Early detection is the best protection against breast cancer.
By taking a proactive approach to breast cancer detection through breast self-exams, discovering what is normal for you, and learning about available screening options, you can detect breast cancer at the earliest stage possible, when treatment is most successful.
Breast Cancer Myth or Fact?
Have you heard the urban legend that deodorant causes breast cancer? Click on the questions below to uncover the truth about this and other common breast cancer myths.
There is no good scientific evidence to support a link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use. In fact, a carefully-designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.
According to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding for a total of one year over a woman's lifetime does lower her risk of breast cancer. Pregnancy in general may lower the chances of developing the disease, and the risk lessens even more with each child a woman has.
Only about 5 to 10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary; most patients have no family history of the disease. However, a woman's risk doubles if her mother, sister or daughter has breast cancer. If you have a family history of the disease, your doctor may suggest earlier and/or more frequent screenings.
Doctors aren't sure why, but women with dense breasts, in which the tissue is more fibrous than fatty, have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with low breast density. A mammogram can help determine whether you have low or high density breast tissue.
Experts say performing a breast self exam (BSE) lying down gives a better chance of finding abnormalities. Here's how to do it: Lie down and place your right arm behind your head. Using the first three fingers on your left hand, feel your right breast in small, circular motions. Then switch sides. Doing a BSE does not decrease a woman's risk of dying from breast cancer. Whether or not you do a BSE is up to you, but all women should learn how their breasts look and feel so they can recognize changes. Talk to your doctor about the screening options that are best for you.
Having a double mastectomy does drastically reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence, but there's still a small chance the cancer could return. Treatment may include surgery and radiation, as well as chemotherapy, hormone and/or targeted therapy.
In 2009, the Million Women Study in the United Kingdom found that women who had a little less than one drink (10 grams) a night had a 12% greater risk of developing breast cancer. Another study found that just three drinks a week could increase a woman's chance of breast cancer recurrence.
Information courtesy of Sharecare, Inc. Learn more about breast cancer myths and facts.
Breast Cancer Prevention Tips
1. Self Exam
Conducting a regular breast self-exam can help identify breast cancer in its early stages.
2. What's Normal and What's Not?
Breasts differ in size, shape and density, and often one breast will be slightly different from its pair. Conducting breast self-exams and learning what's normal for you is important. Dr Anne Kobbermann discusses the importance of breast self-exams in the video below.
3. Breast Cancer Screenings
Breast cancer screenings include three different types:
- Clinical Breast Exams (CBE): performed by your healthcare provider to check for lumps or abnormalities of the breast and underarm area.
- Mammograms: X-ray of the breast to find tumors too small to feel and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), abnormal cells in the lining of the breast duct. Learn more about screening and the latest technologies.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): For women at high-risk of breast cancer, MRI screening may be used. MRI uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to create detailed images of the breast and surrounding areas.
The breast care centers of Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health provide the highest quality breast care through clinical excellence, comprehensive services and a profound dedication to our patients. We are committed to the full spectrum of breast health from screening and prevention to advanced diagnostics and multidisciplinary cancer treatment including the use of innovative technology, clinical research and survivorship care.
The healthcare team at HCA Midwest Health understands screenings save lives and that's why we make getting your mammogram as convenient and as comfortable as possible.
- Eight locations throughout the metro so you don't have to leave your community
- Online scheduling
- Highly skilled and dedicated doctors, nurses and technicians
- Saturday appointments and extended hours
- Walk-ins available with no appointment necessary at several locations
- Advanced technology including digital mammography and Bella Blankets – for maximum comfort during screening
- Comprehensive follow-up services and breast cancer treatment options
- Accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers
- Breast Cancer Prevention Programs to manage personal risks of developing breast cancer and create individualized screening plans