Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is the next frontier in the march towards finding a cure for breast cancer. Most breast cancers we can treat, because most breast cancers have a target we can exploit: the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor or the Her2 receptor. In these breast cancers, we can shut down the receptors with targeted therapies, such as tamoxifen or Herceptin (trastuzumab), stop growth and kill the cancer. Triple Negative Breast Cancers do not express these receptors and therefore, early detection and surgery become the mainstays of therapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer.Read More
Chemotherapy prior to surgery can tell us whether your tumor responded to chemotherapy. If your tumor is gone after chemotherapy, then we can feel good that any tumor cells hiding elsewhere in your body were killed.Read More Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Treatment, Chemotheraphy
Fighting breast cancer was hard. It was also unfair. Linda was only 53, she ran marathons, ate lean meats, enjoyed her vegetables and took a walk every night with her husband. So it was profoundly unfair when a spot was found on her annual screening mammogram. She had a core needle biopsy, which demonstrated a breast cancer. Although the tumor was small, it was high grade. Linda chose to remove her breast and have a mastectomy. And then she took chemotherapy.Read More Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Treatment, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Conditions and Diseases, Knoxville Tennessee, Mammography, Treatment, Tumor
A targeted therapy is a therapy targeted to a specific biomarker to kill breast cancer. A targeted therapy can be a monoclonal antibody, or what we used to call a magic or silver bullet, directed against a specific target on a breast cancer cell. Targeted therapies are akin to a sniper with a high-powered rifle, whereas chemotherapy is akin to a hunter with a shotgun. Both can be very effective, but the sniper has a much greater chance of hitting its target and making a kill.Read More Breast Cancer Treatment, Cancer, Cell (biology)
Nicole and her girlfriends went for their annual mammogram. It was always more fun to do it in a group. Although they were all in their young 40s and the government is trying to tell them not to have a mammogram till they turn 50, they listened to the advice of their physicians and have been getting screening mammograms since they turned 40. Nicole’s mammogram had some microcalcifications, small pieces of calcium that are deposited from breast tissue. Most often, fibrocystic breast changes can cause calcium deposits, but on occasion, the calcium can be deposited by cancer. Nicole had a core needle biopsy and was told she had Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. Nicole had breast cancer, or so she thought. Her friend Amber, who knows everything, said that Nicole did not have cancer, that DCIS is a benign growth. Well, does Nicole have cancer? Is DCIS cancer?
Yes. DCIS is cancer. DCIS can recur after excision. DCIS can transform into a malignant tumor. Cure rates are as high as 98%, but 2% still succumb to the disease. Thus, DCIS is cancer, but benign cancer, as opposed to malignant cancer, which can spread throughout the body.Read More Angelina Jolie, Breast cancer, Breast cancer screening, Breast Cancer Treatment, cancer recurrence, DCIS, Mammography
Chemotherapy is a combination of medicines that kill cancer cells by stopping their cellular division (mitosis) and “birthing” of new cancer cells. If cancer cells cannot give birth to new cancer cells, then the cancer itself will die. Chemotherapy is not very specific to cancer cells only, as chemotherapy also kills rapidly dividing healthy cells, which leads to many of the side effects of chemotherapy.Read More Awareness, Breast cancer, Breast Cancer Treatment, Cancer, Chemotherapy
Jane is a 36-year-old mother of three just trying to make it through the day. She has children in three different schools, and the constant driving was taking a toll on her. One day, while putting on her seat belt, her left breast hurt. She thought nothing of it as she drove around town from school to ballet to soccer and to the grocery store. Then, one morning, in the shower, she noticed a lump in her breast. No one in her family, not her mother, not her sisters, not her aunts, had breast cancer. Still, she was scared. She called her physician who recommended a mammogram and ultrasound. Jane had breast cancer.Read More American Cancer Society, Angelina Jolie, Awareness, Breast Cancer Treatment, cancer recurrence, Chemotherapy, Ovarian cancer, Surgery
Josephine was excited. She had completed her breast cancer treatments and was ready to get on with the rest of her life. She was worried about lymphedema. But, after reading the blog post on lymphedema risk reduction, Josephine knows that she can reduce the risk of developing lymphedema after treatment for breast cancer. She can directly affect whether she develops lymphedema. After surgery, the biggest risk factors for lymphedema are obesity and inflammation. Josephine needs to keep her Body Mass Index below 25 and she needs to avoid infection and sunburns of her arm and chest. And the next best thing is to exercise. Exercise can reduce the risk of lymphedema. Exercise can lessen the pain and swelling from lymphedema. And exercise can sometimes even put lymphedema into remission. Josephine had a consultation with a lymphedema specialist and continues to exercise under the guidance of her lymphedema specialist. The key to success: Take It Slow.Read More Breast Cancer Treatment, cancer of the lymph nodes, how to prevent lymphedema, how to reduce risk of lymphedema, lymphedema after breast cancer, lymphedema after mastectomy, preventing lymphedema after breast cancer, reducing risk of lymphedema, risk of lymphedema, things to do for lymphedema
Hearing those words, “You have cancer,” is one of the most scary phrases to have ever been heard by the human ear.
Your thoughts turn to your children and you wonder who is going to take care of your kids? You think of your husband and how he will take care of himself without you? And you wonder who is going to be rummaging through your closet? It’s not fair. You eat well. You exercise regularly. You get your annual mammogram. This isn’t supposed to happen to you. You’re a good person.Read More Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Breast Cancer Treatment