find dimpling is to look at the breasts. While United States Preventive Task Force no longer recommends regular breast self-exams, it is important to know how the breasts normally look and feel.
Looking for dimpling is simple.
The best time to do it is to take a few minutes when getting dressed or changing clothes.
To screen for dimpling:
- Check out the tissue covering the breasts and underarm areas.
- Note any changes in the skin, including lumps or changes in texture.
- Feel the breasts to check for lumps, areas of tenderness, or thickening in the breast or under the arms.
It is best to check regularly and at all stages of the menstrual cycle so that you can know how the breasts change over time.
An individual should see a doctor if they notice dimpling or other changes in the breast tissue.
To find out why the dimpling is there, the doctor:
In a biopsy, the doctor takes some tissue from the breast to check for cancerous cells.
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How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
Your health care provider may use many tools to diagnose breast cancer and figure out which type you have:
- A physical exam, including a clinical breast exam . This involves checking for any lumps or anything else that seems unusual with the breasts and armpits.
- A medical history
- Blood chemistry tests, which measure different substances in the blood, including electrolytes, fats, proteins, glucose , and enzymes. Some of the specific blood chemistry tests include a basic metabolic panel , a comprehensive metabolic panel , and an electrolyte panel.
If these tests show that you have breast cancer, you will have tests which study the cancer cells. These tests help your provider decide which treatment would be best for you. The tests may include:
- Genetic tests for genetic changes such as BRCA and TP53
- HER2 test. HER2 is a protein involved with cell growth. It is on the outside of all breast cells. If your breast cancer cells have more HER2 than normal, they can grow more quickly and spread to other parts of the body.
- An estrogen and progesterone receptor test. This test measures the amount of estrogen and progesterone receptors in cancer tissue. If there are more receptors than normal, the cancer is called estrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive. This type of breast cancer may grow more quickly.
Concerns About Screening For Breast Cancer
It can be challenging to keep up with the latest recommendations for breast cancer screening, such as when to start mammograms. Also, medical organizations may change their recommendations over time, or different organizations may have different recommendations.
Some people think that more testing is better, but testing may also have disadvantages. For example, screening tests for breast cancer sometimes indicate a cancer is present when no cancer is present . When results of a breast screening test are positive, a breast biopsy Breast biopsy Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast become abnormal and divide uncontrollably. Breast cancer usually starts in the glands that produce milk or the tubes that carry… read more is usually done. Having a false-positive result means having a biopsy that is not needed and being exposed to unnecessary anxiety, pain, and expense. Because of these potential issues, organizations recommend that some people do not need to have a screening test. These people include those who are younger or older than a certain age . Women should discuss current recommendations and their own risk and priorities with their health care practitioner and decide which type of screening, if any, is appropriate for them.
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Who Is Likely To Have Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Anyone can develop inflammatory breast cancer, but certain factors may raise your risk.
- Gender: IBC can affect people of all genders, but its more common in women and people assigned female at birth .
- Age: People with IBC tend to be younger than people with other forms of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is most commonly diagnosed in women and people AFAB who are younger than 40. The median age of diagnosis is 57.
- Race: People who are Black are more likely to get diagnosed with IBC than people who are white.
- Weight: People with obesity or overweight are more likely to get diagnosed than people with a BMI that falls within the normal range.
Treatment Of Cancer That Has Spread
Breast cancer that has spread beyond the lymph nodes is rarely cured, but most women who have it live at least 2 years, and a few live 10 to 20 years. Treatment extends life only slightly but may relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. However, some treatments have troublesome side effects. Thus, deciding whether to be treated and, if so, which treatment to choose can be highly personal.
Choice of therapy depends on the following:
Whether the cancer has estrogen and progesterone receptors
How long the cancer had been in remission before it spread
How many organs and how many parts of the body the cancer has spread to
Whether the woman is postmenopausal or still menstruating
If the cancer is causing symptoms , women are usually treated with chemotherapy or hormone-blocking drugs. Pain is usually treated with analgesics. Other drugs may be given to relieve other symptoms. Chemotherapy or hormone-blocking drugs are given to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Hormone-blocking drugs are preferred to chemotherapy when the cancer has the following characteristics:
The cancer is estrogen receptorpositive.
Cancer has not recurred for more than 2 years after diagnosis and initial treatment.
Cancer is not immediately life threatening.
Different hormone-blocking drugs are used in different situations:
, such as pamidronate or zoledronate, reduce bone pain and bone loss and may prevent or delay bone problems that can result when cancer spreads to bone.
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