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Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer: is a cancer that forms in the cells of the breast. It is a cancer that both males and females can develop. Usually the first sign of breast cancer is a lump in the breast or an abnormal mammogram. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, after skin cancer, and 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with it over the course of a lifetime.

Over the past decade more and more people are getting diagnosed and are also creating awareness. Public support for awareness and research funding has dramatically helped improve the treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer. In turn, it is increasing the chance of survival, as well as building a community nationwide that supports one another.



There are usually no symptoms in early breast cancer stages, which is why it is so important to do regular breast exams and to schedule regular mammograms. Click Here to Book an Appointment.

Common Symptoms Include:

-          A breast lump that feels different from the rest of the tissue

  • Or lump in the armpit that is hard, usually does not hurt, and has uneven edges

-          Change in size and/or shape of the breast

-          Dimpling, redness, or changes to the skin over the breast

-          Discharge from the nipple

  • May be clear to yellow, green, bloody, or look like a pus

-           Inverted nipple

-          Flaking or peeling of the nipple or breast skin

Symptoms for men normally include a breast lump, breast pain, and tenderness.

Advanced breast cancer can have other symptoms such as:

-          Breast pain

-          Bone pain

-          Swelling of the armpit

-          Weight loss

-          Skin ulcers


It is not 100 percent clear as to what directly causes breast cancer. Which is why having self-breast exams and regular mammograms are very important in catching the cancer early (when there is a much higher chance of survival). Abnormal cells that cause the cancer, divide and grow quicker than healthy cells, which causes the lump.

Breast cancer can be inherited, however the percentage is normally less than 10 percent. The two most common inherited mutated genes that increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer are:

-          Breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1)

-          Breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2)

These two also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. If your family has a strong background of breast or ovarian cancer it might be best to get a blood test. Click Here to Book an Appointment for a blood test.

When to see the doctor:

You should see your doctor if you have a breast or armpit lump or if you have any nipple discharge.


Potential Risks:

Potential Risks Include:

-          Gender and Age: Women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than men. Also, increase age is a risk factor. Women over 50 hold the most cases of breast cancer.

-          History of Breast Cancer: Those that have had breast cancer in one breast have an increased risk of development in the other breast.

-          Family History: There may be a higher risk of breast cancer for those that have a family history of breast, ovarian, or colon cancer. Also those with either of the two genetic mutations, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are more likely to develop breast cancer.

-          Age of Menstrual Cycle: Women that received their periods before age 12 and women who when through menopause after age 5 have an increased risk.

-          Obesity: Obesity has been linked to breast cancer and puts those that are overweight at a much higher risk.

-          Pregnancy: Women who have never been pregnant or those that have had their first child after 35 have an increase risk.

-          Alcohol: Those that drink more than 1-2 glasses of alcohol on a daily occurrence have a higher risk of breast cancer.

-          Radiation Therapy: Those that have received radiation therapy as a child or young adult to treat cancer in the chest have a very high risk. The younger the person started radiation the higher the risk.


Tests & Healthcare:

Your doctor may use these tests and procedures to diagnose breast cancer:

-          Mammogram

-          Breast Exam

-          Breast Ultrasound

-          Biopsy

-          Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

-          CT Scan

-          PET Scan

Once your doctor has diagnosed your breast cancer, the next step is to find out what stage of cancer you have. Stages range from 0 to IV. 0 meaning small and noninvasive to IV meaning the cancer has developed and spread to other areas of the body. This will help determine your prognosis and the best treatment options, however you may not find out the complete prognosis until after you undergo breast cancer surgery.



Treatment for breast cancer all depends on what stage the cancer is in. Whether the cancer is sensitive to certain hormones, your overall health, or if you have your own concerns and preferences. There are many options for treatment and at time it can be overwhelming to take in. Try and get a second option from a breast clinic or specialist and do your research beforehand.

Breast cancer treatment options may include:

-          Lumpectomy: Lumpectomy is typically done for smaller tumors because the surgeon only removes the tumor and a small area of the surrounding tissue.

-          Mastectomy: Mastectomy is done to remove all the breast tissue. This includes the ducts, lobules, fatty tissues, the nipple, and areola. Skin-sparing mastectomy can also be done that leaves the skin over the breast for reconstruction.

-          Sentinel Node Biopsy: Your surgeon may discuss the removal of your lymph nodes to determine whether the cancer has spread. If no cancer is found in those lymph nodes the change of finding cancer in the remaining ones is small and there is no need for removal of the rest.

-          Axillary lymph node dissection: However, if cancer is found from the first removal of the lymph nodes your surgeon may suggest removing additional lymph nodes of your armpit.

-          Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may be given to women with larger breast tumors before surgery in hopes to shrink a tumor for an easier removal.  

-          Radiation: Radiation therapy to destroy cancerous tissue and is usually done after a lumpectomy for an early stage breast cancer.

-          Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy is often done to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones. This therapy can also be used after surgery to decrease the chance of your cancer returning.

-          Removal of both breasts: To be extra cautious, some women with breast cancer in one breast may opt to have both breasts removed as to reduce the risk of any other breast cancer.

 Your doctor may prescribe:

Targeted drugs approved to treat breast cancer:

-          Trastuzumab (Herceptin)

-          Ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla)

-          Bevacizumab (Avastin)

-          Pertuzumab (Perjeta)

Click Here to Book an Appointment if you are in need of testing for breast cancer.



Women who are at a very high risk of breast cancer may undergo surgery to have both breasts removed. Tamoxifen is a drug that has been approved for breast cancer prevention in women over 35. Having a health weight and diet will help prevention.

To learn more ways talk to your doctor. 


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