Money And Financial Support
If you have to reduce or stop work because of your cancer, you may find it difficult to cope financially.
If you have cancer or youre caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to financial support, for example:
- if you have a job but cant work because of your illness, youre entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer
- if you dont have a job and cant work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
- if youre caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance
- you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home, or if you have a low household income
Find out what help is available to you as soon as possible. The social worker at your hospital will be able to give you the information you need.
Treatment Of Breast Cancer In Teens
Doctors treat secretory adenocarcinoma by surgically cutting out the cancer while sparing as much breast tissue as possible.
Depending on the type of therapy and how long it lasts, it can affect your fertility and increase your chances of other cancers.
You can still breastfeed after breast or nipple surgery. However, some people may produce less milk than others.
Taking Charge: Who Gets Breast Cancer
There are no rules about who gets this disease. The two most significant risk factors are being a woman, and increasing age. However, there are other factors that may increase your risk, and some that may lower it.
The development of breast cancer may be influenced by factors that affect the levels of female hormones that circulate in your body throughout life. These factors include the age when you began your menstrual period, the number of times you have been pregnant, your age at first pregnancy, whether you have breastfed your children, and your level of physical activity.
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Key Points To Remember
- If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, you need to talk to your doctor to find out how high your risk really is.
- A woman who has inherited a BRCA gene change is very likely to get breast cancer.
- Taking medicines like anastrozole, raloxifene, and tamoxifen may help prevent breast cancer in women who are at high risk.
- Surgery to remove the breasts and/or ovaries greatly lowers the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women.
- Taking medicines and having surgery both have side effects and risks.
- None of the choices can prevent all breast cancer.
- Finding out that you are at high risk for breast cancer is not an emergency. There is plenty of time to carefully think about options.
How do you know if you are at high risk for breast cancer?
Most women are not at high risk for breast cancer. But some women have a high risk because they have what is called a family history of breast cancer. That means they have one or more relatives with breast cancer. If anyone in your family has had breast cancer, your doctor can help you figure out how much that affects your chances of getting breast cancer yourself.
Your risk depends on what kind of family history you have. For example, having one relative with breast cancer gives you a family history. But if you have two close relativeslike your mother and your sisterwith breast cancer, and one of them was diagnosed before age 50, your family history is stronger and your risk of getting breast cancer is higher.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors You Cannot Change
A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of getting a disease, such as breast cancer. But having a risk factor, or even many, does not mean that you are sure to get the disease.
Some risk factors for breast cancer are things you cannot change, such as getting older or inheriting certain gene changes. These make your risk of breast cancer higher.
For information on other known and possible breast cancer risk factors, see:
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Relationships With Friends And Family
It’s not always easy to talk about cancer, either for you or your family and friends. You may sense that some people feel awkward around you or avoid you.
Being open about how you feel and what your family and friends can do to help may put them at ease. However, don’t be afraid to tell them that you need some time to yourself, if that’s what you need.
Want to know more?
- Healthtalkonline: How breast cancer affects families
Are The Recommendations Any Different For Someone With A History Of Breast Cancer
If someone has a history of breast cancer and theyve had a COVID-19 vaccine and they feel a lump in the underarm on the same side as the shot, certainly its OK to wait for a week or two at the most to see if that swelling goes down. But if it doesnt go down, then, given their history, its better to just reach out to the provider and make sure that the imaging the provider recommends is being done. It has increased follow-up imaging a bit for our patients, because if they have a history of breast cancer, we dont want to just assume that its the vaccine. A lot of times if the radiologist sees that, they will say, Lets just get a repeat ultrasound six to 12 weeks later, just to confirm that this swelling has improved.
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Wasp Dung Was Used As A Treatment For Breast Cancer
Insect faeces featured heavily in ancient remedies for breast cancer. An Egyptian papyrus recommended a mixture of cows brain and wasp dung to be applied to breast tumours for four days. Insect faeces were still considered one of the most advanced treatments for breast cancer up until the Middle Ages. Thankfully, treatments have advanced a great deal since then.
Can I Lower My Risk Of Getting A Second Cancer
There’s no sure way to prevent all cancers, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible. Getting the recommended early detection tests, as mentioned above, is one way to do this.
Its also important to stay away from tobacco products. Smoking increases the risk of many cancers, including some of the second cancers seen after breast cancer.
To help maintain good health, breast cancer survivors should also:
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Avoid Birth Control Pills Particularly After Age 35 Or If You Smoke
Birth control pills have both risks and benefits. The younger a woman is, the lower the risks are. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill. The risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill particularly if a woman smokes. However, long-term use can also have important benefits, like lowering the risk of ovarian cancer, colon cancer and uterine cancer not to mention unwanted pregnancy so theres also a lot in its favor. If youre very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk.
Are You Issuing Any Recommendations Regarding Mammogram Timing As It Relates To Getting A Vaccine
To lessen the need for more testing, the Society of Breast Imaging has set up some guidelines to help the patient and the providers. One option is for patients to have their screening mammogram before they have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so they can reduce the chances of this happening. If they have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, the recommendation is to finish that and get the screening mammogram four to six weeks afterward. When you get a mammogram, we now routinely ask if you have had a vaccine in the last three months, and we also ask on which side you received it. We put that in the notes for the mammogram report so the doctors have a higher suspicion that this is probably not anything concerning, but rather is secondary to the vaccine.
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Screening Guidelines For Women At Above
MSKs breast cancer experts have developed separate guidelines for women who have a higher-than-average breast cancer risk for the following reasons:
- family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative
- history of atypical hyperplasia
- history of lobular carcinoma in situ
- history of mantle radiation before the age of 32
- genetic predisposition for breast cancer
If you have an above-average risk of breast cancer for the reasons listed above, MSK doctors recommend the guidelines below.
Personal History Of Early Breast Cancer
Women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing cancer in their other breast.
There are also a number of non-invasive breast conditions that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These include ductal carcinoma in situ , lobular carcinoma in situ and atypical ductal hyperplasia .
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What Is The Prognosis Of Patients With Inflammatory Breast Cancer
The prognosis, or likely outcome, for a patient diagnosed with cancer is often viewed as the chance that the cancer will be treated successfully and that the patient will recover completely. Many factors can influence a cancer patients prognosis, including the type and location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, the patients age and overall general health, and the extent to which the patients disease responds to treatment.
Because inflammatory breast cancer usually develops quickly and spreads aggressively to other parts of the body, women diagnosed with this disease, in general, do not survive as long as women diagnosed with other types of breast cancer.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that survival statistics are based on large numbers of patients and that an individual womans prognosis could be better or worse, depending on her tumor characteristics and medical history. Women who have inflammatory breast cancer are encouraged to talk with their doctor about their prognosis, given their particular situation.
Ongoing research, especially at the molecular level, will increase our understanding of how inflammatory breast cancer begins and progresses. This knowledge should enable the development of new treatments and more accurate prognoses for women diagnosed with this disease. It is important, therefore, that women who are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer talk with their doctor about the option of participating in a clinical trial.
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.
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Should Women Under Age 40 Get Mammograms
In general, regular mammograms arent recommended for women under 40 years of age, in part because breast tissue tends to be dense, making mammograms less effective.The American Cancer Society recommends women ages 40 to 44 should have a choice to start yearly screening mammograms if they would like. Women ages 45 through 54 should have a mammogram each year and those 55 years and over should continue getting mammograms every 1 to 2 years.. Most experts believe the low risk at that age doesnt justify the exposure to radiation or the cost of mammography. But mammograms may be recommended for younger women with a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors.
Metastatic Breast Cancer Statistics
The number of women under 40 being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer is increasing.
Metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer has advanced to stage 4 and has moved beyond the breast tissue into other areas of the body, such as the bones or the brain. Survival rates are lower for cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body.
According to the American Cancer Society , the 5-year survival rate for those with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is 27 percent for women of all ages. However, one found no significant differences in median survival rate between younger and older women with metastatic breast cancer.
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Lifetime Risks For Breast Cancer Development
This post will examine the risks for breast cancer that you can NOT change.
Most of us have heard the infamous statistic that
the risk factor for developing breast cancer is 1 in 8.
This statistic is interpreted by most women as 1 in every 8 women will develop breast cancer. However, this figure is slightly misleading and here is why
Firstly, this statistic, 1 in 8, is what is known as an absolute risk. The absolute risk measures your risk of developing a particular disease over a certain time period. The absolute risk can also be expressed as a percentage or a decimal. So, for example, take an absolute risk of 1 in 30 for developing a disease in your lifetime, this can also be expressed as a 30% risk or a 0.3 risk.
It is the over a certain time period that is a very important factor. For instance, a 30-year-old American woman does NOT have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer. In fact, the risk of breast cancer is 1 in 227 at the age of 30.
Furthermore, each individual womans risk of breast cancer is dependent on many factors both biological and environmental.
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Other Types Of Breast Cancer
Other less common types of breast cancer include invasive lobular breast cancer, which develops in the cells that line the milk-producing lobules, inflammatory breast cancer and Pagets disease of the breast.
Its possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph nodes or the bloodstream. If this happens, its known as secondary or metastatic breast cancer.
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Can I Screen With Ultrasound Instead
An ultrasound scan is also not a reliable stand-alone method of breast screening in young women. Its a useful targeted diagnostic tool for adding extra information when investigating a known abnormality, but its not accurate enough for generally scanning the breast and screening for cancer.
You can reduce your lifetime risk of breast cancer by adopting healthy lifestyle choices while you are still young.
- Be active. Regular exercise is associated with a decrease in the lifetime risk of breast cancer. Read the World Health Organisations exercise recommendations.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause so its important to adopt healthy eating patterns early in life. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and stay away from junk food or make it only an occasional treat.
- Limit alcohol. Alcoholic drinks raise the levels of oestrogen in the body and contribute to breast cancer risk.
What Do Lumps In My Breast Mean
Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. But most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. The two most common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts. Fibrocystic condition causes noncancerous changes in the breast that can make them lumpy, tender, and sore. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.
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Can I Be Screened For Breast Cancer
BreastScreen Australia offers a free screening program for women at risk of breast cancer:
- If youre aged between 50 and 74 years, youll be invited to access a free mammograms every 2 years. This is because nearly 4 in 5 breast cancers occur in women aged over 50.
- If youre aged between 40 and 49 years or over 75 years, you are also eligible but wont be contacted about it.
- Women under 40 years of age are usually not offered breast screening because the density of their breast tissue makes it harder to detect cancers on mammograms.
Younger women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or women with breast cancer diagnosed in the last 5 years may also benefit from breast screening. For more details, call BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50 or visit their website.
Warning Signs Suggestive Of Breast Cancer
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If a doctor says, Teens dont get breast cancer, find another doctor. Though this statement is no reason to panic, it is medically FALSE.
Remember, if just ONE person on the planet of a particular age group has a certain medical condition, then its FALSE to state, People in that age group dont get that condition.
The lump seems fixed in place does not move around.
Its harder than just rubbery. 17
It may be painful, but not usually.
Absence of nipple discharge or puckering does NOT rule out a malignancy.
If youre still panicking, even though your doctor has assured you that youre in perfect health, then turn that fear into a full-force commitment to healthy lifestyle habits.
Do not smoke or drink. Avoid illegal drugs. Snack on natural foods like fruits, vegetables, green salads, nuts and seeds. EXERCISE
Dr. Johnson performs lumpectomies, and skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomies, breast ultrasounds, needle core biopsies, infusaport placements, genetic testing and counseling, plus works with radiation oncologists to treat breast cancer using intraoperative radiation therapy.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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