Breast Cancer FAQ

Breast Cancer FAQ

Breast cancer is a frightening prospect for women, especially those in their 40s and older. The most common cancer faq are related to causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Let’s look more closely at some of the most prevalent questions as well as some facts and information that can help answer these questions. Hopefully this education and sharing of knowledge will serve to inspire women to hold on to hope and to feel stronger against this terrible menace. After all, knowledge is power.

One of the biggest among the breast cancer faq is “What are the signs of breast cancer?”

One of the more common answers would be a persistent twitching or a “dimple” or a lump in the breast which could be a symptom of breast cancer’s onset. However, most of the time these turn out not to be signs of breast cancer and you should not leap to conclusions about such signs. Eighty percent of all lumps in the breast are merely benign cysts or hyperactive breast gland cells.

Furthermore, there are often not any outward signs of breast cancer. The best way to detect breast cancer is simply to begin getting annual or semi-annual mammograms after age 35 (not because women are likely to get it, if they do at all, before age 50 but because early detection is a huge advantage).

Giving yourself monthly self-administered breast exams at home, and being mindful of the general early warning signs of any cancer: persistent nausea; strange discharges; inexplicable fatigue; loss of appetite; persistent and unexplained pain, are crucial for early detection and prompt treatment. . If you do get the dimple, lump, or twitching in the breast, see your family doctor and let him determine if further testing for breast cancer is needed.

Another “biggie” among the breast cancer faq is “Does a mastectomy represent a better breast cancer treatment than a lumpectomy?”

From my understanding, the answer is no. One of the most main differences is that a mastectomy tends to ruin the appearance of the breast, whereas a lumpectomy does not. The lumpectomy, on the other hand, takes more time to complete, requiring weeks of radiation treatment. However, in the long run, the mastectomy will require the same amount of radiation treatment, just that it gets administered in a much shorter period of time–plus, to reiterate, the lumpectomy does not ruin the breast.

Looking at it with regards to recovery, most would probably agree that there are no better chances of cure or survival with the mastectomy. The main advantage, if one wants to call it that, is the short period of time in which it can be completed.

What else do we have among the prominent breast cancer faq? “Can noncancerous cysts turn cancerous?”

This can happen but it is actually quite rare and finding cysts in women’s breasts are actually not uncommon. That is not to say that getting a medical professional opinion is unnecessary. By all means, if you do discover a cyst or lump in your breast, do get it looked at to ensure that it does not present a reason for concern.

Keep in mind that it’s possible for women to experience a “fibrocystic change“, in which cyst-like changes manifest before the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Later on, these will usually either shrink or vanish. If, however, you get a cyst that lingers for more than a few weeks or grows larger, go to the doctor and have an ultrasound test done. Ultrasound is the easiest way to determine if a lump is merely a cyst. If it is, it can be made to disappear simply by having the fluid drained off. A pathologist probably will still inspect the drained off fluid just to make sure that there aren’t any cancerous cells within.

If the lump consists of breast cells, a tissue sample can be removed via a needle and the pathologist will inspect it under the microscope. It is possible that the microscope examination could reveal epithelial hyperplasia, which is simply a harmless overgrowth consisting of normal breast cells. However, atypical hyperplasia means an increase in breast cells which have begun to appear different from normal cells. This condition is associated with breast cancer and needs to be removed.

Perhaps the most common of all breast faq is “Can I inherit breast cancer from my family’s genes?”

Well, only about 10% of all women who have inherited an abnormal gene from their parents will have an increased risk of breast cancer. Only few women who get breast cancer have it run in their families, meaning that most who get it don’t get it passed down to them. In fact, there really isn’t a such thing as inheriting breast cancer, only the small possibility among certain women that they have an increased risk of possibly getting it.

This is just a small breast cancer faq list. You’ll find a lot more information on this serious topic within the ongoing discussions, articles and resources within this blog.

DISCLAIMER:
The information contained within this blog is accurate to the best of my knowledge but should not be taken as medical advice. Instead, please use the content of this site for informational purposes and consult a medical professional for medical advice.

One Comment

  • Posted August 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    breast cancer is really a frightening prospect for women. thank you for posting this blog. this somehow helps us on how to prevent breast cancer. hope you can post more blogs like this. congratulations for your very informative blog.

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