Breast Cancer Testing in Dallas, TX
Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the breast tissue. This is mostly common for women, but can also occur in men as well. Early detection is especially important when treating breast cancer.
The board-certified radiologists at Southwest Diagnostic Center for Molecular Imaging provide in depth testing for abnormal tissue and breast tumors. Learn about breast cancer and schedule your consultation at our office in Dallas, Texas today.
Breast Cancer Statistics
- A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer sometime in her life is approximately 1 in 8
- The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 33
- The chance of a man getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000
What are the causes of breast cancer?
The cause of breast cancer is unknown, but research shows that certain risk factors are associated with the disease.
What are the risk factors of breast cancer?
Note – Research has shown that most women with known risk factors do not get breast cancer and that many women who get breast cancer have none of the risk factors listed below. Therefore, these just happen to be correlations between many breast cancer patients. Don’t assume that if you don’t have any of these risks, that you’re safe from breast cancer, and vice versa.
The following factors indicate greater risk of breast cancer:
- Caucasian women, age 50 or older
- Personal or family history of breast cancer
- Changes in breast tissue
- Changes in certain genes
- Increased exposure to estrogen over a lifetime through:
- Early onset of menstruation
- Late onset of menopause
- No childbearing or late childbearing
- Absence of breast feeding
- Taking hormone replacement therapy for extended periods of time
- Tobacco use
- Increased breast density
- Radiation therapy before the age of 30
- Overuse of alcohol
- Physical Inactivity
- 100 times more common in women than in men
- 2nd leading cause of cancer death in women (second to lung cancer)
- Most common form of cancer in women other than skin cancer
- Increases as a women ages
- Approx. 77% of women with breast cancer are over age 50 when they are diagnosed
- 18% are diagnosed in their 40’s
How can I detect and prevent breast cancer?
Because the cause of breast cancer is unknown, finding and treating it early is the best method of prevention.
Breast Self Exam – Women 20 or older should perform a self exam every month. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is in the shower, and is convenient since it can fit right into your normal routine. Raise your arm, then using the pads of your fingers, move from the outside of your breast to the center in a circular pattern. You should checking for lumps, or thickening/hard knots. Do this for both breasts. An important thing to keep in mind is that you’re evaluating change in your breast. If you notice a small lump that wasn’t there before, or if it seems to be changing in size, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Clinical Breast Exam by a Physician – When you go to your doctor, they will most likely perform a physical exam, especially if you’re at risk.
- Women age 20-39 should have one every 3 years
- Women over 40 should have one annually
Mammography – Can identify a breast mass as much as 2 years before it can be detected by touch. This is because it uses X-rays to diagnose cancerous tissue. How often you should get one depends a lot on your risk factor and your doctor’s preferences, but most women start at around 45-50 years old and get one as frequent as every 2 years.
Other ways to detect breast cancer
- Breast MRI
- Breast Biopsy
What are the stages of breast cancer?
Breast cancer is broken down into 4 stages; stage 1-2 is early stage breast cancer, 3 is locally advanced, and 4 is metastatic. These stages are decided by 3 categories; tumor size (T), lymph node status (N) and metastases (M), where cancer has spread to other parts of the body. A pathologist will look at results from a biopsy or exam and decide what stage the cancer is in based on those factors.
Is there a treatment for breast cancer?
Typical treatments of breast cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and biologic therapy.
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Cancer Survival Rate
- Early detection and treatment of breast cancer is the key to survival
- When breast cancer is detected before it has spread to lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 97%