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A 41-year-old member asked:

please suggest what ideas for breast cancer awareness month do you have?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Brousseau
Diagnostic Radiology 28 years experience
Breast CA: Get a yearly mammogram and breast examination by your family physician. Monthly self-examination is a good idea too. Never wait if you feel a new lump or one that has not been previously evaluated by your doctor. These guidelines are endorsed by all the major medical societies, despite the misguided and confising usptf guidelines issued a few years ago.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Old-fashioned: When i was in med school, i was the only guy i knew who always discussed breast self-exam with women. I'd urge women starting in their teens to continue doing this and doing it right -- and not to get complacent because of all those mammogram manufacturers sponsoring pink ribbon campaigns. The physical exam still key to medicine & the fatal breast ca's i've seen could have been caught early.

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A 47-year-old member asked:

Can you please tell me about the 2 main treatments for breast cancer?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Uyeda
General Surgery 45 years experience
Local and systemic: Local treatment is surgery and radiation. Systemic treatment is medication: hormone manipulation, chemotherapy, and gene therapy.
A 41-year-old member asked:

Can you guys tell me how big is a breast cancer lump?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Lee
Plastic Surgery 21 years experience
Depends: Breast cancer can be diagnosed with a not palpable (not able to be felt) abnormality seen on mammogram to a large palpable (able to be felt by a patient or physician) to an obvious mass growing through the skin. This spectrum of presentation can make the diagnosis difficult. See your physician immediately if there are questions.
A 39-year-old member asked:

How long is the average life expectancy of secondry breast cancer?

1 doctor answer8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Everyone's different: Survival rates are most appropriately applied to large groups of patients; it's impossible to give such a number for one person, especially without knowing her own unique situation. As a generalization, we usually talk about "remission" rather than "cure" when breast cancer has spread to other organs (stage 4) yet people can live for years, especially if it is sensitive to medication.
A 37-year-old member asked:

What is the breast cancer survival rate?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
It Varies: 5-year breast cancer survival rates are dependent upon the cancer stage, varying from almost 100% for dcis (stage 0) to less than 20% for metastatic disease (stage 4). Furthermore, cancer survival is dependent upon the response to chemotherapy. Of note, breast cancer survival has increased over the past decade in the us.
A 43-year-old member asked:

How to know when do side effects show up during radiation for breast cancer?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Kaplan
Dr. Ed Kaplan answered
Hematology and Oncology 39 years experience
Varies: Can have redness and irritation after 3-4 weeks or may not have problems till completed. Most serious problems can show up months or years after finishing: lung scarring (pulmonary fibrosis), inflammation in the lining of the heart (pericarditis), accelerated cardiac vessel disease, increased risk of heart attacks.

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Last updated Apr 8, 2013
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