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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
There are steps you can take to help prevent cancer. Many lifestyle choices we make can increase or decrease our risk. However, a recent survey suggests many patients do not understand how these choices affect their chances for developing cancer.
How Well Do Americans Understand Cancer Risk Factors?
To gauge general understanding of cancer risk factors, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has periodically surveyed patients since 2001. The AICR 2015 Cancer Risk Awareness Survey included responses from more than 1,100 individuals. Here are some of the results:
- Only 42 percent of respondents were aware that diets low in vegetables and fruit can increase cancer risk. […]
Cryoablation is a novel treatment currently used to treat benign breast tumors (called fibroadenomas). Cryoablation is now being studied in patients with certain types of small breast cancer. The treatment places a small probe in the center of the cancer and subsequently uses liquid nitrogen to destroy breast cancer tumors by freezing them.
In the treatment of fibroadenomas, cryoablation has proven less invasive and less likely to affect cosmetic appearance than surgery. It could be possible for breast cancer patients to enjoy the same benefits in the future.
How does cryoablation work?
The American Society of Breast Surgeons calls cryoablation of fibroadenoma ‘safe, efficacious and durable.’ Currently, the American Society of Breast […]
Inherited genetic mutations can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. For instance, a mutation in two of the better-understood genes linked to a substantial increased risk of breast cancer, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, account for up to:
- 10 percent of all breast cancers.
- 50 percent of hereditary breast cancers (caused by inherited genetic mutations).
Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should take time to learn how genetic testing is appropriate for them. It is important to remember that risk can be passed down from either your father or mother. A detailed knowledge of the medical history of your relatives can be extremely helpful.
Genetics and family health history play an intricate, if not yet fully understood, role in breast cancer risk.
Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Research has shown women with a family history of breast cancer have a higher risk for diagnosis than women with no family history of breast cancer.
It is important to take the time to learn about the medical and cancer incidence history in your family. This can help you to make informed decisions about cancer screening, including mammography. Empowering yourself with history about your family’s history with cancer is a proactive strategy to plan for a long, healthy life.
Family History of […]
Fibroadenomas are benign breast tumors. They most frequently occur in women during their reproductive years. Although breast fibroadenomas are noncancerous, they can cause pain and affect the look, shape and feel of breasts. They usually do not affect breast cancer risk.
Conventional fibroadenoma treatment includes close monitoring for changes or growth, or surgical excision to remove breast fibroadenomas. However, a novel, FDA approved treatment called cryoablation offers many women an alternative option.
Conventional fibroadenoma treatment
Fibroadenomas, which are solid lumps that may feel like a marble within your breast, are usually detected through physical exam. Following […]
There is a lively debate within the medical community to establish standards for when women should start receiving mammograms. This also extends to how frequently follow-up mammograms should be performed. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of experts that recommends health care standards to Congress and others, made a very controversial decision in 2009. They said women between the ages of 50 to 74 should get a breast cancer screening mammogram every two years. They also stated women under 50 should talk to their doctor to evaluate, based on their personal risk, if a screening mammogram was appropriate for them.
This decision caused waves of protest from numerous […]