- Breast Cancer
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Breast cancer is a devastating disease, affecting 12 percent of women in the US at some point in their lives. Although the statistics surrounding breast cancer are frightening, women can do a great deal both towards breast cancer prevention, both by minimizing their risk and ensuring that the diagnosis occurs when breast cancer is in its early stages. As part of its commitment to healthy breast care, La Peer Health Systems’ Breast Center of Excellence recommends self-surveillance in addition to regular doctor visits. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our renowned breast surgeons at La Peer, don’t hesitate to contact the Breast Surgery Center of Excellence at (888) 316-4167.
Starting at age 20, women should perform regular breast self-exams (BSE) to look for lumps and other changes in the shape or feel of breasts. It’s important to remember that the existence of a lump does not necessarily mean that cancer is present.
The Breast Surgery Center of Excellence recommends that a patient lie on her back when performing a BSE and extend one arm over her head. Using the pads of the middle three fingers, she should feel around the breast using different levels of pressure. Women who detect anything abnormal during self-examination should not hesitate to see a doctor for further testing.
In addition to the breast cancer prevention benefit of performing regular self-exams, women are encouraged to undergo clinical breast exams as part of their annual physicals. Further, women over 40 should schedule a yearly mammogram. X-ray tests, like mammograms, find and analyze changes in the breast tissue. Women with a family history of breast cancer may also want to consider undergoing genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Because the presence of these genes raises a woman’s chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer, many women who test positive for BRCA1 and 2 opt to undergo a preventative mastectomy.
Today, women who undergo preventative or therapeutic mastectomies have better options when it comes to breast reconstruction. Our breast surgeons perform a cutting-edge One-Stage Breast Reconstruction procedure, which allows the breasts to be reconstructed during the same surgery in which the mastectomy is performed. For more information about One-Stage Breast Reconstruction, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
Q: At what age should women start performing self-exams?
A: In accordance with the American Cancer Society, the Breast Center of Excellence recommends that women begin performing self-exams at age 20.
Q: Is the radiation associated with mammograms dangerous?
A: New mammograms utilize less radiation and provide safer, more effective imaging.
Q: What are my chances of developing breast cancer?
A: One in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. However, healthy breast care and testing can help ensure that cancer is found early, when treatment is more effective.
Q: What steps can I take to lower my breast cancer risk?
A: You can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by exercising and eating well to maintain a healthy weight. You should also avoid smoking and drinking excessive quantities of alcohol.
At the Breast Surgery Center of Excellence, our highly trained staff of doctors and nurses is committed to promoting breast cancer prevention and providing reconstruction options to boost quality of life and self-esteem in breast cancer survivors. Contact us online to schedule an appointment with our experts.
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