Friday, October 5, 2018
Over the course of a lifetime, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors except being a woman and getting older. Every woman is at risk for breast cancer, as well as some men, so it is important to know the facts and symptoms, how to reduce your risk and the services and resources available to you locally.
Some of the Facts
- Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women, and is the second leading cancer deaths in American women.
- The National Cancer Institute estimates that 266,120 new cases of female breast cancer will be discovered in 2018.
- A mammogram is the best screening tool used today to find breast cancer early. A mammogram can find cancer at an early stage when it is small and easier to treat. Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are now required to cover mammograms every 1 to 2 years for women over 40 at no cost to the patient.
- Most women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. However, a woman whose mother, sister or daughter had breast cancer has an increased risk.
- Women who got their periods early (before age 12) or went through menopause late (after age 55) have an increased risk for breast cancer.
- Breast implants, using antiperspirants, and wearing underwire bras do not raise your risk for breast cancer. There is no evidence of a direct link between breast cancer and pesticides.
- Men are generally at low risk for developing breast cancer, however, they should report any change in their breasts to a physician.
- Radiation exposure and a family history of breast cancer can increase a man’s risk of breast cancer. Male breast cancer is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations (changes).
- The two most common kinds of breast cancer are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.
- Breast cancer can spread outside the breast through blood vessels and lymph vessels. When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is said to have metastasized.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood)
- A new lump in the breast or underarm
How to Reduce Your Risk
Because the causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known, there is no way to prevent it, and you can’t change some of the factors that put you at risk, but you can make certain choices to help reduce your risk.
- Keep a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.
- If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
- Breastfeed your children, if possible
- If you have a family history of breast cancer of inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.
The Norman Regional Breast Care Center has two convenient locations. One in Norman located in the Women’s Healthcare Plaza at 3440 R.C. Luttrel Dr., Suite 103, offers comprehensive breast services. The other in Moore located in Norman Regional Moore, 700 S. Telephone Rd., offers mammograms and DEXA bone density screenings. Schedule your mammogram at either location by calling 405-307-2290.
What Makes Our Breast Care Center Unique:
- Patient education resources
- Accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved
- A nurse navigator to help guide patients through their journey with breast cancer
- Surgical area and private rooms exclusively designated for a woman’s comfort
- Reserved parking for patients
The Nurse Navigators are registered nurses who helps patients understand diagnostic procedures and treatments available through the Breast Care Center. The Nurse Navigator’s other responsibilities include:
- Helping the uninsured receive financial assistance from state organizations
- Managing referrals to medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons and therapists
- Sending timely information to patients in a monthly breast cancer newsletter
- Leading a support group for those facing breast cancer or a breast cancer diagnosis
- As a counselor, patient educator and advocate and knowledgeable clinician, the Nurse Navigator helps patients obtain the resources needed for breast cancer treatment.
For more information about the Nurse Navigator, call 405-307-2620.
We are dedicated to helping you through every step of your cancer experience, not just medically, but mentally, emotionally and physically. Click here for a full list of local resources available to cancer patients.