Breast Cancer Treatments
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Radiation and surgery followed by chemotherapy are some of the breast cancer treatments available to patients. Find out more treatment options in this video.
Transcript: There are more than two million breast cancer survivors in the United States, and that's to the credit...
There are more than two million breast cancer survivors in the United States, and that's to the credit of today's growing number of treatment options! Breast cancer treatment goals are twofold: to remove as much of the cancer as possible and to prevent it from coming back. To do that, doctors rely on five treatment methods: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. Surgery is the most common treatment option, and it may involve removing just the cancerous tumor, as in a lumpectomy. More serious prognoses may require a mastectomy, the removal of the entire breast, usually including the nipple, often with lymph nodes in the armpit that may be affected. Many women who go through surgery receive additional treatment, like radiation, which uses high powered beams of energy to kill cancer cells. This can occur via an external machine, or through radioactive implants placed inside the body. Side-effects of radiation include a red rash at the treatment site, along with general fatigue. Radiation AND surgery are local treatments, made to eradicate cancer in one, targeted area. The remaining three treatment options are systemic, which means they attempt to control cancer cells ALL OVER the body. Chemotherapy, for example, is an oral or injected medication, that works by either stopping cancer cells from multiplying, or killing them completely. Unfortunately, chemo may also eradicate HEALTHY cells, which is why nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fever tend to occur. Another systemic treatment, hormone therapy, is effective for about two-thirds of cancers. Cancer cells contain receptors for estrogen, which they depend upon to grow. Hormone therapy seeks to block the body's estrogen from ever reaching the tumor. Tamoxifen is one such drug. It binds to estrogen receptors on cells, so that estrogen can't. Aromatase inhibitors, like the Arimedex and Femara, can reduce the body's production of estrogen while stopping it altogether in post-menopausal women. Menopausal-like symptoms, including decreased sex drive, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, are common side-effects of hormone therapy. The final treatment option, targeted therapy, uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack ONLY specific cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact. A popular example, Herceptin, blocks a protein called HER2, which some breast cancer cells need to grow and survive. Understand that targeted therapy of this type will ONLY work if the cancer is sensitive to the HER2 protein. This is true for about one-fourth of all cancers, and is determined by analyzing tissue samples in a lab. Any of these three systemic treatments may be used with the goal of killing any cancer cells that remain in the body after surgery or radiation, which is known as adjuvant therapy. Similarly, systemic treatments may be used BEFORE local treatments, hopefully shrinking a tumor and making it easier to remove. With so many treatment options available, creating the perfect plan to treat YOUR form of breast cancer shouldn't be hard. See your doctor and discuss your options.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-24 | Tags »
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We all know someone who's had cancer, but you might not know all the facts. Take this quiz to learn about possible causes, consequences and treatments of this infamous and deadly disease.
Last Modified: 2011-02-16 | Tags »
Are you dealing with cancer in your 20s? Find out how this differs from other age group cancers and learn about available cancer treatments here.
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Skin cancer is much more than just melanoma. See what you know about this common cancer. Take the quiz!
Last Modified: 2011-05-11 | Tags »
Anticipating chemotherapy can be tough due to fear and doubt throughout the process. Watch this video to learn more about anticipationg chemo.
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Does a lump in your breast mean cancer? Not necessarily. Find out more about what else can cause a lump in the breast.
Transcript: Sometimes people stay away from medical care because they fear what they might find. And a lump in the...
Sometimes people stay away from medical care because they fear what they might find. And a lump in the breast can be a scary thing indeed, but guess what: 8 out of 10 breast lumps are BENIGN! Sometimes lumps are caused by cysts, nipple discharges and calcifications, which can result from hormonal changes, infection, injury or bruising. This percentage tends to fluctuate with age. For young women, more than 80% of breast lumps are benign, as women age, the risk for breast cancer increases, which means that the percentage of benign breast lumps in older women may be much lower than in younger women. Take charge of your health by performing routine breast self-exams, establishing ongoing communication with your doctor, and scheduling regular mammograms. If YOU discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes in breast tissue, it's VERY IMPORTANT that you see a doctor immediately, because catching cancer early SIGNIFICANTLY increases the chances of recovery.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-17 | Tags »
Breast Lumps, Breast Cancer Lumps, Lump On Breast, Benign Breast Lumps breast self exam, mammograms, breast cysts, breast cancer, health myth breast, boobs, cancer, tumor, breast health, womens health
The prostate--you know its name but you might not know its function. Learn more about the prostate and what it's good for by watching this video.
Transcript: Just like all men have penises, all men have prostates, but most are more acquainted with the former!...
Just like all men have penises, all men have prostates, but most are more acquainted with the former! The prostate is a walnut-sized organ which can be both a pleasure center and a place where cancer can reside. The prostate is located between the bladder and the penis in the front of the rectum. The urethra, which carries urine from the bladder through the penis, passes through the prostate's center. The nerves that control erection are attached to both sides of the prostate, as they extend to the penis. The prostate produces seminal fluid, which nourishes and "carries" sperm. Male ejaculate, or semen, is a mixture of this seminal fluid and sperm. The prostate is surrounded by sensitive nerves, which is why some men enjoy anal play. The organ is also the location where prostate cancer, one of the most common forms of the disease, shows up. So, particularly if you're a male over 40, get your prostate checked annually-it can only do you good!More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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Breast reconstruction is common after a lumpectomy or a mastectomy due to breast cancer. Watch this for more on breast reconstruction surgery.
Transcript: Techniques for breast reconstruction has come a long way, and this video is a great place to get acquainted...
Techniques for breast reconstruction has come a long way, and this video is a great place to get acquainted with the most modern advances. Wendy Lewis, an international beauty consultant and expert, and author of America's Cosmetic Doctors, is here to help you navigate the newest developments. Women with congenital breast deformities as well as women who have undergone a lumpectomy or a mastectomy can often suffer considerably from the physical and psychological implications of their condition. Breast reconstruction is an umbrella term which describes a variety of surgical methods designed to help the recovery of such women. Breast reconstruction can be performed in conjunction with a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, or can be delayed for weeks or even years after the initial procedure. Breasts can be reconstructed using an implant, your own tissue or a combination of both. Surgery is usually not a one-time procedure, but rather a series of necessary steps to achieve the final result. Potential stages might include tissue expansion, insertion of an implant, and performing nipple or areola reconstruction. Cosmetic work on the other breast may also be done at the same time so that your breasts will appear symmetrical and identical. After a mastectomy, if your skin is very tight you may need tissue expansion prior to reconstruction. To do this, a balloon expander is placed under the skin and chest muscle, and is gradually filled with salt-water solution to stretch the skin. The process will take from several weeks to a few months, at which point either the expander will be left in or it will be replaced with a permanent implant, and the areola can be reconstructed. Another method of breast reconstruction involves the grafting of your own tissue onto the breast and then reconnecting the blood vessels contained in the tissue to the grafting site. The advantage of this surgery is that your own skin will be used, however it is more complex and involves additional scarring and a longer recovery period, since there are two surgical sites that must heal. Women undergoing breast reconstruction have a choice of implants filled with silicone gel or sterile saltwater. In most cases, surgery can be performed in the hospital or an outpatient surgery center. Recovery may take up to two weeks. For best results, breast reconstruction should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. You should see several surgeons to discuss all your options before undergoing breast cancer surgrey so you know what to expect. When performed by an expert surgeon, your breasts can be beautifully restored to look very natural. While there is no evidence that reconstructive breast surgery will either prevent future cancer or cause it to return, you should continue to visit your doctor for regular mammograms to keep your new breasts healthy. For more on what to expect during breast reconstruction, check out the other resources on our site.More »
Last Modified: 2013-09-27 | Tags »
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Prostate cancer is unfortunately a very common occurrence. But your risk can be minimized. Watch this for tips on preventing prostate cancer.
Transcript: Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men-but what if you could take steps to prevent...
Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men-but what if you could take steps to prevent it? Cancer is scary, but-believe it!-you can take positive steps to protect your prostate by logging more sex sessions! Researchers found that men, who averaged 21 ejaculations a month, were a third less likely to have prostate cancer, than those who ejaculated less frequently. That's because semen contains carcinogenic, or cancer causing, substances. "Flushing" them regularly may lower the risk of damage. And how about upping your alcoholic intake...to a daily glass of wine! One study found that the antioxidants in fermented grapes can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and cut prostate cancer risk in half! The hair-loss treatment, Propecia, generically called finasteride, may also help reduce the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Finasteride blocks the production of an undesirable hormone that triggers hair-loss and prostate growthFollow these tips, and your prostate will have extra protection against cancer!More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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For a guy, finding a lump in one of your pecs may not seem like a big deal. It is, though. Find out more information on male breast cancer in this video.
Transcript: Men don't have breasts, per se. Therefore, men shouldn't get breast cancer. But they DO, to the tune...
Men don't have breasts, per se. Therefore, men shouldn't get breast cancer. But they DO, to the tune of 1,500 new cases a year. The issue is that most men, and even many doctors, don't recognize breast cancer in men. Also, men tend to dismiss a lump, while a woman is much more likely to notice and know what it is. Men are also unfamiliar with the three major risk factors: age; family history of the disease; and obesity. Having even ONE risk factor is reason enough to do a quick self-exam every 3 months. When you're in the shower, feel across the chest with the tips of your fingers, and under the nipple, for any unusual lumps. You're looking for a lump that will feel small and firm, like a pea. And, lump or no lump, if you have any discharge or bleeding from the nipple, ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist in male breast cancer.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-13 | Tags »
male breast cancer, Breast Cancer In Men, Can Men Get Breast Cancer cancer treatment, breast cancer treatment, breast cancer, breast health, breasts, health myth cancer, chemo, radiation, boobs, manboobs, man breasts, nipples
HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can lead to serious health problems in men and women if left untreated. Watch this video to learn more about HPV and how to avoid it.
Transcript: The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is an extremely common viral infection. There are about 40 varieties...
The human papillomavirus, or HPV, is an extremely common viral infection. There are about 40 varieties that infect the genitals and which can be passed through sexual contact, even if a person is not exhibiting symptoms. Genital HPV's effects on health can be severe and will vary depending on the HPV strain, and by the strength of the patient's immune system. After a person contracts HPV, his or her body develops some immunity to it. That immune response often squashes symptoms should a person be re-infected, or if the infection lingers. Each strain of HPV has a particular effect on the body. The one that causes genital warts, for example, doesn't cause precancerous lesions. But it IS possible to be infected with multiple strains of genital HPV at the same time. Some strains of the virus don't have an impact in the body. With no symptoms, a person may not even know they have HPV. Other strains produce genital warts, which may appear as a single swelling or a rash. These pink or flesh-colored bumps are usually soft to the touch. Most have a unique cauliflower-like shape that is raised and bumpy. Warts can appear on the thighs, anus and groin area in both men and women. Men can develop them on the penis and scrotum, while women may get warts inside the vagina and cervix. Genital warts are generally harmless.However, more severe health problems will follow from infection with one of the 13 "high risk" strains of genital HPV. These strains cause cell changes in the genital area. If someone contracts high-risk strains repeatedly, or develops a lingering infection, the long-term damage can prompt precancerous or cancerous tumor growths to form. In women, persistent genital HPV infections are a precursor to both cervical and vaginal cancers. In fact, a person cannot contract these cancers unless they've had genital HPV. Cervical cancer starts out as a collection of precancerous cells, a condition called dysplasia. As the cells multiply, mild dysplasia increases in severity. Left unchecked for several years, dysplasia develops into an early form of cancer called cervical carcinoma in situ, and then cervical cancer. A Pap smear can detect even mild dysplasia, which usually can be fully treated...This is just one more reason for women to have an annual Pap smear! In rare cases, prolonged infections in men can also lead to penile cancer. Both men and women are also susceptible to cancers of the anus, mouth and throat as a result of repeated infections with the HPV strains targeting these areas. This means that anal and oral sex aren't without HPV risks. If an HPV infection is caught early, a doctor can begin treatments to prevent precancerous growths from becoming cancerous. Genital HPV has no cure, but its symptoms can be treated. For this reason, it's important to talk to your doctor about safe sex and STD testing.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-28 | Tags »
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A better understanding of breast cancer will help you prevent and detect the condition early. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: In order to understand breast cancer, it's helpful to be aware of the basic anatomy of the breast. Each...
In order to understand breast cancer, it's helpful to be aware of the basic anatomy of the breast. Each breast contains 15 to 20 lobes of tissue, arranged like the petals of a daisy. Lobes are further divided into milk-producing lobules, which are connected by ducts designed to carry milk to the nipple during breast feeding. Each breast also connects to lymph nodes in the underarm, above the collarbone, and in the chest behind the breastbone. As with other cancers, those that manifest in the breast start when something goes wrong in the body's normal cell dividing process. This causes an excess of cells to build up and form an abnormal lump of tissue, called a tumor. When this happens in the breast, it usually does so in the milk ducts, which is called ductal carcinoma, or in the lobules, called lobular carcinoma. In 80% percent of cases, a tumor in any part of the breast will be found to be benign, or not cancerous. However, if a tumor IS cancerous, it may grow and invade tissue nearby, like the chest wall, or it may spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs. We know that breast cancer does not discriminate. From singers like Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge, to actors like Christina Applegate and Cynthia Nixon, to political figures like judge Sandra Day O'Connor and first lady Nancy Reagan, the disease can strike anyone. Indeed, almost one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer...but why does this happen? Researchers have found that the female hormone estrogen probably plays a role in the development of certain kinds of breast cancer. That's because estrogen tells cells to divide, and the more that cell division occurs, the more likely something will go wrong in the process. As a result, women who begin menstruating before 12, and those who go through menopause after 55 have a higher breast cancer risk. Similarly, women who undergo hormone therapy for menopause may be more likely to fall prey to cancer. In fact, the typical breast cancer patient is over 60 at the time of diagnosis. Many women who get breast cancer also have a history of the disease in their immediate families. And researchers now know that mutations on two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are responsible for some cases of inherited breast cancer. One in 200 women carries these genes, which explains why up to 10% of breast cancer cases are related to BRCA. Still, there is no hard and fast rule about who will be affected by this disease! If you're concerned about breast cancer, make an appointment to speak with your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
breast cancer, breast anatomy, breast cancer symptoms, breast cancer treatment mammogram, BRCA1, BRCA2, hereditary breast cancer risk, in situ, breast cancer, breast tumor, cancer tumor boobs, breast, womens health, cancer, oncologist, breast cancer