One of the things I love most about my job is the opportunity afforded to me to be involved in educating patients. Every year, Susan G. Komen® Orange County hosts a series of educational lectures to help patients better understand breast cancer. Events such as these offer me an opportunity to reach out to many at once. This year, I was honored to speak as part of this series to help answer some questions about breast cancer. For those who were unable to attend, some of the topics discussed are addressed below. […]
Early detection of breast cancer offers women the best possible chance for optimal treatment. As with many cancers, breast cancer is more easily managed and treated when it is still small. To ensure early detection of breast cancer, women should educate themselves about appropriate screening and breast health care.
Why is Early Detection of Breast Cancer Important?
When breast cancer is diagnosed before it has spread or grown too large, it is more likely to be treated successfully. Five-year relative survival rates in women diagnosed with early stage breast cancers rise above 90 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.
However, this number drops to 22 percent in women diagnosed with late stage […]
When patients are diagnosed with breast cancer or other breast conditions, they may not always understand the terms used. There are several different kinds of breast cancer in addition to various other health conditions affecting the breasts. To better understand their breast health and to inform health care decisions, women should familiarize themselves with the anatomy of the breast and some breast-related health care terms.
Anatomy of the Breast
The female breast is mostly composed of adipose tissue, a type of connective tissue made up of fat cells. A network of lobes, lobules and ducts run through each breast. There are normally between 12 and 20 lobes within each breast and each […]
Learning about breast cancer detection can potentially save your life. Early detection of breast cancer provides the best chance for optimal treatment outcomes. For the last several decades, breast cancer awareness initiatives have helped to reduce deaths from breast cancer. To ensure breast cancer patients receive appropriate care, educational efforts on breast cancer detection continue to remain relevant.
Breast self-examination can enable breast cancer detection. Breast self-exam is ideally performed after each menstrual cycle when the breast tissue is least likely to be swollen.
To perform breast self-examination, look at your breasts in the mirror. Check that they are their normal size, shape and color. Look for signs of breast cancer, […]
In recent years, many advancements have been made in our knowledge of the relationship between genetics and breast cancer. Tests are now available to help identify numerous genetic mutations that increase your risk for breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes that have been linked to increased risk for breast cancer. BRCA testing could potentially help you to make informed decisions regarding your breast health. […]
Breast cancer is widely considered a woman’s disease, but men are also at risk. Around 1 in 1,000 men will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Although their risk for breast cancer is low, knowledge of male breast cancer symptoms can help men to recognize this potentially deadly disease.
What are the Signs of Male Breast Cancer?
Male breast cancer symptoms can be very similar to those found in women. The most prominent symptom is a lump in the breast. If you notice changes to your breast tissue, you should be evaluated by a physician with experience in treating breast diseases.
While most women are aware that a lump could […]
Breastlink doctors specialize specifically in breast cancer care and treatment. While we can talk about the benefits of specialization, is there actually evidence to suggest that specialists can improve outcomes for breast cancer patients?
To answer that question, it is worth revisiting a 2003 study that investigated how patients fared following breast cancer surgery when treated by a breast-dedicated surgical oncologist.
What Makes a Breast-Dedicated Surgical Oncologist?
Surgical oncology is not a boarded subspecialty. This means it can be difficult to determine whether a surgeon is a specialist in breast cancer surgery. One indicator is whether they belong to a professional medical association committed to advancing surgical oncology or breast cancer surgery.
Professional medical […]
Annual mammogram screening beginning at age 40 saves lives. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends less frequent screening at a later age, not because screening will not save lives, but because it will not save sufficient numbers of lives when started before age 50.
The guidelines are based on outdated, blemished data and do not evaluate cost-effectiveness or any other benefits of early detection. In fact, USPSTF states, “Screening mammography in women ages 40 to 49 years may reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer, but the number of deaths averted is much smaller than in older women and the number of false-positive tests and unnecessary biopsies are larger.”[…]
There are steps all women can take to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer.
It is not possible to completely eliminate your chances for developing breast cancer, but there are steps you can take to reduce risk. Some risk factors, like age and genetics, cannot be changed. However, certain lifestyle choices can help you to prevent breast cancer and there are steps you can take to minimize risk associated with factors you have no control over.
This post is the first in a Breastlink series on breast cancer risk and prevention. Here, we will go over some of the risk factors that affect your chances of developing breast cancer and provide […]