Being diagnosed with breast cancer is stressful. Learning relaxation techniques, exercising, eating well, getting adequate sleep, receiving psychotherapy, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you cope. Creating documents, such as an advance directive, living will, and durable power of attorney will outline your wishes in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your care. Read more: Breast Cancer and Coping With Stress Article
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Breast Cancer Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
This Breast Cancer Quiz features signs, symptoms, facts, causes, common forms, terms, risk factors, statistics, and more. ...
Breast Cancer Awareness: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Learn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and...
Related Disease Conditions
Breast Cancer in Men
Second Source WebMD Medical Reference
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Breast Cancer Prevention
Lifestyle changes, a healthy antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and weight reduction can help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It's important to be aware of how risk factors such as family history, lifestyle factors, breast conditions, radiation therapy, and hormonal factors may influence your chances of developing breast cancer. Mammography and breast self-examinations are crucial steps in breast cancer prevention.
Breast Cancer Questions to Ask the Doctor
A diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming, so it's important to write down all your questions before meeting with your doctor.
The breast, or mammary gland is made up of lobules, milk producing glands, and a system of ducts to transport milk. Both males and females have breasts. Abnormal enlargement of breasts in men is referred to as gynecomastia. In women, during pregnancy the breasts grow larger and produce milk. Common medical conditions that affect the breasts include breast cancer, breast lumps, fibrocystic changes and cysts, mastitis, and benign tumors (fibroadenomas).
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
Breast Lumps (in Women)
Breast lumps in women can have a variety of causes such as breast inflammation, infection, injuries, cancer, and non-cancerous growths. Breast lumps in women are diagnosed with physical exam, mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy. Treatment of breast lumps in women depend on the cause.
Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a common chronic, debilitating condition in which excess fluid called lymph collects in tissues and causes swelling in them. It is common after a mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast cancer surgery and radiation therapy.
Breast Cancer During Pregnancy
Breast cancer occurs in about 1 in every 1,000 pregnant women. Treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy involves surgery, but it is very difficult to protect the baby from the dangerous effects of radiation and chemotherapy. It can be an agonizing to decide whether or not to undergo breast cancer treatment while one is pregnant.
Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer most often recurs within the first three to five years after the initial treatment. Changes in the look, feel, or appearance of the breast may indicate breast cancer recurrence. Factors related to recurrence include tumor size, tumor grade, hormone receptor status, lymph node involvement, and oncogene expression. Treatment for recurrent breast cancer depends on the initial treatment.
Cancer fatigue is a lack of energy that is caused by cancer or cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy, or bone marrow transplantation. Strategies to combat cancer fatigue include scheduling rest, pacing oneself, planning ahead and prioritizing work and activities, eating the right foods, exercising, and practicing proper body mechanics.
Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
Breast cancer clinical trials are research programs designed to evaluate new medical treatments, drugs, or devices for the treatment of breast cancer. Clinical trials are designed to test the safety and efficacy of new treatments as well as assess potential side effects. Clinical trials also compare new treatment to existing treatments to determine if it's any better. There are many important questions to ask your doctor before taking part in a breast cancer clinical trial.
Breast Cancer in Young Women
About 5% of cases of breast cancer occur in women under the age of 40 years old. Some risk factors for breast cancer in young women include a personal history of breast cancer or breast disease, family history of breast cancer, prior radiation therapy, and the presence of BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations. Breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and screening mammograms may help detect breast cancer. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is an accelerated form of breast cancer that is not usually detected by mammogram or ultrasound. Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include pain in the breast, skin change in the breast area, bruise on the breast,sudden swelling of the breast, nipple retraction or discharge, and swelling of the lymph nodes.
Male Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer accounts for 1% of all breast cancers, and most cases are found in men between the ages of 60 and 70. A man's risk of developing breast cancer is one in 1,000. Signs and symptoms include a firm mass located below the nipple and skin changes around the nipple, including puckering, redness or scaling, retraction and ulceration of the nipple. Treatment depends upon staging and the health of the patient.
Most often, caregivers take care of other adults who are ill or disabled. Less often, caregivers are grandparents raising their grandchildren. The majority of caregivers are middle-aged women. Caregiving can be very stressful, so it's important to recognize when it's putting to much strain on you and to take steps to prevent/relieve stress.
Paget Disease of the Breast (Paget's Disease of the Nipple)
Paget's disease is a rare form of cancer that forms in or around the nipple and frequently coexists with breast cancer. The exact cause of Paget's disease is unknown. Symptoms and signs include redness, scaling, and flaking of the nipple skin. A biopsy and imaging studies are needed to diagnose the disease. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and adjuvant therapy.
Breast Cancer Treatment by Stage
Treatment of breast cancer depends upon the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Some of the various treatments include: hormone therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, HER2-targeted therapy, neoadjuvant therapy, and adjuvant therapy.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Triple-negative breast cancer is more common in Hispanic and African-American women. Signs and symptoms include a lump in the armpit or breast, nipple discharge and inversion, and changes in the breast's skin. Treatment may incorporate surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Breast Cancer Facts
Breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer of American women, but it can also occur in men. Every year in the U.S., there are over 266,000 new diagnoses of breast cancer. A woman has a risk of one in eight for developing breast cancer at some point during her lifetime.
Can Fibroadenomas Turn Into Breast Cancer?
A fibroadenoma is the most common type of benign, non-cancerous lump of the breast. Although it is rare, complex fibroadenomas and phyllodes tumors have a chance to develop into malignant breast cancer.
What Are The Five Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer?
The majority of breast cancer patients first seek diagnosis because of a lump on the breast. This is one of the five warning signs of breast cancer. Others include changes in the nipple, changes in the breast skin and other symptoms.
What Is Usually the First Sign of Breast Cancer?
A lump in the breast or in the armpits is often the first sign of breast cancer. This may be felt while in the shower. There may or may not be changes in the structure of the breast. Other early signs include changes in breast skin, breast pain and others.
What Are the Four Types of Breast Cancer?
The four most common types of breast cancer are ductal carcinoma in situ, lobular carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma. The designations are based on the locations of the tumors, whether they have spread and where they have spread to.
How Can You Detect Breast Cancer Early?
Breast cancer develops from the cells of the breasts and can spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). It is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in women in the United States. A lump in the breast or armpit is often the first sign. Treatment success depends largely on early detection.
What Is the Difference Between a Radical Mastectomy and Modified Radical Mastectomy?
In a radical mastectomy, the entire breast tissue along with the nipple, covering skin, lymph nodes (filter organs for harmful substances) in the armpit and chest wall muscle under the breast is removed. It is known as a standard treatment for breast cancer. In a modified radical mastectomy (MRM), the entire breast is removed, including the skin, areola (surrounding the nipple), nipple and most armpit lymph nodes. The underlying chest wall muscles (the pecs) will be left intact. Additionally, the skin covering the chest wall may or may not be removed.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- Herceptin (trastuzumab)
- eribulin mesylate (Halaven)
- pertuzumab (Perjeta)
- Proleukin (aldesleukin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Verzenio (abemaciclib)
- Kisqali (ribociclib)
- Side Effects of Soltamox (tamoxifen)
- Side Effects of Arimidex (anastrozole)
- Side Effects of Perjeta (pertuzumab)
- Side Effects of Zofran (ondansetron)
- Side Effects of Femara (letrozole)
- Side Effects of Herceptin (trastuzumab)
- Side Effects of Ibrance (palbociclib)
- Side Effects of Megace (megestrol)
- Side Effects of Tykerb (lapatinib)
- Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine)
- Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles)
- Enhertu (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki)
Prevention & Wellness
- Very Early-Stage Breast Cancer Ups Long-Term Odds for Invasive Tumors: Study
- Tukysa Approved for Unresectable, Metastatic HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
- Drug Shows Promise Against Aggressive Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer Care Far From Home for Rural Patients
- Shannen Doherty Battling Stage 4 Breast Cancer
- Most Long-Term Breast Cancer Survivors Die From Other Causes
- Mindfulness May Be a Balm for Breast Cancer Patients
- Beyonce's Dad Reveals His Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Despite Rise in New Cases, Breast Cancer Deaths Continue to Fall
- Low-Fat Diet Could Be a Weapon Against Breast Cancer
- High Deductibles May Threaten Breast Cancer Patients' Survival
- Acupressure Is Good Medicine for Breast Cancer Survivors
- Incontinence Drug May Cut Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors
- Drug Halves Tumor Recurrence for Women With a Common Breast Cancer
- Bills Mount for Breast Cancer Survivors
- Heart Monitoring a Must for Breast Cancer Patients on Herceptin
- Many Struggle With High Cost of Breast Cancer Care
- Health Tip: Travel Tips For Women With Breast Prosthesis
- High Insurance Deductibles Lead Breast Cancer Patients to Delay Care: Study
- Breast Symptoms at Mammogram May Raise Future Cancer Risk
- Young Cancer Survivors Finding Support From Social Networks
- Friends' Experiences Sway Women's Choices on Breast Cancer Care
- Race, Insurance Key to Employment After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Breast Cancer 'Immunotherapy' Helps Some With Tough-to-Treat Disease
- 'Ppl, I Have Breast Cancer'
- After Breast Cancer, Depression Risk Lingers
- Money Problems Can Compromise Breast Cancer Care
- When Partner Has Breast Cancer, Men Find Their Own Ways to Cope
- Bone Drug May Extend Lives of Young Women With Breast Cancer
- Many Women Don't Get Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy
- New Treatments Target Advanced Breast Cancer
- Exercise Recommended for Cancer Patients