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10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection

October 8, 2010 Featured News, Health No Comments

10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection

10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Throughout October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, experts from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and its clinical care partner, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, are offering a series of weekly research-based tip sheets regarding a variety of topics related to breast cancer, including breast cancer prevention, screening and early detection, treatment, and survivorship. The series will conclude Friday, Oct. 22.

Today’s tip sheet, the second of four in the series, is “10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection” provided by Constance Lehman, M.D., Ph.D., director of Breast Imaging and medical director of Radiology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

10 TIPS FOR BREAST CANCER SCREENING AND EARLY DETECTION

1. If you are over 40, get a mammogram. Early detection of breast cancer offers the best chance for a cure. The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance supports the American Cancer Society’s recommendation that women begin annual mammography screening at age 40.

2. Where you go matters – choose a mammography expert. Many studies show that doctors who specialize in mammography are more accurate at interpreting the images when compared to physicians with less experience. Get your mammogram read by a doctor who specializes in reading them. The American College of Radiology offers an online search for accredited facilities and “Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence” such as the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. http://www.acr.org/accreditation/AccreditedFacilitySearch.aspx

3. Go digital. Centers that specialize in digital mammography are best for women with dense breast tissue and for women under age 50. Digital scans can do a better job of detecting cancer in these women than traditional film mammography.

4. Don’t put off screening because of discomfort. A mammogram should never be painful. Fear that the exam will be uncomfortable is one reason women put off scheduling a mammogram. To reduce discomfort, try to schedule the exam after your monthly period, when breast tissue is less sensitive. You may benefit by taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen before your mammogram. Above all, tell the mammography technologist about any discomfort you may be experiencing. They can work with you to make the experience more comfortable.

5. Don’t put off screening because of fear. Most abnormalities found after a mammogram are not cancer. However, in some cases you may be called back for more tests, such as additional mammography or ultrasound screening, to confirm that the area on the screening mammogram is normal. That’s why you may be asked to return for a follow-up exam.

6. Consider getting results while you wait. Particularly for your first mammogram, you may want to schedule your exam so you receive your results before you leave the imaging center. Or if you have found that you are frequently called back to your mammography center for a second scan, you can ask that your appointment include getting results to you while you wait.

7. Know how your breasts feel normally. Your health care provider can show you how to do breast self-exam. If you notice a change in your breasts, such as a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, talk to your health care provider.

8. In addition to mammography, have a regular breast exam by your health care provider. The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 and over should receive annual clinical breast exams. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a periodic health exam by a health professional at least every three years.

9. Know your risk.  If you have family members who have had breast cancer, especially a mother or sister, and if they had breast cancer before reaching menopause, tell your doctor, as your own risk of cancer may be higher than average. Some women at high risk may be recommended for annual MRI in addition to a screening mammogram.

10. Try an online risk calculator.  The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, designed by the National Cancer Institute, is a questionnaire to help women determine their chances of developing invasive breast cancer. You can find it on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance website at http://www.seattlecca.org/breast-cancer-risk-assessment.cfm

COMPLETE BREAST CANCER TIP SHEET SCHEDULE

Oct. 1 – “10 Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention” by Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Hutchinson Center’s Prevention Center, a member of the Public Health Sciences Division, and author of “Breast Fitness” (St. Martin’s Press).

Oct. 8 – “10 Tips for Breast Cancer Screening and Early Detection” by Constance Lehman, M.D., Ph.D., director of Breast Imaging and medical director of Radiology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Oct. 15 – “10 Tips for Breast Cancer Patients During Treatment” by Julie Gralow, M.D., director of Breast Medical Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and co-author of “Breast Fitness” (St. Martin’s Press).

Oct. 22 – “10 Tips for Breast Cancer Survivors” by Karen Syrjala, Ph.D., director of Biobehavioral Sciences and co-director of the Survivorship Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Breast Reconstructive Surgery Helps Cancer Victims

August 29, 2010 Health No Comments
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breast-cancer-risk

Dr. Calvert and his colleagues at the Rox Spa in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach, California often work on cancer survivors to give them the best possible results after a mastectomy. A mastectomy is a life altering surgery used to treat breast cancer patients. Both breasts are removed, along with the nipple and areola.

In order to save the woman’s life, the breast tissue must be removed. What survivors are left with is a far cry away from their breasts before mastectomy. Scar tissue and very little of the original skin and breast tissue remains, though new methods are being used in as many cases as possible where more skin can be saved.

Women are often left feeling like less than women after their breasts have been removed and they have been through the harrowing experience of chemotherapy and radiation. A good plastic surgeon Los Angeles can help that feeling. Dr. Calvert is one of the best plastic surgeon Los Angeles breast reconstructive surgery doctors to be found.

Beating cancer is never easy. After these treatments have occurred, women are glad to be alive, but are often shell shocked, terrified, and to add to all of this, deformed from their mastectomies. It takes a strong support network to support these survivors, but more than that, it takes excellent doctors who are up to date on all the latest techniques and technologies.

Legislation has been enacted within the last decade that requires insurance companies to help cover the costs of breast reconstructive surgery. In most cases, breast reconstructive surgery also includes new breast implants.

Breast augmentation can give breast cancer survivors their confidence back. After breast augmentation and recovery, survivors can wear normal clothing and can sometimes enjoy wearing clothing they never wore before. The newly reconstructed breasts look natural and don’t sag nearly as quickly as natural breasts do. Plastic surgeons are able to create natural looking areola and nipples and the skin on the new breasts can be grafted if needed. Sometimes the breast augmentation looks better than the original breasts.

Dr. Calvert, who is very well known for his work and is a trusted physician, often, does surgeries on those who live outside the Los Angeles area. Initial consultation and evaluation can be accelerated to fit the needs of cancer patients as well as others in need of immediate services. To reach Dr. Calvert through his website, please go to http://www.jaycalvertmd.com.

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