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Breast Cancer Screenings Still Best for Early Detection

Posted by HealthDay on Oct 16, 2017 3:13:02 PM

Newer treatments, early diagnoses are improving outcomes for women with the disease, experts say

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, and routine screenings remain the most reliable way to detect the disease early, a breast cancer expert says.

"Breast cancer can be treated more successfully if detected in its early phases, while it is small and has not yet spread," said Dr. Kathryn Evers, director of mammography at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "With today's state-of-the-art treatment options and less extensive surgery, patients are experiencing better outcomes."

Older age is a leading risk factor for breast cancer. Most women are diagnosed after the age of 50. Having certain mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes also predispose women to the disease. And there are some lifestyle-related risk factors that can be controlled, such as hormone therapy after menopause, obesity, alcohol intake and physical inactivity, Evers said.

"Having one risk factor or even several doesn't mean a woman will definitely develop breast cancer," she said in a Fox Chase news release. "Women need to become educated about the risk factors, especially those they can control, and then adjust their lifestyle accordingly."

Not all women with breast cancer experience the same warning signs of the disease. Symptoms of breast cancer may include:

  • A lump in the breast or armpit.
  • Swelling or thickening in part of the breast.
  • Dimpling or irritation of the skin on the breast.
  • Pain in the breast that doesn't go away.
  • Redness or flaky skin on the breast or nipple.
  • Unusual nipple discharge.
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast.

In some cases, women never develop any of these symptoms, Evers noted.

"All women should know how their breasts look and feel so they can recognize any changes in them. This is an important part of breast health," she said. "But just being familiar with your breasts should never take the place of regular screenings and mammograms. These tests can help find breast cancer in its early stages, even before symptoms appear."

There are three tests often used to look for breast cancer, Evers said.

  • Mammogram: An X-ray of the breast used to examine breast changes. Its effectiveness depends on the size of a breast tumor and the density of breast tissue. Three-dimensional (3D) mammography involves X-ray machines that take pictures of thin slices of the breast from different angles, to build a 3D image.
  • Breast ultrasound: This test is often used along with mammography to screen high-risk women and those with dense breast tissue.
  • Breast MRI: This test may be used to screen high-risk women and more closely examine a suspicious area detected during a mammogram or an ultrasound.

"I advise women to speak with their physician to determine what is right for them," Evers said.

How we can help

Breast cancer and other cancer treatments are very stressful on the body. Stress increases the use of multiple different chemicals in the body including vitamins and other micronutrients. We have found that patients going through cancer treatments have increased their energy and improved their sense of well being when using nutrient injections or nutrient intravenous therapies (IV). These therapies provide higher concentrations of nutrients with a much higher absorption then oral forms. Patients should ask their oncologist before using these therapies, but most of them encourage alternative ways to feel well during cancer treatments. 
 
For more information about nutrient injection therapy, download our free TeleWellnessMD Nutrient Injection Guide.
 
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On the prevention side of cancer, our sister company, Metabolix Wellness Center, offers a kit that can be mailed to a client's house and will test for 30 hereditary cancer genes including the breast and ovarian genes including BRCA. These tests used to cost thousands of dollars but can be done now for $249 (color.com.) Knowing if you have a gene that may cause cancer can lead to early screening and dictation. The test also come with complimentary genetic counseling. Call (727) 230-1438 for more information.
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More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast cancer.-- 

SOURCE: Fox Chase Cancer Center, news release, October 2017

Last Updated: 

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Topics: Breast Cancer, Women's Health, Cancer

HealthDay

Written by HealthDay

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