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When’s Breast Cancer Month

Will Your Breast Cancer Recur

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A story of faith

Breast cancer can recur in anyone who has had breast cancer. Its highly unlikely to be a result of anything you did or failed to do.

There are, however, some things that seem to raise your risk of recurrence. These include:

Stage: Scientists use several things to come up with your breast cancer stage . They look at the grade of tumor. This is a measure of how abnormal the cells look compared to similar noncancerous cells. After that, they look at the size of the tumor and how far cancerous cells have spread from the original site to other parts of the body. The higher the stage of your original tumor, the more likely it is to recur.


Age: If youre a woman and you get breast cancer before age 35, youre more likely than older women to get it again.

Tumor type: Some types of breast cancer are more aggressive and therefore more likely to return and spread to other parts of your body. These include inflammatory breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. This also includes hormone-receptive types. Not only are these more likely to come back, theyre also harder to treat.

Certain cancer cell behavior: Hormone-receptive cancer cells that dont respond to hormone therapy or cancer cells that dont respond to targeted treatments for the HER2 gene could be a sign of more likely recurrence.

High BMI: Lots of body fat as measured by the body mass index, or BMI, can raise your risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Signs That Warrant An Immediate Trip To A Doctor

Some common cancer signs that should result in a visit to the emergency room or to a doctor as soon as possible include:

  • coughing up mucus tinged with blood
  • blood in stools or urine
  • lump in the breast, testicles, under the arm, or anywhere that it didnt exist before
  • unexplained but noticeable weight loss
  • severe unexplained pain in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis

These and other signs and symptoms will be evaluated. Screenings, such as blood and urine tests and imaging tests, will be used if your doctor thinks its appropriate.

These tests are done both to help make a diagnosis as well as rule out various causes of your signs and symptoms.

When seeing a doctor, be prepared to share the following information:

  • your personal medical history, including all symptoms you have experienced, as well as when they began
  • family history of cancer or other chronic conditions
  • list of all medications and supplements you take

For some cancers that are screened for on a regular basis, survival rates tend to be high. Thats because theyre often diagnosed early on, before symptoms develop.

The 5-year survival rate for people with localized

The Bottom Line: Timely Treatment Is Better Than Delay

I realize that these two studies are about as close to Well, duh! studies as there are. Of course, delaying surgery for breast cancer is not a good thing. Of course, delaying chemotherapy when its indicated is also not a good thing. These are results that are not unexpected. However, these studies are still very important because they give us estimates of how much of a delay is safe and at what point delaying care starts to have a measurable impact on patient outcomes. Putting the results of these studies together suggests that its best to do surgery within about 60 days in patients not needing chemotherapy first, and that for patients with disease lacking the estrogen and progesterone receptor its best to start chemotherapy within 90 days of surgery.

We can thus reassure anxious patients who want their surgery tomorrow while at the same time tell patients balking at surgery or chemotherapy how long they can safely wait before the delay starts adversely affecting their chances of survival. Unfortunately, in my practice, due to the socioeconomic status of a lot of patients, by the time some of my patient see me its already been more than 30 days since their biopsy and diagnosis.

Also Check: Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer Prognosis

Colors And Months For Cancer

A light purple or lavender ribbon often is used to represent all cancers as a whole. Sometimes, many different ribbons are combined together to represent all cancers.

Uncommon or rare cancers may be represented by a black-and-white zebra print ribbon. The zebra stands for a common saying in medicine: “When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras.” In a field of horses, you are most likely to see horses, but occasionally, you will spot a zebra.

Some who live with cancer realize that “zebras” occur as well, and when you add all of these rare cancers together, they are actually quite common.

It’s important to note that a specific cancer may be represented by more than one ribbon color and that this can vary depending on where you live. Some ribbon colors also represent specific nonprofit groups who advocate for a particular type of cancer. For example, a white or pearl ribbon is used to represent lung cancer, but turquoise is the color of an American Lung Association initiative.

In addition, there are months dedicated to certain types of cancer. June is National Cancer Survivor Month, for example, with others seen in the list below.

Cancer Ribbons

The Likelihood Of Diagnostic Call Back Mammogram Being Breast Cancer Increases Over The Years Of Annual Breast Cancer Screening


Specialists estimate that over a 10 year period, about one third of the women who had a call-back for a diagnostic mammogram will have benign breast disease. So, in other words a false positive radiologist-accuracy-statistic.

However, the more regularly a woman has breast cancer screening, for example every year or 2 years, the greater the chance of breast cancer if a call back is necessary. So, the chances of detecting breast cancer naturally increase over time with regular mammograms.

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How Serious Is Your Recurrence

The more your cancer spreads from the original tumor, the more serious it is likely to be. Your cancer may be local, regional, or distant:

Local: The cancer comes back in the same breast as the original tumor.

Regional: Here, the cancer returns to the same area as the original tumor, but in a more expanded sense that includes the armpit or collarbone lymph nodes.

Distant: This is what doctors call metastatic cancer or stage IV breast cancer. Here, the cancer shows up far away from the original tumor in places like the bones, lungs, brain, or other areas.

What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

Having a symptom that is listed below does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. If you notice any of these symptoms, please tell your doctor.

Symptoms include:

Lump or thickened tissue that feels different from the rest of the breastPainSkin that is red, rough, peeling, scaly, or flakySwelling of the breastClear, thick, or bloody dischargeSudden change in size or shape of the breastNipple that has invertedLump or swelling under the arm

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Avoid Family Food Battles

It can be very upsetting to family if you start eating less. Some of them may think your interest in food represents your interest in life. By refusing food or not eating much, it may seem to your family that youre choosing to shorten your life or that you will starve.

Its important that you and your loved ones talk about issues around eating. The last stage of your life doesn’t have to be filled with arguments about food. Again, loss of appetite and being unable to eat happens to many people with advanced cancer. When you feel like eating less, its not a sign that you want to leave life or your family. Its often a normal part of the processes that can happen in the last stage of life. If you’re getting into arguments with your loved ones, try to let them know that you appreciate their concern and understand their attempts are acts of love. You can let them know youre not rejecting their love, but your body is limiting what it needs at this time.

You can learn more in Eating Problems.

Possible Side Effects Of Chemo For Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Chemo drugs can cause side effects, depending on the type and dose of drugs given, and the length of treatment. Some of the most common possible side effects include:

  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes and/or vaginal dryness from menopause caused by chemo
  • Nerve damage

Chemo can also affect the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow, which can lead to:

  • Increased chance of infections
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Fatigue

These side effects usually go away after treatment is finished. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, drugs can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

Other side effects are also possible. Some of these are more common with certain chemo drugs. Ask your cancer care team about the possible side effects of the specific drugs you are getting.

Read Also: Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Stages

What Are The Benefits And Potential Harms Of Screening Mammograms

Early detection of breast cancer with screening mammography means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread. Randomized clinical trials and other studies show that screening mammography can help reduce deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74 years at average risk of breast cancer, with the evidence of benefit being strongest for women ages 50 to 69 years . However, no studies to date have shown a benefit from regular screening mammography in women under age 40 or from baseline screening mammograms taken before age 40.

The benefits of screening mammography need to be balanced against its harms, which include:

False-positive results. False-positive results occur when radiologists see an abnormality on a mammogram but no cancer is actually present. All abnormal mammograms should be followed up with additional testing to determine whether cancer is present.

False-positive mammogram results can lead to anxiety and other forms of psychological distress in affected women. The additional testing required to rule out cancer can also be costly and time consuming and can cause physical discomfort.

Because doctors cannot easily distinguish cancers and cases of DCIS that need to be treated from those that do not, they are all treated.

In addition, finding breast cancer early may not help prolong the life of a woman who is suffering from other, more life-threatening health conditions.

The Primary Types Of Breast Cancer

Ductal carcinoma: It is the most common type of breast cancer and begins in the lining of the milk ducts . Ductal carcinoma may be either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive ductal carcinoma .

Lobular carcinoma: This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast and may be either lobular carcinoma in situ or invasive lobular carcinoma . LCIS rarely becomes invasive, but having it in one breast increases the risk of developing invasive cancer in either breast.

Inflammatory breast cancer: A type of breast cancer in which the breast looks red and swollen and feel warm. The redness and warmth occur because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin.

Triple-negative breast cancer: This describes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or large numbers of HER2/neu protein. It is also called ER-negative PR-negative HER2/neu-negative breast cancer.

Recurrent breast cancer: Breast cancer can recur when treatment doesnt fully remove or destroy all the cancer cells.

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Chemo Drugs For Breast Cancer That Has Spread

Although drug combinations are often used to treat early breast cancer, advanced breast cancer often is treated with single chemo drugs. Still, some combinations, such as paclitaxel plus gemcitabine, are commonly used to treat metastatic breast cancer.

For cancers that are HER2-positive, one or more drugs that target HER2 may be used with chemo.

About Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Bluewater Health Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Encourages ...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes place every October. The aim of the BCAM is to shine a light on the devastating impact breast cancer has on thousands of Australians each day.

Over 20,000 Australians will be diagnosed with the disease this year alone.

That equates to 55 Australians every day.

And over 3000 Australians will lose their lives to breast cancer this year. Thats someones mother, sister, friend or family member whose life has been tragically cut short because of the disease.

Although the five-year survival rate has increased from 76% to 91% since 1994 thanks to research, there is still progress to be made to stop deaths from breast cancer. By targeting the remaining 9% who dont live past this survival rate, NBCFs goal is to reach Zero Deaths from breast cancer by 2030.

We rely entirely on generous donations from the Australian community to fund leading breast cancer researchers. Through these funds, we are able to invest in world-class research in prevention, detection, new and improved treatment and quality of life to ultimately stop deaths from breast cancer.

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The Thresholds For Requesting Follow

It can be a challenge for radiologists to find a reasonable cutoff point in deciding whether a 6 month follow-up diagnostic mammogram is necessary. Secondly specialists must decide whether a biopsy is more appropriate, or not.

Generally speaking, if the first screening mammography results are highly suggestive of malignancy, then a core-needle biopsy should probably be the next step.

When the initial mammogram reveals an abnormality that is probably benign, then additional imaging is generally useful to help to decide whether to biopsy or not.

Specifically, the radiologist will want to determine whether the lesion is a solid mass or a cyst. In addition, the radiologist will also want to take a closer look at the margins. If all indications of the second imaging studies are for a benign or likely benign lesion, then subsequent follow up imaging studies in about 6 months is probably a reasonable approach, without the necessity of a biopsy.

About National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NBCAM is a legacy program of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. Over 30 years ago, a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies came together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease and provide greater access to services.

Today, NBCAM has taken on a life of its own, and many organizations, groups and individuals across the country raise awareness during the month of October and throughout the year. NBCAM recognizes that although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished, and NBCAM lives on through the work of its previous collaborating partners who are dedicated to educating and empowering women and men to take charge of their own breast health.

We encourage you to visit the sites of the NBCAM collaborating partners to learn more about breast cancer, breast health and the latest research developments. Click on the partners tab for more information.

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How Can I Lower My Risk Of Breast Cancer

Although breast cancer cannot be prevented entirely, healthy lifestyle choices and mammograms can help to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

Healthy lifestyle

Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Exercising, physical activity, and eating healthy foods can help lower the risk of developing breast cancer. Drinking alcohol can also increase risk. Talk with your doctor about ways to make your lifestyle habits healthier.


Ask your doctor when you should start getting annual mammograms. Early detection of breast cancer can save your life.

Breast exams

In addition to talking with your doctor about healthy lifestyle choices and mammograms, it is also recommended that women perform self-exams on their breasts at least once a month. Ask your doctor for tips on how to perform self-breast exams at home. Your doctor can also perform a breast exam for you during an office visit.

The health educators at the MaineHealth Learning Resource Center are happy to help. They provide trusted & reliable health information and connect people to local resources in the community. today! Be well, be well informed.

Breast Cancer Cell Growth

Breast Cancer Awareness month | Ask questions before donating

Cancer begins when there are genetic changes, called mutations, in a normal breast cell. These changes happen in genes that control the growth of the cell. These changes may occur over a long period of time, even decades, before a cancer cell forms.

These tumor cells multiply and divide exponentially, meaning that one cell becomes two, two cells become four, and so on. That’s why a tumor size will increase more rapidly, the larger it becomes.

That said, not all cells are dividing at the same time. The cancer’s growth can change at different stages as a tumor forms. Compared with many types of cancer, breast cancer has a “low growth fraction.” This means that the proportion of cancer cells that are in an active cell cycle is low.

Some tumors, such as lymphomas and some leukemias, have much higher growth fractions. They may be active for a much shorter period of time before they are detected, even in children.

Recommended Reading: Breast Cancer Mayo

Rally In Supporting Everyone

Behind every photo is a story with the power to uplift and inspire others. Tell us how you or a loved one has been impacted by breast cancer.Well share your stories throughout the month of October in celebration of the ways we RISE together and as a message of hope for others on their own breast cancer journey.

Every Dollar Matters

Whether youre funding a mammogram, supporting education, or helping reach women in underserved communities, your donation matters. Click the button below to select how your contribution will be used.

Sullair Goes Pink For October

According to Susan G. Komen, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. There are a growing number of men impacted by the disease as well.

This year, Sullair is joining in the fight against breast cancer. Weve made a one-of-a-kind pink 185 Series compressor to be auctioned off at the ARA Show in Las Vegas. While the proceeds will benefit the ARA Foundation, Sullair is going to match the final auction price25% up to $7500to donate to Susan G. Komen.

Were happy to do our part and we hope you will join us in supporting organizations doing their best to cure this horrible disease.

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