Breast Cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women, according to the National Cancer Institute. The good news is that early detection offers an enhanced opportunity for longevity and quality in lifespan.
You may have instilled every protocol into your routine to prevent and detect breast cancer as early as possible. This may include examining the appearance of your breasts to identify any changes, such as redness, swelling, puckering areas and nipple discharge, scaling or indentations. This may also include the physical self-breast exam to help ensure that every ounce of your breasts is soft and smooth. Quantifying your risk factors is also valuable, but should not prevent you from performing regular self-examination checks and visiting your physician for regular breast exams. Women that would like to better identify their risk can call 1-800-4-CANCER to obtain a risk analysis. Yet, it may be worthwhile to know who is at greater risk statistically, including:
- Caucasians are more likely to acquire breast cancer than non-Caucasians.
- Women that began menstruation at an early age are more likely to get breast cancer.
- Those taking hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Women who are obese are at a greater risk for breast cancer.
- Family members that have had breast cancer suggest that other family members may get breast cancer, too.
- Women that drink alcoholic beverages show a higher risk for breast cancer.
- The older you are, the greater the risk that you will develop breast cancer.
The Clinical Examination
Clinical examinations are important so that your physician can document the consistency of glandular fat and tissue, as well as, breast changes to help ensure that you can receive early treatment should you not notice any signs of breast cancer. Identifying breast cancer before there are symptoms reduces the risk of death. Diagnosis can be very intimidating, despite the fact that the survival rate following mastectomy is high when compared to other forms of cancer. Certainly, the type of cancer, genetics and lifestyle habits- all impact the survival rate. Quality of life following breast reconstruction is another consideration. It’s useful to have a board certified plastic surgeon involved in the diagnostic and treatment process from the start. Learn more about the diagnostic process by visiting Diagnosing Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments
Breast Cancer treatments are associated with a high survival rate when the cancer is detected and treated early on. Breast reconstruction techniques have vastly improved to offer a new lease on life for many women who undergo breast cancer treatment. Some may not realize that there is the capacity to function fully in all daily activities following breast cancer treatment and reconstruction in many cases. It is also a new trend for board certified plastic surgeons to be involved in the treatment plan at the onset of diagnosis for aesthetic and functional reconstructive considerations. Learn more about Breast Cancer Treatments.
It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.