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Things you might not know about breast cancer

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Thread: Things you might not know about breast cancer

  1. #1
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    Default Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Most of you probably know my sister-in-law has been recently diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. Well, I thought that I knew quite a bit about the subject for a lay person, but I've learned a few more things that seem important to know, and I'm listing them below, along with a bunch of other things I already knew but which some people might not. This is need-to-know stuff, y'all.

    1. Men can get breast cancer too. It's much rarer, something like 1 in 100,000, but it does happen. (I knew this but do forget about it; thanks for the reminder, LadyPain.)
    2. Although having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer does increase your risk, it is not THE factor. More women who do not have that family history are diagnosed than those who do have it. I repeat: More women who do NOT have a close family history of breast cancer end up being diagnosed with it than women who do have that history. Just because no one in your family has had breast cancer does not mean you are immune. There are other risk factors.
    3. One in eight American women is diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. You can see your own risk by going here: http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/
    4. Often, the first symptom a woman has is pain centered between the shoulder blades. This has to do with the fact that some breast cancers like to grow back at the chest wall. (This was a revelation to me; if I had pain between my shoulder blades before I knew this, I probably would have shrugged it off for a long time as a simple backache.)
    5. Not every breast cancer is the typical tumor. My SIL has lobular cancer, which causes changes in the appearance of the breast surface, but there never was a tumor she could feel, per se. So ANY changes in your breast that you notice, such as changes in appearance, discharge, anything--get thee to a doctor.
    6. Speaking of doctors, the simple act of getting a second opinion after diagnosis raises your survival chances by 15%. FIFTEEN PERCENT. Get a second opinion.
    7. Most insurance companies are required now to cover mammograms beginning at age 40 at no cost to you. That's part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
    8. Huge strides have been made in treating cancer in the past several years. Already had breast cancer a decade ago and think you know what treatment is like? You know what it used to be like, but not what it's like now. It's better. It works better, and it's easier on the patient. Not easy, but easier.
    9. Breast cancer, when caught early, is one of the most survivable cancers. That's why early detection is so important.

    The more you know ...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Thank you.

  3. #3
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    northern wisconsin
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    I had never heard that about the pain between the shoulder blades before. I appreciate the time you took to post this list.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by gniknehpets View Post
    I had never heard that about the pain between the shoulder blades before. I appreciate the time you took to post this list.
    You're so welcome. I hadn't heard that either! My husband (a nurse) actually mentioned it offhand. I was like . Of course probably most of the time it would probably be back issues caused by crappy posture or whatever, but it's good to know that it's one of those symptoms you do not want to ignore.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    ...self-exams, mammograms-essential...and great info Todash...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    I am maybe to young to worry about this yet. But thank you for remind me anyway.
    My best friends mom died last year in breast cancer. She got it couple of years ago
    and she had to remove one of her breast but when she got it the second time in the other
    breast they couldn't do anything for her but she also got the cancer in other places of her
    body. So this is serious stuff.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jojo87 View Post
    I am maybe to young to worry about this yet. But thank you for remind me anyway.
    My best friends mom died last year in breast cancer. She got it couple of years ago
    and she had to remove one of her breast but when she got it the second time in the other
    breast they couldn't do anything for her but she also got the cancer in other places of her
    body. So this is serious stuff.
    Ah, thanks! That is the other thing I meant to mention!!

    While it is true that the older you get, the higher the likelihood of breast cancer, younger women do get it. The risk is not high enough to justify mammograms, probably, but it's definitely high enough that you want to get into the habit of doing your monthly self-exams. If I had a daughter I would teach her to do it as soon as her breasts developed. (Maybe not during development, because if I recall correctly, they were always a little sore during that time.)

    The importance of monthly self-exams, by the way, is this: it's a regular enough habit that you become familiar with your breast tissue, but it's also spaced out enough so that you can feel changes; they don't "sneak in" without you noticing.

    I'm also really sorry about your friend's mom. Unfortunately, breast cancer is still a killer, despite all the advances.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jojo87 View Post
    I am maybe to young to worry about this yet.
    Sorry Johanna, but you're not too young. When I worked the surgical clinics we had an 18-year old girl with breast cancer and she needed a mastectomy. That hit me hard because I wasn't much older than her at the time, which really enhanced the severity of her situation. Please do not think you are immune because of your age.

    Great info Todash, thanks for posting it. Sorry about your sister in law.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Thank you Todash. Yup I do the self- exams every now and then when I'm in the shower.

    Okay I was maybe to hasty when I wrote that. I've heard that women in my age ( I am almost 26) can get it too.
    So yeah you're right about that Ally. Thanks to you too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    NY
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    Default Re: Things you might not know about breast cancer

    Todash, when I posted the Jimmy V thread,I had not yet come across this thread,I just saw it tonight,Sunday evening..I hope I didn't intrude unnecessarily on your family situation..I just happened to see him again on ESPN this past week,and was reminded of his speech,it was so heartfelt and I was hoping others could benefit from viewing it..best wishes to you and your sister in law for success in the treatment and recovery process for her..mjs9153

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