BREAST CANCER INFO

Posted on 08 Jan 2009 at 8:30pm
By David Taffet | Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

BREAST CANCER INFO

TYPES
Ductal carcinoma is the most common form of breast cancer. It begins in the ducts that move milk.
Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules, the parts of the breast that produce milk.
Other rare cancers can form in other parts of the breast.

Other terms
HER1: protein found on the surface of some cells causing them to divide
HER2: protein that indicates a more aggressive form of breast cancer
Estrogen progesterone (ER)
ER positive: higher hormone levels encourage tumor growth.
ER negative: hormone levels do not affect tumors.

Early symptoms
Breast lump
Lump in the armpit that is hard
Change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast tissue or nipple
Bloody, clear-to-yellow, or green fluid from the nipple

Advanced symptoms
Bone pain
Breast pain or discomfort
Skin ulcers
Swelling of the arm next to cancerous breast
Weight loss

Prevention
Monthly breast self-examination
Doctor’s exam every three years for women ages 20 to 39, every year for women over 40 and those with family history of breast cancer
Tamoxifen, as a preventive medication after treatment for first breast cancer

Tests for breast cancer
Mammography
Breast MRI
Breast ultrasound
CT scan
Sonogram

Treatment
Chemotherapy
Radiation
Lumpectomy to remove the lump
Mastectomy to remove all or part of the breast and sometimes other nearby tissue

Risks
Age: the risk increases over age 50.
Women: are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men.
Family: a history of multiple breast and/or ovarian cancers in the immediate family
Genes: women with a defect in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have an 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer.
Pregnancy: women who have never had a child or became pregnant for the first time over age 30.
Period: Women who began their periods before age 12 or went through menopause after age 55.

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