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Chapter: 4 - Diagnosis
Subchapter: 1 - Causes of Breast Cancer
Causes of Breast Cancer
- What if it’s cancer?
- What caused it?
- What should I do now?
- How is breast cancer treated?
- How long will treatment take?
- What will it be like?
- Will I be okay?
- What about my family?
When a lump or suspicious site in your breast is detected, it raises some serious questions. In this chapter, we are going to do our best to answer them. We will discuss what doctors know and do not know, how to react to your diagnosis as well as how to understand it, and how to move beyond the shock.
So what do scientists actually know about the causes of cancer? It’s a difficult question. Cancer grows when a cell’s DNA is damaged, which we discussed in Chapter 3, but why or how that DNA becomes damaged is still unknown. It could be genetic or environmental, or in most cases a combination of the two. But most patients will never know exactly what caused their cancer.
However, there are certain established risk factors that are associated with breast cancer:
- A family history with breast cancer
- Early menstruation (before age 12)
- Late menopause (after 55)
- Breast tissue that is more dense with lobular and ductal tissue relative to fatty tissue
- Noncancerous cell abnormalities
These factors are genetic, they are not something you can control.
60-70% of people with breast cancer have no connection to them at all, and other people with risk factors will never develop cancer.
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
I was dx in Oct and also have not had a PET scan. They have examined me and asked a zillion questions and I feel like they just don't have any evidence that it's anywhere else. My last chemo is this Friday so I'm not sure there would be much of a point after that. Definitely ask your oncologist.Comment 0
This is normal my pet scan was 4 weeks after surgery and I met oncologist a week before I started chemo I know how you feel though it seems that it's all going to slow believe me when I say they know what there doing how ever dont be afraid to ask question and research as much as you can...
This is normal my pet scan was 4 weeks after surgery and I met oncologist a week before I started chemo I know how you feel though it seems that it's all going to slow believe me when I say they know what there doing how ever dont be afraid to ask question and research as much as you can knowledge is everything and when your feeling alone hop on one of the many face book pages they help good luck
Asked by anonymousStage 2B Patient
I have saline implants. It is the only way I could get the size I wanted, and cleavage. I'm very happy with them. What is it that you would like to know? Prayers to you.3 comments 0
Yes, I had the surgery done once already. Then my right implant was removed due to infection. The expansion process had to be started again, now completed my new implant will be placed on 5/84 comments 0
Asked by anonymousSurvivor since 2011
My oncologist said that Her2 is always tested, wonder why surgeon didn't. My biopsy showed her 2 before I ever had surgery and then cells tested after mastectomy.Comment 1
Thanks, Isobel. Is a her-2 always done? Any guess who I should contact to get this done on my tissue from tissue bank?Comment 0
“ Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime. ”spread the word