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Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer women face second only to lung cancer, however it is the most feared cancer or disease for most women. It occurs in about 12% of women who will live to the age of 90. Several well established factors increase the risk of breast cancer and they include family history, nulliparity (not having had children), early menarche (starting menstrual cycles early), advanced age and a personal history of breast cancer. Other risks include exposure to environmental toxins such as tobacco smoke that increase the chance for cancer growth. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society has many activities this month to bring this to the public attention.
Early education on self-breast exam and early screening is extremely important in achieving good outcomes. Self-exam and physician examination will detect cancer at a rate between 70 - 80%. Adding screening mammography (mammograms) will increase detection to 96 - 98%. It has been shown that early detection through clinical exam and mammography can reduce breast carcinoma mortality by 20 to 30%. Today's gold standard for screening (mammograms) will still miss between 10 and 15% of neoplasm.
Therefore, if a clinically noted mass is followed by a negative mammogram the work up should then include a breast ultrasound and/or a fine needle aspiration cytology and close interval examinations. The modality of Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI) is a method of examining the breasts that is far more sensitive in picking up smaller tumor than Mammogram. MRI is widely used in Europe but has not taken on in the US yet. It is more expensive as a screening tool in the USA, but since it is so widely used in Europe it is actually less expensive there. Even with open biopsies of suspicious masses the diagnosis of a malignancy is one in about five biopsies performed. This may seem costly but the morbidity and mortality of missing a malignancy is even more so.
Screening should start with a baseline mammogram at age 35, or younger if there is a strong family history. Annual examinations should be performed once a woman reached 40 years of age, and self examination should be encouraged monthly starting at the age of twenty. Disease prevention & early screenings is the mainstay of a preventive medical practice despite the somewhat conservative recommendations made by medical specialty societies and the managed care industry. Oftentimes the risk-benefit ratio for cancer screening has the dollar as it's bottom line, but if you are the unfortunate patient to have a cancer that was not detected early, then all the statistics in the world will not matter to you. My philosophy is to pay a little more in time and money upfront to assure a disease free state.
An important thing for women to remember is a positive family history alone increased lifetime risk of cancer to about 25%, that is double the incidence of no such history. Recently the interest has focused on cancers associated with germ line (inherited) genetic mutations. While approximately 5 - 10% of all breast cancer sufferers have a mutation in BRCA1 gene (located on chromosome 17) and BRCA2 gene (located on chromosome 13), this type of screening should only be done when a first degree relative with know cancer and a positive mutation is detected or whether a women falls into a certain ethnic group. Women who have inherited a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a relatively high lifetime risk of breast cancer (about 50-85%). Risk for cancer in the opposite breast of a woman with a BRCA1 mutation is about 25%. In such cases genetic screening may be advocated. Once a tumor is detected important prognostic determiners as stage of the disease, histology and nuclear grade, estrogen and progesterone receptor status and HER2/neu gene amplification tests are advisable.
For more information on Breast Cancer the following websites are helpful: http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cancernet/ and www3.cancer.org/cancerinfo. Also a call to the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 can be of help. To conclude, it is extremely important for women to maintain annual physical exams and aggressive cancer screening regiments. There are means to help prevent cancer in those women who seem predisposed. Screening is one thing, but taking measures to help prevent cancer growth is yet another. There are things women do on a daily basis that can increase their chances for breast cancer (and other cancers) that they are not aware. The programs advocated at my center are based on lifestyle modification, prevention, early detection, natural hormone replacement and nutritional medicine. Women should take a proactive approach to the breast cancer issue, for it may save their lives. This topic is one that is close to my heart, as my ex-wife is a breast cancer survivor.
Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention
JP Saleeby, MD is Assistant Medical Director of the Emergency Room at LRMC, Hinesville, GA. He hold adjunct professorship in the School of Nursing at Georgia Southern University. He performs online telemedicine consultation via http://www.saleeby.net
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Mammograms Are No Joke - They Can Save Lives!
There are so many jokes about mammograms! Have you heard the one about the fridge door ?or the bookends ?or the garage floor? Thanks to all the jokes, "Mammogram" has become a household word, and it's not that I don't have a sense of humor, but as a mammography technologist, I've heard the jokes many times. I think the jokes are embarrassing for women and demeaning with regard to their physical bodies.
Antiperspirants And Breast Cancer
Most underarm antiperspirants contain as the active ingredient, Aluminium Chlorohydrate, as you will probably remember there has been controversy about Aluminium, since the 1950's when it was a popular metal used for making cooking pots, Saucepans and Fry Pans and that it could be one of the contributing factors to Alzheimer's, now we have another problem that could also be related to Aluminium, Breast Cancer.Research shows that one of the leading causes of Breast Cancer could be the use of antiperspirants.
New Hope to Prevent Breast Cancer: What Every Woman Needs to Know
In March, 2005, a major nutritional breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer was announced by U.S.
A Tool for Early Breast Cancer Screening
Who isn't familiar with the expression, "early detection is the best prevention?" We hear this term throughout the year and most everyone is familiar with this "catch phrase" as it relates to breast cancer. Obviously, a woman's chance for survival improves when a cancer is found early.
Breast Cancer for Beginners
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In December of 2001, breast cancer was the furthest thing from my mind. I was busy.
The Insidiousness of Breast Cancer and Its Current Treatment
In our modern world, the benefits that today's manufacturing and agricultural activities have brought us is more than painfully offset by the damage to our personal health and wellness. During the course of our daily lives, we are continually exposed to common household products such as detergents, insulation, fabric treatments, flame retardants, cosmetics, paints, upholstery preservatives, and coatings for electronic equipment.
Early Breast Cancer Detection
Most women are familiar with mammography as our "gold standard" for breast cancer screening. However, there are additional tools available that women can add to their arsenal.
Early Detection And Breast Cancer
It is generally accepted that by the time a cancer is found by mammography or palpated during a clinical breast exam, the cancer has been growing for 8-10 years. What if we could have been alerted to the problem as it was developing, rather than wait till it is large enough to be seen by the naked eye? Would that be of interest to you?There exists a technology that can detect an issue YEARS before a tumor can be seen on X-ray or palpated during an exam.
My First Thermographic Experience
I had been a bit nervous all day wondering what my thermogram procedure would entail. Would I need to undress completely? Would I be given one of those paper gowns that opens in the front and barely covers me? Would there be any heat coming out of the camera? I had been avoiding a mammogram after reading the latest information about the risks associated with X-ray; knowing that I was potentially putting myself at greater risk by not taking charge of my health.
Do You Know Some Nutrients Help Prevent Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer today is one of the most threatening conditions that a woman might have. A woman's breast undergoes a lot of changes during her lifetime.
New Advances In Early Breast Cancer Detection
In November 2003, the American Cancer Society stated that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 44. In the United States, there are approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer and more than 40,000 deaths; making the U.
Mammogram and Breast Cancer Screening
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Breast Cancer Detection Unit for the Home
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Emotional Responses to Breast Cancer - Understanding the One You Love
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a life-changing event. A torrent of feelings wash over the survivor.
Breast Cancer The Cure
You have my permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.
The News You Dont Want To Hear: Youve Got Breast Cancer
For many people being told that they have cancer is one of the most stressful times in their lives. Just as we think we have everything under control, something comes along that can shatter even the strongest of wills.
Are Obese Women Getting Short-Changed By Chemotherapy Treatments?
How much chemotherapy does an obese woman need? Typically an obese woman with breast cancer would receive reduced doses of chemotherapy as they battle breast cancer.Back in June of 2005, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that obese women should receive chemotherapy based on their actual weight, and not in reduced as amounts as it the standard practice.
Gift Giving for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Families
Did you know that each year, 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 die? One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year.
Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Tips
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Men and women can take preventative steps for avoiding breast cancer and staying healthy.