Did you know, according to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women. However, modern medicine and technology are helping women live longer by discovering and treating breast cancer earlier. Stay informed and up to date with these breast cancer facts and tips.
What are the risk factors?
- Age – Over 75 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50.
- Genetics – Having a family history of breast cancer in a mother or sister can increase your risk for developing the disease.
- Children – Having children later in life or choosing to have them not at all can increase risk.
- Unhealthy Lifestyle – Lack of physical exercise, poor diet, being overweight and regular consumption of alcohol have also been shown to increase risk of breast cancer.
What about screening and diagnosis?
The most common screening test for breast cancer is a mammogram along with a clinical breast exam beginning at age 40. Women with a higher risk may also be advised to receive an MRI.
The warning signs for breast cancer differ for each woman. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- A change in the look or feel of the breast and nipple.
- A lump. Most lumps turn out to be benign and not cancerous, but it is still important to be cautious.
- Swelling in the armpit.
How do I treat breast cancer?
Breast cancer is often treated with surgery. Breast conserving surgery focuses on only removing the cancerous tissue from the breast, while a mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast. Following surgery, patients often receive radiation therapy, which uses X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Some patients also require chemotherapy and/or hormone blocking therapy.
Sandra l. Gregory, MD
Board Certification: Radiation Oncology
Medical Degree: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey
Residency Training: Montefiore Medical Center and Weiler Hospital in New York
Undergraduate: University of New Hampshire
Special Interests: Breast Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer
Dr. Gregory is a member of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. She has worked in hospitals and cancer treatment centers in Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. Dr. Gregory has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her research findings at several national conferences.
Dr. Gregory resides in Alpharetta, Georgia. She is an avid and talented horseback rider.
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