Breast Cancer Guide

Breast cancer affects approximately one in eight women in the United States, and it can be an invasive or non-invasive condition. Over the years, research has created many new treatment options for breast cancer patients, and many of those options offer hope for long-term survival. Women need to be vigilant when it comes to breast cancer and get examinations each year to try to detect this potentially deadly condition. The sooner breast cancer is detected, the higher the chances are for survival. Women need to stay informed about breast cancer and learn their options for treatment and a good recovery process.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the presence of a malignant tumor in the breast tissue. This tumor can spread if it is not treated and cause other medical issues. The cancer can spread anywhere, even to your gums, where it can affect your teeth and jaw.

  • What Is Breast Cancer? The American Cancer Society gives us an expert look at what breast cancer is, how it starts, and what can be done about it.
  • Defining Breast Cancer: This website offers a comprehensive look at where breast cancer typically forms and gives a run-through of the different stages of breast cancer.
  • A Video Explanation of Breast Cancer: This page offers a quick informational video on breast cancer and then information on the forms of breast cancer.

Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention

Breast cancer has a series of risk factors that are not the result of lifestyle choices. For example, breast cancer can be the result of the patient’s age, or it could be something that is due to genetics. Your family history can be a factor, so every doctor you have, from your dentist to your general practitioner, should be aware of your chances of getting cancer based on your family tree.

Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging

Annual screening exams are excellent ways to detect breast cancer early. Women also need to pay attention to their bodies and get to the doctor when they find suspicious lumps in their breasts. The earliest stages of breast cancer offer the best chances for a successful treatment, but medical science is offering more successful treatments for later stages as well.

Treating Breast Cancer

With breast cancer, the most common form of initial treatment is radiation therapy. If the cancer is of significant size, then surgery may be required to remove some or all of the affected breast.

After Treatment

Breast cancer treatment can be difficult for the patient, which is why there is an extensive follow-up procedure after treatment. The doctors want to make sure that the cancer does not re-appear, and they also want to make sure that the patient has no problems handling the treatment.

Support for Families

Breast cancer is a disease that affects an entire family in some way. Throughout the entire treatment process, family members of the patient often find themselves looking for a support structure to lean on.

Post-Surgical Recovery

For a breast cancer patient, the first few weeks and months after surgery are very important. There are many physical and psychological issues to deal with that require a strong support network.