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BREAST CANCER

  • A lump on the breast or an abnormal mammogram is often the first manifestation of breast cancer. This cancer may range from early, curable breast cancer to metastatic breast cancer, with a variety of breast cancer treatments.
  • Male breast cancer is not uncommon and must be taken seriously.

Types of Invasive Breast Cancer

Two types account for about 95% of invasive breast cancer.

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC).
    • Most common type; 80%
    • Start in a milk duct, break through the walls, and invade breast tissue. It may remain near the site where the tumor started or could possibly spread anywhere in the body.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC).
    • 10% of invasive breast cancers
    • Starts in the lobules or milk glands and then spreads
    • Most women feel a thickening instead of a lump in their breast.

Some women may have a combination of both.

Clinical Manifestations

  • Usually has no symptoms in the early stage but s a tumor develops, you may note the following:
    • A usually painless breast or underarm lump that persists after your menstrual cycle. It is often the first apparent symptom of breast cancer. Lumps are usually visible on a mammogram long before they can be seen or felt.
  • Swelling in the armpit.
  • Breast pain or tenderness.
  • Flattening or indentation on the breast.
  • Any change in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of the breast. A reddish, pitted surface like the skin of an orange (peau d’orange) could be a sign of advanced breast cancer.
  • Nipple changes, such as a nipple retraction, dimpling, itching, a burning sensation, or ulceration.
  • Unusual nipple discharge that may be clear, bloody, or another color.
  • A marble-like area under the skin.
  • An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.

DIAGNOSIS

Physician may do/request:

  • History & Physical Exam
  • Mammogram
  • Needle Aspiration or Surgical Biopsy
    • Taking and testing tissue samples for anaylsis for cancer cells

The only way to confirm cancer is for a doctor to do a needle aspiration or surgical biopsy to collect and test tissue for cancer cells.

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Chemotherapy

  • Cycles of treatment will depend on the medicines that are used and how the medicines are given. Chemotherapy medication may be given in combination with each other. Some of the most commonly used medicines are:

Hormone therapy

Used to halt or slow down the growth of hormone-sensitive cancer cells.

  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), such as raloxifene (Evista), tamoxifen (Nolvadex), and toremifene (Fareston).
  • Antiestrogen medicine, such as fulvestrant (Faslodex).
  • Aromatase inhibitors, such as anastrozole (Arimidex), exemestane (Aromasin), and letrozole (Femara).
  • LH-RH agonists, such as goserelin (Zoladex) and leuprolide (Lupron).

Targeted therapies

Uses medications that only affect cancer cells and not the normal cells.

  • Monoclonal antibodies such as Trastuzumab (Herceptin) and Pertuzumab (Perjeta) are used to treat HER-2 positive breast cancer
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as Lapatinib, may be used to treat women who have HER-2+ cancer that has progressed even after they have taken trastuzumab
  • PARP inhibitor therapy for triple-negative breast cancer (cancer cells that do not have estrogen or progesterone receptors or large amounts of HER-2).

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