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Where To Go If You Think You Have Breast Cancer

Confirm Your Treatment Plan Next Steps

How to tell your kids you have breast cancer

Is chemotherapy an option before surgery? Will you do a lumpectomy? Or a partial or double mastectomy?

Whether were talking about surgery, therapy or some combination of both, there are many ways to treat breast cancer. And thats why we team up with you to help make sure were creating a treatment plan that works best for your situation.

Once you and your care team have decided on an initial treatment plan, your nurse navigator will help coordinate your next steps and more resources if needed. If you have additional questions, concerns or just need some extra TLC, youll find all the support you need.

What Was Your First Breast Cancer Symptom

Changes in the color of your breasts, such as redness. A rapid change in the shape of your breast or an increase in breast size over a short period. Changes in the way your breasts feel when you touch them they may be hard, tender, or warm to the touch. Flaking or peeling or flaking of the nipple skin.

When Should Breast Pain Be A Concern

Talk to your doctor about your breast pain if you are worried, particularly, if you have a lump in the area of pain that does not go away after your period, redness, swelling, drainage from the area , nipple discharge, or if your breast pain is not clearly associated with your menstrual cycle, lasts

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Genomic Tests To Predict Recurrence Risk

Doctors use genomic tests, also called multigene panels, to test a tumor to look for specific genes or proteins that are found in or on cancer cells. These tests help doctors better understand the unique features of a person’s breast cancer. Genomic tests can also help estimate the risk of the cancer coming back after treatment. Knowing this information helps doctors and patients make decisions about specific treatments and can help some patients avoid unwanted side effects from a treatment they may not need.

Genomic tests are different from genetic tests. Genetic tests are performed on blood or saliva and are used to determine what gene changes a person may have inherited from a parent that may increase their risk of developing breast cancer. The results of a few genetic tests can also be used to make decisions about specific treatments.

The genomic tests listed below can be done on a sample of the tumor that was already removed during biopsy or surgery. Most patients will not need an extra biopsy or more surgery for these tests.

For patients age 50 or younger who have cancer in 1 to 3 lymph nodes

  • Recurrence score less than 26: Chemotherapy is often recommended before hormonal therapy is given

  • Recurrence score of 26 or higher: Chemotherapy is usually recommended before hormonal therapy is given

For patients older than 50 who do not have cancer in any lymph nodes or who have cancer in 1 to 3 lymph nodes

What Are The Different Options For Surgery

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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.

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How Much Do Tamoxifen And Raloxifene Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Multiple studies have shown that both tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in healthy postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen lowered the risk by 50 percent. Raloxifene lowered the risk by 38 percent. Overall, the combined results of these studies showed that taking tamoxifen or raloxifene daily for five years reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by at least one-third. In one trial directly comparing tamoxifen with raloxifene, raloxifene was found to be slightly less effective than tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer.

Both tamoxifen and raloxifene have been approved for use to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Tamoxifen is approved for use in both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women . Raloxifene is approved for use only in postmenopausal women.

Less common but more serious side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include blood clots to the lungs or legs. Other serious side effects of tamoxifen are an increased risk for cataracts and endometrial cancers. Other common, less serious shared side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

What To Do If You Have Breast Cancer

What to Do If You Have Breast Cancer 1 Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis. When being diagnosed with breast cancer, 2 Establishing a Breast Cancer Healthcare Team. 3 Planning Financially for Breast Cancer Treatment. 4 Breast Cancer Support. Along with a healthcare team, patients should also consider utilizing support

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Hrt Can Fuel Cancer Growth

Many women use HRT to address symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings. While HRT doesnt cause breast cancer, we know that estrogen, a female hormone found in HRT, fuels breast cancer cells.

If youre destined to get breast cancer, HRT can speed its arrival by as much as a decade, says Shockney.

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How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated

How Did I Know I Had Breast Cancer?

Inflammatory breast cancer is generally treated first with systemic chemotherapy to help shrink the tumor, then with surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation therapy. This approach to treatment is called a multimodal approach. Studies have found that women with inflammatory breast cancer who are treated with a multimodal approach have better responses to therapy and longer survival. Treatments used in a multimodal approach may include those described below.

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Is A Mastectomy My Only Option

A mastectomy is just one of several treatment options for breast cancer. Depending on the stage of the cancer, other options can include a lumpectomy, which only removes the cancerous tissue and a small portion of healthy tissue rather than the entire breast, lymph node removal, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy. Some treatment options are more aggressive than others, so your team of healthcare professionals will be able to provide you with the best option for your cancer based on its stage and your health. Clinical trials also serve as an option, but there is no guaranteed success, and the side effects may be greater than those from standard treatment.

Understanding A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

When being diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important for patients and their loved ones to take time to process the situation above all else. Although time may be of the essence, it’s important that patients enter their treatment journey with a clear head to ensure that every decision is made with their best interest in mind. Coming to terms with a diagnosis is a critical step in the process.

HER2 refers to the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, a gene that can play a role in breast cancer development. The gene controls how breast cells grow, divide, and repair themselves, making overproduction a potential red flag for breast cancer.

Patients and their families should also bring any questions or concerns to a doctor as soon as possible, especially if they relate to treatment options. A doctor should provide information regarding the type of cancer, the HER2 status, and its stage during the first appointment, so patients and families can begin to make a plan to move forward. Patients should feel comfortable asking questions about where the cancer is located, long-term outlook, and next steps. Having these conversations as quickly as possible and implementing a treatment plan will give the patient the best chance of survival, as diagnoses often worsen when left untreated.

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No One Should Have To Face Breast Cancer Alone

Knowing exactly what to do after a breast cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. But the good news is that you dont have to face all the questions and decisions alone.

You can count on us to help you through it all with a personalized treatment plan and an integrated team of specialists to take care of you at every step of your breast cancer journey.

With award-winning cancer centers and clinics in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, were here for you and your family.

If youve been referred to an oncologist or surgeon, and have yet to schedule an appointment, choose a location and then give us a call.

Why Do People Wait For Results Of Breast Cancer

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Wait for results. Waiting for the results of biopsies and scans can be a stressful and anxious time. People cope in different ways. Some like to distract themselves with fun activities and keep busy. Others find it useful to read up on breast cancer and try to learn about all of the options available if the diagnosis is positive. Some people also use the waiting time to reflect on their lives and assess their priorities and relationships.

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Foods That May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Keep in mind that many factors are associated with breast cancer development. While improving your diet can improve your overall health and reduce your cancer risk in general, its only one piece of the puzzle.

Even with a healthy diet, you still need regular breast cancer screenings like mammograms and manual checks. After all, early detection and diagnosis significantly increase survival rates. Talk to your healthcare provider for advice about breast cancer screenings.

All the same, research suggests that these foods may lower your risk of this disease.

I Found A Lump In My Breast What Should I Do

Maybe it happened in the shower. Or during an intimate moment with your partner. You could have been putting on lotion before bed. And there it isa breast lump. Finding one is understandably anxiety-provoking for women.

But before you jump to conclusions, stop and breathe.

Although the most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass, many breast lumps are either benign or a symptom of a condition unrelated to cancer. So how do you tell the difference, and will it disappear on its own?

David Eddleman, MD, medical director of breast surgery at REX Breast Care Specialists, explains what to do if you find a lump.

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Further Tests For Breast Cancer

If a diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed, more tests will be needed to determine the stage and grade of the cancer, and to work out the best method of treatment.

If your cancer was detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme, youll have further tests in the screening centre before being referred for treatment.

After My Breast Cancer Surgery Will I Need Radiation Or Chemotherapy Or Both

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The stage of breast cancer helps determine which treatment regimen your oncologist will recommend. After breast-sparing surgery, radiation treatments may be used to help destroy remaining breast cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically given after surgery to lower the chance of a cancer recurrence. Adjuvant breast cancer chemotherapy may be used after surgery to destroy remaining cancer cells not killed during surgery.

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What Will Happen After Treatment

Youll be glad when treatment is over. For years after treatment ends, you will still see your cancer doctor. Be sure to go to all of these follow-up visits. You will have exams, blood tests, and maybe other tests to see if the cancer has come back.

The first few years, your visits may be every few months. The more time that passes from when you finished treatment, the less often the visits are needed.

If you still have a breast, youll need to get a mammogram every year. Depending on your treatment, you might need other tests as well, such as regular bone density tests or heart tests.

Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. If you are thinking about how to improve your health, call us at 1-800-227-2345 or talk to your cancer care team to find out what you can do to feel better.

You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life making healthy choices and feeling as well as you can.

Can I Go To The Hospital If I Think I Have Breast Cancer

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you have any breast cancer symptoms. Youll have tests done at your regular doctors office, a clinic, or a hospital. First, youll most likely see your family doctor or gynecologist at your appointment. Based on the tests you need, you might also see a radiologist.

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Planning Financially For Breast Cancer Treatment

An unexpected cancer diagnosis often comes with a heavy financial burden. Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, surgeries, and medications throughout the treatment journey can come as a shock, especially if they turn out to be out-of-pocket expenses. Medical bills can create additional stress in already trying times, so it’s important that patients understand any and all expenses that may arise during breast cancer treatment.

Patients should always contact their insurance company to see what expenses will be covered by insurance and what resources will require funds from elsewhere. Crowdfunding via sites like GoFundMe has become a popular way to cover medical and living expenses throughout the treatment journey, as patients look to the support of their friends, family, and even generous strangers in their community. If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer after receiving a misdiagnosis, compensation from a successful medical malpractice lawsuit can also help ease the financial stress of growing medical bills.

Treatments To Reduce Your Risk

Symptom Of Breast Cancer

If you have a greatly increased risk of developing breast cancer, for example, a BRCA gene carrier, treatment might be available to reduce your risk. This applies to a very small minority of women.

Your level of risk is determined by factors such as your age, your familys medical history, and the results of genetic tests.

You will usually be referred to a specialist genetics service if its thought you have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer. Healthcare professionals working at these services might discuss treatment options with you.

The 2 main treatments are surgery to remove the breasts or medication. These are described in more detail below.

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How Far Has My Tumor Spread

Understanding what stage of breast cancer you have is important. Ask your doctor to explain the stage to you and find out where else besides the breast any tumors are located.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the stage of your breast cancer is based on the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, and whether the cancer has spread to other areas in the body.

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Which Surgical Option Do You Recommend Why

To determine which surgical approach may address your needs and treatment goals, your surgical oncologist may rely on information from the radiologist, who reads imaging tests the pathologist, who interprets the biopsy results the radiation oncologist, who works with the surgeon to plan radiation treatment either during or immediately after surgery and the medical oncologist, to predict how preoperative drug treatment may help reduce the size of the tumor. Depending on the biology and genetics of the tumor, your care team may recommend chemotherapy before or after surgery.

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If You Think You Might Have Breast Cancer Read This

by Patient Expert

If you’re reading this, you almost certainly fit one of two profiles: either you have or you’re afraid you have breast cancer. You guys with cancer, you’ve heard plenty from me over the years continue to read if you like, but this post’s not aimed at you. This time, I’m writing to the cancer-free readers out there.

I spend time every day answering questions on this site’s Q & A page. There are questions from women with breast cancer inquiring about asking for help deciding between a mastectomy and lumpectomy, or wondering whether to do chemo. There are questions from caregivers struggling to make sense of a diagnosis and treatment plan for their mom, daughter, sister, or wife. And there are women with cancer who simply need to reach out and connect, to hear from someone experiencing the same challenges they’re facing.

But the vast majority of questions come from women wondering if they have breast cancer and panicking about it. The typical question will describe a , and ask, “Is this cancer? Should I be afraid?” Almost all the time, I’m happy to be able to reply “What you’re describing doesn’t sound like cancer. But why not call your doctor and get it checked out, just to set your mind at ease?” I imagine most of these women do just that call the doctor, get checked out, and go on with their lives.

-Your lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is approximately 1 in 8 .

Risk up to age85: 1 in 10Lifetime risk: 1 in 9


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