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What Is Bilateral Breast Cancer

Precautions For Bilateral Mastectomy

18) Bilateral Mastectomy & All About Radiation | Breast Cancer

More and more women with unilateral breast cancer are undergoing bilateral mastectomy . The reason is to prevent the risk of dying from bilateral breast cancer or cancer of the opposite breast. However, this treatment is controversial because bilateral mastectomy has not been shown to reduce breast cancer mortality.

It is important to talk with your healthcare provider and assess your risk of bilateral breast cancer and whether this surgical intervention is necessary.

Choosing Between Single Mastectomy and Double Mastectomy

What Does It Mean To Have Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Stage 4 breast cancer means that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the brain, bones, lung and liver.

Although Stage 4 breast cancer is not curable, it is usually treatable and current advances in research and medical technology mean that more and more women are living longer by managing the disease as a chronic illness with a focus on quality of life as a primary goal. With excellent care and support, as well as personal motivation, Stage 4 breast cancer may respond to a number of treatment options that can extend your life for several years.

Histological Differences In Bilateral Breast Cancer

The most common histopathological type was infiltrating ductal carcinoma . The rates of the same histopathological type were 93% in synchronous cancers but only 59% in metachronous cancers . The concordance rates of histological grade were 50% in synchronous cancers and 33% in metachronous cancers . The rate that tumors belonged to the high intraductal component group was 20% in two tumors of synchronous cancer and 16% in second tumors of metachronous cancer .

Figure 1.

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How Do I Prevent Bilateral Breast Cancer

Well, this disease may happen to anyone, even to people who are not exposed to the risk factors. But if you have it in your genetic history or want to take precautions against it, you can try the prevention tips I am stating below.

  • Consult a doctor for breast screening and ask them to perform mammograms or other clinical breast exams to determine if anything is wrong.
  • Discuss with your doctor about various breast screening process to figure out the most suitable one for yourself.
  • Learn everything about self-exam so you can perform breast screening by yourself at home. If you find anything out of the book, consult your doctor immediately.
  • Restrain your alcohol intake or put an end to it if possible.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating healthy foods, and live a green life.
  • If you feel the necessity of going through hormonal therapy after therapy, discuss the advantage or disadvantages of it with your doctor.
  • Maintain a proper weight as obesity can lead you to breast cancer.
  • Eat healthy foods and superfoods that can help you to prevent harmful health conditions.

What To Expect During Surgery

Bilateral Breast Cancer Mammography Histology Correlation

You will receive general anesthesia before your surgery, so youll be asleep during the procedure. Unless youve decided on a nipple-sparing surgery, the surgeon will remove as much of the tissue as possible from both your breasts. This includes the skin, nipple and areola.

Sometimes that also includes the lymph nodes from under the arm. The doctor may also remove the pectoral muscles, located under the breasts.

As part of the surgery, the surgeon will remove breast tissue and insert one or two tubes for fluid to drain into from an attached soft-rubber ball.

Sometimes breast reconstruction is performed at the same time as a mastectomy. Choices for reconstruction include breast reconstruction using breast implants or whats known as tissue flap surgery, which reconstructs the breast by using muscle, fat and skin taken from other parts of the body.

At the end of the surgery, the area is closed with stitches.

A woman who has undergone a mastectomy typically stays in the hospital for one or two nights.

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From Cured To Stage 4

Others, like Teri Pollastro, a 54-year-old stage 4 patient from Seattle, respond surprisingly well.

Diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ in 1999, Pollastro underwent a mastectomy but did not receive chemotherapy, radiation or tamoxifen, since her cancer was ER negative.

âThey used the C-word with me, they told me I was cured,â she said. âEvery time I went back to my oncologist, he would roll his eyes at me when I had questions.â

In 2003, Pollastro switched to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where she saw Dr. Julie Gralow, a breast cancer oncologist and clinical researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gralow discovered Pollastroâs cancer had metastasized to her liver.

âMy husband and I were in shock,â said Pollastro of her mets diagnosis. âYou donât go from being cured to stage 4.â

Pollastro went on Herceptin, a type of immunotherapy for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and did six months of chemotherapy.

âI felt better right away with the treatment,â she said. âBut the problem is, it stopped . Thatâs what you can expect with mets. And thereâs always some residual cancer. And that starts percolating.â

And along with mets, she also had to deal with many misconceptions regarding her disease.

The Mercer Island, Washington, mother of two, who often counsels newly diagnosed patients, sometimes even found it difficult to relate to early stage breast cancer survivors.

When Is Breast Mri Used

Breast MRI might be used in different situations.

To screen for breast cancer: For certain women at high risk for breast cancer, a screening breast MRI is recommended along with a yearly mammogram. MRI is not recommended as a screening test by itself, because it can miss some cancers that a mammogram would find.

Although MRI can find some cancers not seen on a mammogram, its also more likely to find things that turn out not to be cancer . This can result in some women getting tests and/or biopsies that end up not being needed. This is why MRI is not recommended as a screening test for women at average risk of breast cancer.

To look at the breasts if someone has symptoms that might be from breast cancer: Breast MRI might sometimes be done if breast cancer is suspected . Other imaging tests such as mammograms and breast ultrasound are usually done first, but MRI might be done if the results of these tests arent clear.

To help determine the extent of breast cancer: If breast cancer has already been diagnosed, breast MRI is sometimes done to help determine the exact size and location of the cancer, to look for other tumors in the breast, and to check for tumors in the other breast. Breast MRI isnt always helpful in this setting, so not every woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer needs this test.

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Many Women Live For Decades With Metastatic Breast Cancer

A stage 4 diagnosis is not an instant death sentence, says Renee Sendelbach, 40, from Austin, Texas, who was diagnosed seven years ago, when she learned that her breast cancer had moved into her lungs, bones, and lymph nodes.

Ive had metastatic breast cancer for five years and Im still kicking, says Susan Rosen, 53, from Franklin, Massachusetts.

According to a 2017 article in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 34 percent of women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have been living with the disease for five years or longer.

The goal of treatment is to keep patients on their feet as long as possible so that they can continue to do what they want to do, says Gretchen Kimmick, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, North Carolina.

In recent years, treatment for breast cancer has vastly improved, largely because doctors are able to more accurately target therapy to the type of breast cancer a woman has. The discovery of the HER2 protein and medicines that block it has revolutionized treatment for women with cancers that overexpress this protein, Dr. Kimmick says. This cancer was pretty deadly two decades ago, and now we are starting to debate if weve cured it in some women.

How Can You Decide What’s Right For You

Bilateral Mastectomy: Your Choice. One Side or Both?

Be sure to give yourself time to think through both the medical facts and how you feel about your choices. This is a very personal decision. Your feelings are as important as any other factor.

No one else can tell you what’s right for you. But it may help to discuss your choices with people who know you well.

If you’re thinking about breast reconstruction, it’s a good idea to meet with a plastic surgeon. You can ask to see photos and talk to women who have had the surgery.

It might also help to ask yourself some questions, such as:

  • Can I take time for a longer recovery? Or do I need to get back to my life as soon as possible?
  • Can I accept the small chance of a new cancer in my healthy breast? Or would I rather give up my breast to help make this risk as low as possible?
  • Do I want to keep the natural look and feel of my healthy breast? Or is it more important that my breasts match as well as possible?
  • Do I have the information I need to make this decision? Or do I need to know more before I can make up my mind?

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Newly Diagnosed With Bilateral Breast Cancer

Hi everyone… I have recently been diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. I’ve just been told the limph glands are negative so I’m assuming it’s contained. I went, initially, to my GP having felt a lump in my left breast but my surgeon then found one in my right breast. I’m about to face an op to remove these two lumps on the 2 August. Then I have to wait for the results of what he will remove for 2 weeks. My question is is there anyone else on here with the same problem? I have read many people here seem to only have one breast involved…. Also post operative will I be able to use my arms.? Ive been told, as a precaution they will remove three limph nodes on each side… Frankly, I’m very frightened about all of this. I’m not sleeping, I’m spending my days a worry ball and then I’ll have to face either radiotherapy or chemotherapy for three weeks after the op.. . But throughout all of this since I felt one lump on the 11 June I feel OK, fine, not ill… It is hard to believe this is happening to me…

Hi Widgetjinks,

Hi LJ..

I’m pleased to note you seem OK on chemo , will you be having an op to remove it? My doc has ruled out chemo for me and I’ve been told its three weeks of radiotherapy, however, when I next speak to him before the op on the 2 August, I’ll be asking how he can define my treatment post op as he plans on sending off my cancer, to find out what cancer it is plus 2/3 lymp nodes from each arm to ensure no stray cells are seen?

What Is The Prognosis For People With Benign Breast Disease

The majority of women with benign breast disease dont develop breast cancer. If you have a disease type that increases cancer risk, your healthcare provider may recommend more frequent cancer screenings. Certain breast diseases can make you more prone to developing lumps. You should notify your healthcare provider anytime you notice changes in how your breasts look or feel.

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Hyperplasia Of The Breast

Hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the cells that line the lobules or ducts inside the breast. It is not cancer, but some types of hyperplasia are linked with a higher risk of developing breast cancer .

Hyperplasia can be described as either usual or atypical, based on how the cells look under a microscope.

  • In usual ductal hyperplasia, there is an overgrowth of cells lining the ducts in the breast, but the cells look very close to normal.
  • In atypical hyperplasia , the cells look more distorted and abnormal. This can be either atypical ductal hyperplasia or atypical lobular hyperplasia .

How Does Pregnancy Affect Benign Breast Disease

Bilateral Breast Cancer Mammography Histology Correlation

Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can cause breast lumps, tenderness and nipple discharge. Youre also more likely to experience benign breast changes or develop a breast infection called mastitis while breastfeeding. Breast changes during pregnancy or breastfeeding are rarely cancerous. Still, you should reach out to your healthcare provider when you notice any breast change.

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Interval To Development Of Breast Cancer

In this study, the mean time to the development of breast cancer was 18.7 years. The mean follow-up time was shorter at 16.9 years. It is likely that additional patients would be diagnosed with breast cancer with continued follow-up. The cumulative incidence of breast cancer continued to rise beyond 20 years in this study. This is consistent with findings from other studies. A large international cancer registry-based study also reported that the elevated risk of breast cancer persisted for more than 25 years after the diagnosis of HD . The Late Effects Study Group reported that the cumulative incidence of breast cancer was 16.9% at 30 years of follow-up with a relative risk of 24.5 among women followed for over 29 years. Travis et al. reported that, for a woman treated at the age of 25 years with radiation and without alkylators, the cumulative incidence estimates of breast cancer by age 35, 45, and 55 years were 1.4% , 11.1 , and 29% respectively.

Surgical Management And Cosmesis

Considerable controversy has existed regarding the surgical management of patients with synchronous bilateral breast cancer. Traditionally, most clinicians have approached bilateral breast cancer more aggressively than unilateral disease. Most studies have shown a disproportionately higher incidence of bilateral mastectomy for bilateral breast cancer. This aggressive approach was employed to treat what was once thought to be a disease with a worse prognosis and outcome. However, several studies have shown that the prognosis of patients with bilateral breast cancer seems similar to unilateral disease. Gollamudi et al. retrospectively reviewed patients with SBBC and showed that they do not have a worse prognosis and can be safely treated with bilateral breast conservation. The cosmetic outcome was comparable to patients who underwent unilateral breast conservation. Heron et al. also demonstrated that bilateral breast conservation treatment does not compromise cosmesis, outcome or overall survival in this group of patients . Currently, the overall consensus is that bilateral breast cancer is amenable to bilateral breast conservation treatment without compromising survival and maintaining patient cosmesis .

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Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms And Diagnosis

The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer can vary greatly depending on the location of the cancer. This section covers the symptoms of breast cancer that has spread to the bone, lung, brain, and liver, and the tests used to diagnose metastatic breast cancer.

Bone Metastasis: Symptoms and DiagnosisThe most common symptom of breast cancer that has spread to the bone is a sudden, noticeable new pain. Breast cancer can spread to any bone, but most often spreads to the ribs, spine, pelvis, or the long bones in the arms and legs. Learn more.

Lung Metastasis: Symptoms and DiagnosisWhen breast cancer moves into the lung, it often doesnt cause symptoms. If a lung metastasis does cause symptoms, they may include pain or discomfort in the lung, shortness of breath, persistent cough, and others. Learn more.

Brain Metastasis: Symptoms and DiagnosisSymptoms of breast cancer that has spread to the brain can include headache, changes in speech or vision, memory problems, and others. Learn more.

Liver Metastasis: Symptoms and DiagnosisWhen breast cancer spreads to the liver, it often doesnt cause symptoms. If a liver metastasis does cause symptoms, they can include pain or discomfort in the mid-section, fatigue and weakness, weight loss or poor appetite, fever, and others. Learn more.

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What To Expect From Recovery

Understanding Bilateral Mastectomies

You can expect temporary soreness in your chest, underarm and shoulder, as well as possible numbness across your chest that may be permanent.

The surgical drains that were inserted inside your breast area during surgery typically stay in for about one week to 10 days.

While recovering from surgery, most people have some pain. Recovery times vary depending on the specifics of your double mastectomy.

  • After a mastectomy without breast reconstruction, it can take three to four weeks to feel mostly normal.
  • If you also have breast reconstruction, recovery can take six to eight weeks.
  • For some procedures, it can take months before you can return to being fully active.

You’ll likely receive a written list of instructions about post-surgical care that includes:

  • How to care for the surgery site and dressings
  • How to recognize signs of infection
  • Tips for bathing and showering after surgery
  • When you can use your arm again
  • Arm exercises to prevent stiffness
  • Restrictions on activity

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What Is Benign Breast Disease

If you feel a lump in your breast, your first thought may be that you have breast cancer. Fortunately, a majority of breast lumps are benign, meaning theyre not cancerous.

Both women and men can develop benign breast lumps. This condition is known as benign breast disease. While these breast changes arent cancerous or life-threatening, they may increase your risk of developing breast cancer later on.

Breast Cancer Is A Debilitating Disease That Affects Millions Of Women Worldwide But Only A Few Are Aware Of Its Type: Bilateral Breast Cancer Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Disease

Written by Editorial Team | Updated : November 7, 2021 1:31 PM IST

Have you heard about bilateral breast cancer? Well, it is an uncommon finding. Those women with bilateral breast cancer may notice multiple lumps. Women need to be proactive when it comes to their health. So, be aware of breast cancer, and spot early signs of it. In the below article, we tell you all you need to know about bilateral breast cancer. Read on to know more about this, and we are sure that you will be able to tackle with promptly.

Breast cancer happens when cells in one’s breast grow out of control. It is an aggressive form of cancer that leads to higher morbidity and mortality rates in women just like ovarian cancer. Breast cancer cases are rising at an alarming rate amid pandemic. There are various types of breast cancer ductal Carcinoma In Situ or Invasive Ductal Carcinoma that can be seen in women. But, do you know that even bilateral breast cancer can give a tough time to women. Yes, you have heard it right! This type of breast cancer can steal one’s peace of mind.

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