Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most serious and deadly cancers out there. In fact, it affects one in eight women during their lifespan. Chances are you know someone who has been impacted by cancer, whether as a victim themselves or a loved one. Unfortunately, no one knows why some women get breast cancer and others do not, but there are a series of risk factors that are important to take note of:
  • Age

    The risk of getting breast cancer increases as you get older

  • Genes

    There are two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that greatly increase the risk of breast cancer. Women who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should get tested for these genes, as they may help with early detection and prevention

  • Personal factors

    Women who start their periods before the age of 12 or go through menopause after the age of 55 are at a higher risk of getting breast cancer

  • Other risks

    Women who are overweight, have undergone hormone replacement therapy (also referred to as menopausal hormone therapy), take birth control pills, drink alcohol, do not have children or have their first child after age 35, or have dense breasts are also at a heightened risk of breast cancer

Image
These risk factors are something to keep in mind when it comes to breast cancer. While there is no concrete formula for who gets breast cancer - or when - the factors mentioned above are something to consider. A breast cancer diagnosis can threaten a woman’s life and leave them wondering what their options are. Depending on what stage the cancer is detected, there are numerous options that can save a woman’s life. Thanks in large part to new surgical techniques, surgeons are now able to remove tumors and breast cancer cells, restoring the patient’s breasts and improving their overall quality of life.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer vary and will depend on the individual patient, their medical history, lifestyle, and family history. Some of the most common signs of breast cancer include:

  • Lump in the breast
  • Change in size or shape of the breast
  • Discharge from the nipple

It is imperative that all women perform regular breast self-examinations and undergo mammography when recommended by their doctor. Both the self-exam and mammography can help find breast cancer early, which is when it is most treatable.

Treatment Options

Depending on the stage of breast cancer, surgery may be a viable option. Other effective treatments beyond surgery include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. Your doctor, oncologist, and surgeon will work together to determine which option is best for your particular case. If it is determined that the right path is surgery, the following may be an option:
  • Lumpectomy

    Thanks to advancements in medicine, it is no longer a requirement that women with breast cancer have their entire breast removed. In many cases, the cancer along
    with a small amount of tissue surrounding the affected area can be removed. Women who undergo a lumpectomy may also need radiation therapy to ensure the cancer
    is gone and does not come back

  • Mastectomy

    In the event the entire breast does need to be removed, the procedure is called a mastectomy. There are five different types of mastectomy: simple or total, modified
    radical, radical, partial, and nipple-sparing. Your oncologist and surgeon will determine which is best for your needs

Hearing that you or a loved one has breast cancer is never good news, but thankfully there are numerous life-saving options available. If your oncologist thinks surgery is the right option, we encourage you to contact Surgical Associates of Mansfield. Our experienced breast cancer surgeons understand what you are going through and are dedicated to helping our patients achieve optimal health as soon as possible. For more information on our breast cancer surgery options, please contact us today.