If you feel a lump in your breast, or have nipple discharge, don’t automatically assume you have breast cancer. There are benign breast conditions that can also cause lumps and bloody nipple discharge, such as an intraductal papilloma. This is a small, non-cancerous tumor that forms in a milk duct in the breast, most commonly in women between the ages 35 and 55. There are no known risk factors to indicate which women might be more likely to develop an intraductal papilloma.Read More
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. in 2018, along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (DCIS) breast cancer. Approximately 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.Read More breast cancer insurance, Tennessee breast cancer services
As we discussed in No Lump Doesn’t Mean No Breast Cancer, not all forms of breast cancer present with an obvious lump. Lumps aren’t usually physically apparent with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer.Read More breast cancer symptoms, nipple pain
My breast is red and hot. OMG! Dr. Google says I have Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Do I?
Dr. Google may be brilliant, but Dr. Google never graduated from medical school, where a student learns the fine art of the physical examination. Dr. Google never learned how to perform a physical examination and has never actually examined anyone. Dr. Google doesn’t always know what he’s talking about.Read More
An MRI of the breast is perhaps the best method we have to evaluate your breasts for the presence of a cancer. However, breast MRIs are also the most expensive method to evaluate the breast. And therefore they are not used as a screening tool. Breast MRIs are used to either add additional information to mammography when a mammogram is unclear. A mammogram may be unclear if the mammogram is dense, that is if the report of your mammogram describes heterogeneously dense breast or extremely dense breast. Likewise, if there is an abnormality on the mammogram it may need further evaluation with a breast MRI.Read More Breast MRI, cancer recurrence, Mammogram, Mammography
Dense breasts make the detection of small breast cancers on mammography a challenge. Breast tissue is white on a mammogram and fatty tissue is black on a mammogram. The density of a mammogram is based on the amount of black vs. white tissue and is described as fatty replaced, having scattered fibroglandular densities, heterogeneously dense, or extremely dense.Read More 3D mammogram, Breast cancer, breast density, breast tomography, dense breasts, digital breast tomosynthesis, Mammogram
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