Information on Breast Cancer
Early detection is the key!
Mammography is the single most effective method of screening for breast cancer. A mammogram is able to detect most breast cancers before it can be felt.
Q. What exactly is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray image of the breast taken to detect the presence of a breast abnormality. (cancerous and/or non-cancerous)
Q. When I go to The Rose to get a mammogram what should I expect?
When you go for your annual mammogram visit, after completing the necessary medical information in the waiting room, you will be taken to the mammogram room.
The mammography technologist will ask you to disrobe from the waist up. You will be given a modesty smock to wear. The technologist will ask you additional questions. She will then take four x-rays. Two of each breast.
The technologist will provide an explanation of the mammography machine. Each breast will rest on a plat and will be compressed. It will be tight and uncomfortable, but the pressure will only last a few seconds. The technologist will ask you to hold your breath while the x-ray is taken.
Once the x-ray is taken, You will be asked to wait while the technologist processes the x-ray to make sure she has a good picture.
You will then be on your way. The actual mammogram takes only 10 to 15 minutes.
The Radiologist reads the x-ray, and the results are sent to your doctor. Your doctor should get the results in 7 to 10 working days.
Q. I have never had a mammogram. I have heard horror stories. How much do they hurt?
Everyone is different. Yes, a mammogram is an uncomfortable procedure, but should not be painful. However, it is worth a few seconds of discomfort and pressure to have this important test. A mammogram can catch the earliest stages of breast cancer.
An ultrasound is a diagnostic tool used in addition to and sometimes in conjunction with mammography. An ultrasound employs harmless and painless sound waves to produce a visual picture of the breast. It is sometimes performed to determine where a lump in the breast is cystic (fluid-filled) lump or a solid one. Ultrasound is also helpful in examining women with very dense breast, where it can complement the finding of a mammography.
This year be good to yourself…
Here are a few following tips for good health and provide excellent guidelines for getting started:
- Set a reasonable goal for embracing a healthier lifestyle and be careful of quick fixes. Consider objectives that will give you long-term benefits.
- Adopt the "No More Dieting" attitude. All food is good in moderation. Normalize your eating pattern and avoid deprivation.
- Shrink and multiply your meals. Six to eight mini-meals help you avoid hunger pangs, increase your metabolic rate and burn calories faster. Skipping meals and starving yourself lowers your metabolic rate, which causes increased fat storage.
- Be adventurous with your eating. Intensely flavored foods usually help you feel fuller faster, thus naturally decreasing your intake.
- Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full! Get in tune with your body's natural signals and pay attention to your hunger scale, not your bathroom scale.
- Adopt a low-fat lifestyle.
- Be active! Physical activity should be something you enjoy. Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise. Just 30 minutes a day boosts your immune system. If time is an issue, break up the walk into 10-minute segments.
- Adopt stress management techniques in your every day life: exercise, quiet time alone, reading a favorite book, deep breathing, meditation, bio-feedback therapy, visualization tapes, yoga and Tai chi
Finding the option that is most comfortable for you helps alleviate undo stress triggered by every day events.
It has long been suspected that the immune system is most damaged by stress that isn't relieved. It has been said that people who meditate daily live an average of 5 years longer than those who don't.
Men & Breast Cancer
Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen.
Fewer than 1 in 100,000 men are diagnosed each year. Sound like a small number? Statistically, 1,690 men will be diagnosed this year and 460 will die from the disease. Most men do not even realize they are at risk for this disease. Because most men do not consider themselves at risk, men are usually diagnosed at a later stage. When cancer is found at the same stage in men and women, the survival rates are much the same.
Risk Factors for Men
- Family members diagnosed with breast cancer
- Radiation exposure to the chest
- Taking estrogen for a sex change
- Having higher levels of estrogen (sometimes associated with liver disease such as cirrhosis)
- Cancer reoccurrence in the opposite breast is less likely to occur in men.
- Men tend to be older (age 65 is considered average), five years older than the average age for women.
- Male breast cancer is more predominate in other countries outside the United States.
- Most common breast cancer found in men is "Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma"
- Breast Cancer in men is considerably smaller in size (usually less than 3 centimeters)
- Fifty percent of all men diagnosed with Breast Cancer will have palpable axially lymph node involvement.
- Most men diagnosed are managers or college graduates.
- Fourteen African American men in every 1,000,000 will be diagnosed.
- Eight Caucasian men in every 10,000,000 will be diagnosed.
- Some studies have shown a higher incidence in Jewish males of European ancestry.
- Most common treatment for men and women, alike, is surgery.
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation (for Stage 1)
- Chemotherapy (use only one drug; women are usually treated with a combination of chemotherapy agents)
Note: Most men diagnosed with Breast Cancer will have had another type of cancer.