Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomePopularWhat Do You Do If You Have Breast Cancer

What Do You Do If You Have Breast Cancer

That Sounds Like A Good Decision


Perhaps your friend chooses a doctor who youve heard mixed reviews about or isnt the one another friend told you is the best in the region.

Gowrinathan advises to keep it to yourself. Its best to validate your friends decision.

Its really easy to second-guess yourself in terms of who you choose to treat you, she says. Be supportive of peoples choices, even if its not what you heard.

Unsolicited advice, even if youve had breast cancer, is often well-meaning but ill-received.

I know we all come from a helpful place but its invasive, Muradian says. It backfires. Now, youre inundated with what to do and someone elses experience. That pushes the other person away.

If youve had breast cancer before and are open to sharing recommendations and experiences, its best to put the ball in your friends court. Let them process things at their own pace and make decisions that work best for them.

Well, I understand what you are going through, and if you want to talk through my experience, Im here for you, Muradian says. You dont know what stage theyre in, so its all about being compassionate and mindful.

How Can I Help

A breast cancer diagnosis can upend a persons normal routine.

Theyll likely have to take off work for doctors appointments. They may be weak from treatment and unable to run errands, care for children, or drive.

It can be so overwhelming, and they may feel paralyzed and not sure how to cope, Muradian says. They may be thinking, How am I going to get all these things done? It feels like your world is collapsing Its nice to know you have someone there.

Gowrinathan cautions that sometimes this question can go both ways, though.

Ive had patients tell me that they feel very supported by this, and Ive had patients who are frustrated with that because they feel like it puts the pressure on them to figure out something that needs to be done, she says.

You may want to offer something specific, such as going to an appointment with a friend.

women would probably like some company on those appointments, Gowrinathan says. Its a lot to handle alone.

If the person turns down your offer, Muradian says to remind your friend youre here if they need you.

You can say, Im here, and Ill check back with you tomorrow, she says.

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.

Don’t Miss: Signs Of Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Changes When Youre Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

When you get pregnant, its normal for your breasts to get larger and more tender, for your nipples to darken and blood vessels to become more visible, and for your breast tissue to get lumpier.

Cysts and other non-cancerous tumors can form or get larger during pregnancy. The vast majority of lumps discovered by pregnant women are not cancer, Peeke says. But you cant rule it out for sure, so you should still mention them to your doctor.

Your breasts will likely swell and fill with milk a few days after you give birth. This can make them feel hard and tender. Breastfeeding can ease this feeling. If you opt to bottle-feed instead, your breasts should stop making milk after a few days.

If you are breastfeeding, you may get sore, cracked nipples or plugged milk ducts. It can lead to a painful infection called mastitis, which needs get treated with antibiotics.

Also Check: When Can Breast Cancer Occur

What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Like many conditions, risk factors for breast cancer fall into the categories of things you can control and things that you cannot control. Risk factors affect your chances of getting a disease, but having a risk factor does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a certain disease.

Controllable risk factors for breast cancer

  • Alcohol consumption. The risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, women who consume two or three alcoholic beverages daily have an approximately 20% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
  • Body weight. Being obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. It is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Breast implants. Having silicone breast implants and resulting scar tissue make it harder to distinguish problems on regular mammograms. It is best to have a few more images to improve the examination. There is also a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma that is associated with the implants.
  • Choosing not to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding can raise the risk.
  • Using hormone-based prescriptions. This includes using hormone replacement therapy during menopause for more than five years and taking certain types of birth control pills.

Non-controllable risk factors for breast cancer

Also Check: How Quickly Can Breast Cancer Grow

What To Say To Someone Who Has Finished Active Treatment

If your loved one is being treated for early stage breast cancer, the initial, main part of treatment will come to an end. When treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or targeted therapy are finished, its normal to experience different feelings. Still, while supportive roles may shift, you are still vitally important.

Everyones reaction to the end of a treatment phase is different, says Ms. Grosklags. Many are anxious. We put on them that they should be happy and celebrate, but people can get anxious about not seeing their healthcare provider as often, or they may be already worried about recurrence. Tune in to how the person is feeling and allow them to express all the variations, from excitement to trepidation about what is coming, or both. Meet your loved one where they are.

Consider saying something like:

  • Its okay however you feel.
  • Its okay that you are experiencing many emotions.
  • Is there anything you wish I understood about how you are feeling right now?
  • Even though you’ve finished a phase of treatment, I hope you know that you can still talk about it with me.
  • Defensiveness, irritability, or fearfulness
  • Avoiding feelings or situations that are reminders of diagnosis and treatment
  • Loss of interest in life

Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

In its early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a tumor may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on a mammogram.

If a tumor can be felt, the first sign is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all lumps are cancer.

Each type of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar, but some can be different. Symptoms for the most common breast cancers include:

  • a breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surrounding tissue and has developed recently
  • breast pain
  • changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
  • a lump or swelling under your arm

If you have any of these symptoms, it doesnt necessarily mean you have breast cancer. For instance, pain in your breast or a breast lump can be caused by a benign cyst.

Still, if you find a lump in your breast or have other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further examination and testing.

Also Check: Breast Cancer Recurrence Symptoms Pain

Do Jews Suffer From Inbreeding

Fis is 0. According to estimates of inbreeding, inbreeding was observed at 0%, 14% and 14%. Rst = 0 if rst = 0 The result would be 0084 x 0. 498 Heterogeneity and relative proportion of diversity in a Jewish population compared with a non-Jewish population indicate genetic similarity, contrary to differences in Gentiles, relative to non-Jewish ones.

Lifestyle Changes After Breast Cancer

How Did I Know I Had Breast Cancer?

Lifestyle Changes after Breast Cancer Treatment: Conversations on Survival. A group of breast cancer survivors openly discuss what lifestyle changes were continued or changed after treatment. The importance of living in the moment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and knowing what is really important in life are all discussed.

To help yourself better cope with the side effects of breast cancer treatment and to reduce your chances of breast cancer recurrence, try incorporating these healthy tips:

1) Take care of yourself emotionally

  • Put your needs first sometimes
  • Attend a support group or find a breast cancer survivor you can talk with
  • Stay informed about new breast cancer research
  • Consider psychotherapy and/or antidepressants if warranted if youre taking tamoxifen, check with your oncologist to ensure the prescribed antidepressant does not interfere with your endocrine treatment
  • Communicate with your doctor about fears or concerns
  • Volunteer or become a breast cancer advocate

2) Take care of yourself physically

  • Exercise regularly
  • Report any physical changes to either your oncologist or primary care provider
  • Seek treatment for lymphedema if you experience signs

3) Eat healthy

Research has shown that a diet high in fat and calories increases circulating estrogen in the blood. Consuming a low fat and low calorie diet after breast cancer can improve your overall health and wellness. Here are some dietary suggestions:

4) Reduce stress

5) Limit alcohol

6) Exercise regularly

Read Also: De Novo Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

Hormones And Hormone Medicine

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, the risk is a very low one.

Contraceptive pill

Women who use the contraceptive pill have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. The risk starts to decrease once you stop taking the pill. Your risk of breast cancer is back to normal 10 years after stopping.

Will My Breast Cancer Treatment Affect My Ability To Have A Baby

Women of childbearing age who are being treated for breast cancer may be concerned about the impact on their ability to conceive a child in the future. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of the two may affect fertility.

Chemotherapy may affect the functioning of the ovaries, reducing the number or quality of eggs. These anti-cancer drugs may also cause infertility in women who havent started menopause . The likelihood of infertility may depend on the type of chemotherapy drugs used, the dose given and your age.

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by stopping or reducing their growth and division. Because radiation sometimes passes through healthy tissues, organs near the cancer site may be affected, potentially causing temporary or permanent infertility, especially if the radiation was delivered directly to the pelvic region.

You may want to consider your options for preserving fertility before starting treatment and discuss your questions and concerns with your oncologist.

You May Like: Stage 3 Breast Cancer Aggressive

Types Of Breast Cancer

There are several different types of breast cancer, which develop in different parts of the breast.

Breast cancer is often divided into either:

  • non-invasive breast cancer found in the ducts of the breast which has not spread into the breast tissue surrounding the ducts. Non-invasive breast cancer is usually found during a mammogram and rarely shows as a breast lump.
  • invasive breast cancer where the cancer cells have spread through the lining of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. This is the most common type of breast cancer.

Other, less common types of breast cancer include:

  • invasive lobular breast cancer
  • inflammatory breast cancer

It’s possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the blood or the axillary lymph nodes. These are small lymphatic glands that filter bacteria and cells from the mammary gland.

If this happens, it’s known as secondary, or metastatic, breast cancer.

Can You Have A Lump On Your Breast And It Not Be Cancer

How to check if you have breast cancer, must try!

Most breast lumps are benign, which means theyre not cancer. Benign breast lumps usually have smooth edges and can be moved slightly when you push against them. They are often found in both breasts. There are several common causes, including normal changes in breast tissue, breast infections, or injury.

You May Like: Signs Of Breast Cancer Recurrence After Mastectomy

Know Your Information ‘comfort Level’

While some patients go into overdrive learning all they can almost immediately, others either don’t feel comfortable doing this or don’t want to know too many specifics.

Internet-savvy family members or friends can be called on when patients can’t do their own research.

M.D. Anderson gynecological cancer specialist Charles Levenback, MD, tells WebMD that it is important that patients think about just how much information they want before they sit down with their doctors.

“These days the assumption is that the patient wants to know everything, but some may really only want the big picture,” he says. “Or they want more information as time goes on. It is important to communicate this.”

It is also a good idea to write down questions before meeting with your doctor. The American Cancer Society web site includes a long list of potential questions which can be found in the “Learn about Cancer” section of the site, under the main heading “Patients, Family and Friends.” Sample questions, which can be printed and taken along on doctors visits, can also be found on WebMD.

How Do Tamoxifen Raloxifene Anastrozole And Exemestane Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer

If you are at increased risk for developing breast cancer, four medications tamoxifen , raloxifene , anastrozole , and exemestane may help reduce your risk of developing this disease. These medications act only to reduce the risk of a specific type of breast cancer called estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. This type of breast cancer accounts for about two-thirds of all breast cancers.

Tamoxifen and raloxifene are in a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators . These drugs work by blocking the effects of estrogen in breast tissue by attaching to estrogen receptors in breast cells. Because SERMs bind to receptors, estrogen is blocked from binding. Estrogen is the fuel that makes most breast cancer cells grow. Blocking estrogen prevents estrogen from triggering the development of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer.

Anastrozole and exemestane are in a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors . These drugs work by blocking the production of estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors do this by blocking the activity of an enzyme called aromatase, which is needed to make estrogen.

Also Check: 3rd Stage Breast Cancer

Most Breast Pain Is Benign

Breast pain, or mastalgia, is uncommon with breast cancer. Most of the time, breast pain happens along with your menstrual cycle, but it can also be linked to benign nonhormonal causes. Other benign conditions that can cause breast pain include breast cysts, fibroadenomas, or blocked milk ducts. And even though the pain with these conditions can be troubling, it is not usually dangerous.

Can Cancer Form In Other Parts Of The Breast

How Do Doctors Diagnose and Treat Breast Cancer?

Cancers can also form in other parts of the breast, but these types of cancer are less common. These can include:

  • Angiosarcomas. This type of cancer begins in the cells that make up the lining of blood or lymph vessels. These cancers can start in breast tissue or breast skin. They are rare.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer. This type of cancer is rare and different from other types of breast cancer. It is caused by obstructive cancer cells in the skins lymph vessels.
  • Paget disease of the breast, also known as Paget disease of the nipple. This cancer affects the skin of the nipple and areola .
  • Phyllodes tumors. These are rare, and most of these masses are not cancer. However, some are cancerous. These tumors begin in the breasts connective tissue, which is called the stroma.

Recommended Reading: Stage 3 Vs Stage 4 Cancer

What Is The Tumor Grade

Particular characteristics of breast cancer cells affect how aggressive your tumor is. These include the amount of tumor cells that are reproducing, and how abnormal the tumor cells appear when examined under a microscope.

The higher the grade, the less the cancer cells resemble normal breast cells. The grade of your tumor can influence your outlook and treatment plan.

What Are The Different Options For Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. Procedures may include:

  • Mastectomy: This surgery removes one or both breasts, including the breast tissue, nipple, areola and skin.
  • Lumpectomy: Also known as breast-conserving surgery, this operation removes only the cancerous breast tissue while leaving as much healthy tissue as possible. A lumpectomy is not an option for every breast cancer patient.
  • Sentinel node biopsy: This is the removal of one or a few of the first draining lymph nodes to determine whether cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.
  • Oncoplastic and breast reconstruction surgery: This reconstructive technique reshapes the breast and also may be used to prevent scarring and deformation of the breast.

Recommended Reading: Hormone Induced Breast Cancer

What To Do If You Spot A Possible Sign Of Breast Cancer

Dont panic. If you notice a change in your breast, it doesnt necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Some of these changes may be a result of benign, or non-cancerous, breast conditions, explains Dr. Duncan.

Still, if you notice any change at all, especially one occurring in only one breast, its a good idea to contact your doctor to get treatment started right away, if necessary.

What Should You Do

Breast cancer

Kennedy ended up having both breasts removed, followed by chemotherapy and breast reconstruction. She now counsels newly diagnosed patients as a volunteer for Y-ME, a 24-hour support hot line staffed entirely by breast cancer survivors.

She knows firsthand the importance of being an involved, educated patient, but she says most people need time to come to terms with their diagnosis.

“It is common for people who have just been diagnosed to be overwhelmed with all the information they are getting and the choices they are being asked to make,” she says. “You are bombarded with facts and figures and statistics, and it is really hard to keep a cool head. But the choices you make are critical and they may impact the rest of your life.”

So what are the most important things newly diagnosed patients can do to maximize their odds of beating cancer? WebMD posed this question to doctors, patient advocates, and cancer survivors, and some common themes emerged. They included:

Read Also: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 3 Breast Cancer


Popular Articles