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About the Breast
A breast is made up lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, blood vessels, and lymph vessels. The lobules are
glands that make milk. The ducts are tubes that link the lobules to the nipple. The fatty tissue surrounds
the lobules and the ducts. Lymph vessels carry lymph to lymph to lymph nodes in the underarm,
above the collarbone, and in the chest. (There are also lymph nodes throughout the body)

About Breast Cancer
With all cancers, affected cells in the body change and grow out of control. Usually, the multiplying cancer
cells form a lump called a tumor. Cancerous tumors are also called malignant tumors. Not all tumors
are cancerous; those that are not are called benign. Cells from benign tumors do not spread to other
parts of the body. Sometimes malignant tumor cells can break away from the original tumor and travel
through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other parts of the body. This process is called metastasis.
Cancer is usually named for the part of the body where it first develops. Breast cancer begins in
the breast tissue. If it spreads to the lungs, for example, it is still breast cancer, not lung cancer.

Symptoms Suspicious of Breast Cancer

  • Mass or thickening in breast or armpit.
  • Marked asymmetry of the breasts, a change from normal.
  • Unexplained discolorations such as redness or bruising.
  • Ulcerations on the breast.
  • Dimpling, puckering, or retraction of skin or areola.
  • Fixed inversion of nipple that is a change from normal.
  • Scaling, crusting, or erosion of the nipple or areola.
  • Changes in nipple direction.
  • Nipple discharge.
  • Fixed inversion of nipple that is a change from normal.
  • Changes in surface characteristics.

Early Detection the Key to Survival
Screening Mammograms (American Cancer Society Guidelines)
First baseline mammogram should be done by age 40 After age 40, mammogram every
1-2 years until age 50 After age 50, mammograms should be done annually. Other
factors, such as strong family history or previous breast disease, may indicate
the need for mammography at an earlier age or on a more frequent basis.

Breast Examination by Your Physician (Clinical Breast Exams)
Clinical breast exam should be done annually by your physician, more frequently
for women who have a high-risk status.

Breast Self-Examination (BSE)
Monthly breast self-examinations should be done to familiarize a woman with
what is normal for her breasts and to detect changes when they occur. Pre-menopausal
women, monthly 5-7 days after menstruation ends. Post-menopausal women, monthly
on the same day of each month.

Breast Cancer Survivor – Dr Rogers
Breast Cancer Survivor – Ginger
Breast Cancer Survivor – Nancy
Breast Self Exam
Terminology
Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon
Recommended Reading List
Surviving and Thriving – Breast Cancer


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