Do Breast Calcifications Mean That I Have Breast Cancer?

Many women experience a phone call from their breast imaging center. The call often concerns the patient coming back for additional imaging of tiny white spots called calcifications. Calcifications are frequently seen on mammograms — they occur most often in women over 50. They may appear in any woman's breasts and, occasionally, occur in a man's breast tissue.

Most breast calcifications are benign (non-cancerous). However, a few patterns of calcification are suggestive of some precancerous conditions or, even, breast cancer.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening

Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a major concern among women of all ages. Prior studies focusing on the association between hair dye and breast cancer have come up with mixed results until recently, so the news can be confusing. That's why one group of researchers decided to address the topic using sisters by recording the results over an eight-year period.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Risk

10 Ways to Support Breast Cancer Awareness in Portland!

The month of October is quickly approaching, and with that comes Breast Cancer Awareness month. Since 1985, the month of October is breast cancer has been celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

It is a great way to bring millions of people together in order to raise awareness of this devastating illness that touches the lives of so many. In the month of October, more so than any other time of the year, breast health charities work hard to educate people on the importance of screening and early detection, as well as to raise the necessary funds for vital research, treatment, and cures that can save lives. Patients, survivors, and so many others join forces during a time when everyone needs it most.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

What Should I Expect at My First Mammogram?

The mammogram is an important breast cancer screening and diagnostic tool for women. This highly effective, non-invasive, and inexpensive procedure detects breast cancer and saves lives. The American Cancer Society recommends women start breast cancer screening at age 45. However, research has found mammograms are most beneficial for women age 50 and older. Regular mammograms reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 14% among 50- to 60-year-olds and 33% among 60- to 69-year-olds.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Screening

4 Common Misconceptions about Breast Cancer

There are numerous misconceptions, or myths, floating around about who is or isn't likely to get breast cancer. And, we believe it is important to address a few of these common breast cancer myths.

Clearing up any misconceptions that you may have about breast cancer can bring awareness and understanding to this common disease. So allow our breast cancer specialists dispel some of these myths and misconceptions.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Risk

Breast Density and Its Effect on Your Cancer Screening

If you’ve had a mammogram and were told you have dense breast tissue, you may be wondering what that means. While having dense breasts is normal and common, many women are left feeling uncertain regarding whether there is anything they should do differently or how it affects the risk of getting breast cancer.

What Does it Mean to Have Dense Breasts?

Breasts contain glandular, connective, and fat tissue. Breast density is a term that describes the relative amount of these different types of breast tissue as seen on a mammogram. Dense breasts have more glandular tissue and fibrous connective tissue and than fatty breast tissue. Dense breasts can be inherited.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer?

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. Accounting for less than 5% of all breast cancer diagnoses, the cancer forms in the cells that line the breasts’ milk ducts, but quickly spreads to nearby lymph nodes and sometimes other tissues in the body. The cancer is called “inflammatory” because the cancer cells usually block the lymph vessels in the breast. This causes fluid to build up, which leads to inflammation that is usually red and tender.

How is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Different than Typical Breast Cancers?

Compared to slower-growing forms of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer progresses and spreads through the body quickly – sometimes in a matter of weeks.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

Why Is Genetic Testing Important for Cancer Research?

It’s common for cancer patients and their families to feel helpless, as if their futures and those of their loved ones are entirely dependent on physicians and medications. Genetic testing is one way for cancer patients and their relatives to regain a sense of control over the disease, and make a valuable contribution toward improving its detection, treatment and prevention.

One of the most effective ways for cancer researchers to learn why a type of cancer occurs (an important step in discovering treatments) is to study the genes of patients and those who share their DNA profile.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Risk, Genetic Testing, Lung Cancer

Exercise and Breast Cancer: The Benefits and How to Get Started

As a breast cancer patient or breast cancer survivor, it’s important to stay active – even if you don’t feel up to it.

In a recent study by Kerry Courneya, PhD, found that women with breast cancer that participated in a resistance training program during chemotherapy required less dosage and fewer delays in their chemotherapy treatments.  Of course, if you’re undergoing breast cancer treatment, you should first discuss exercise with your doctor. For most breast cancer patients, rigorous activity isn’t recommended, but regular moderate exercise, such as walking or strength training with light weights, can help you to feel better, and as strange as it may sound, you might even feel less tired than before you exercised.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Survivorship, Supportive Care

Targeted Therapies for Breast Cancer Treatment

While one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, dramatic advances have been made in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease. We can now test each patient’s tumor for molecular and genetic changes. This allows us to understand the exact biologic process taking place and better choose the medications and therapies that are targeted directly for that cancer. Some call this personalized medicine, some call it precision medicine and some call it targeted therapy. Regardless of the name, the result is breast cancer has an excellent survival rate when caught early.

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Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Treatment

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