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Breast Cancer; Questions to Ask.

Review the following "Questions to Ask" about breast cancer so you're prepared to discuss this important health issue with your health care professional.

What is my risk for developing breast cancer?

My mother had breast cancer. Will I develop it, too?

What can I do to reduce my risks for developing breast cancer?

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

Are breast self-exams really worth doing? Will you show me how to do one?

How often and when should I do a breast self-exam?

What is a clinical breast exam? How often do I need to have one?

What is a screening mammogram? Should I have one? Does it hurt?

Are low-cost or free mammograms available? I'm not sure I can afford one.

Can breast cancer be treated? What treatments are available?

I've been taking birth control pills for years. Do they increase my risk for developing breast cancer?

Does postmenopausal hormone therapy cause breast cancer?


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"Sentinel Node Biopsy Sentinel node biopsy
A newer procedure performed in order to determine whether breast cancer has spread to auxiliary (underarm) lymph nodes. A blue radioactive tracer and/or blue dye is injected into the area of the breast tumor.
." National Cancer Institute.

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A lymph node biopsy is a procedure in which all or part of a lymph node is removed and examined to determine if there is cancer within the node.
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"Prophylactic Mastectomy." Last updated February 2004. Accessed March 2004

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Canadian Medical Association Journal The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) is a general medical journal that is published biweekly by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

It is considered to be one of the top six general medical journals; the others being the

"20-Year Follow-up of a Trial Comparing Total Mastectomy with Lumpectomy Lumpectomy Definition

A lumpectomy is a type of surgery used to treat breast cancer. It is considered "breast-conserving" surgery because in a lumpectomy, only the malignant tumor and a surrounding margin of normal breast tissue are
" New England Journal of Medicine, This Week in the Journal. October 2002. Accessed November 2002.

"The Facts for Life." The Komen Foundation. Accessed November 2003.

"Updated Breast Cancer Screening This article or section recently underwent a major revision or rewrite and needs further review. You can help! X-ray mammography
Mammography is still the modality of choice for screening of early breast cancer, since it is relatively fast, reasonably accurate, and
 Guidelines Released" American Cancer Society, May 15, 2003. Accessed November 2003.

Breast Cancer: Detailed Guide. American Cancer Society. 2003. Accessed May 2003.

"Cancer Facts and Figures 2003" American Cancer Society. Accessed May 2003.

King MC, et al. "Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risks Due to Inherited Mutations in BRCA BRCA  

One of two genes (designated BRCA1 and BRCA2) that help repair damage to DNA, but when inherited in a defective state increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
1 and BRCA2." Science. 2003;302(5645):643-646. Accessed November 2003.

Gross PE, et al. "A Randomized Trial of Letrozole in Postmenopausal Women after Five Years of Tamoxifen tamoxifen (təmŏk`sĭfĕn'), synthetic hormone used in the treatment of breast cancer. Introduced in 1978, tamoxifen is used to prevent recurrences of cancer in women who have already undergone surgery to remove their tumors.  Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer" New England Journal of Medicine. 2003;340:1793-1802. Accessed November 2003.

"Summary from the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel Meeting--October 14 and 15, 2003." US Food and Drug Aministration. Center for Devices and Radiological Health The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is the branch of the United States Food and Drug Administration responsible for the premarket approval of all medical devices, as well as overseeing the manufacturing, performance and safety of these devices. . October 2003. Accessed November 2003.

Coombes R, Hall E, Gibson L, et al. A randomized trial of exemestane after two to three years of tamoxifen therapy in postmenopausal women with primary breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:1081-1092.

Howell A, Cuzick J, Baum M, et al. ATAC Trialists' Group. Results of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial after completion of 5 years' adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. Lancet. 2005;365(9453):60-2.

"General information about breast cancer." The National Cancer Institute. June 22, 2005. Accessed January 2006.

Piccart-Gebhart MJ, Procter M, Leyland-Jones B et al. Trastuzumab after adjuvant chemotherapy in HER2-positive breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2005;353(16):1659-72.

Romond E. H., Perez E. A., Bryant J, et al. Trastuzumab plus Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Operable HER2-Positive Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2005; 353:1673-1684, Oct 20, 2005

"Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifine (STAR) Trial." The National Cancer Institute. Updated 4/26/06. Accessed April 26, 2006.

"What are the risk factors for breast cancer?" American Cancer Society. September 2006. Accessed February 2007.

"What is breast cancer?" American Cancer Society. September 2006. Accessed February 2007.

Keywords: breast cancer, developing breast cancer, breast self-exam, mammogram
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Publication:NWHRC Health Center - Breast Cancer
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 21, 2008
Previous Article:Breast Cancer; Facts to Know.
Next Article:Breast Cancer; Key Q&A.

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