Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women. Although rarer, breast cancer can also occur in men.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer forms in tissues of the breast. Ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells that line the tubes that carry milk to the nipple, is the most common type of breast cancer, affecting about 7 in 10 women with the disease.
Who develops breast cancer?
Both men and women can develop breast cancer, but the disease is about 100 times more common among women than men, likely because men have less estrogen and progesterone, which can promote breast cancer cell growth. The risk increases with age, and about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary. White women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women; Asian, Hispanic and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Symptoms include a breast lump or thickening; blood nipple discharge; changes in breast size or shape; changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling, redness or pitting; peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or skin; and inverted nipple.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
A diagnostic mammogram, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or breast ultrasound may be used to determine whether a suspicious area might be cancerous in women who have symptoms or abnormal results on a screening mammogram. Other imaging tests, such as tomosynthesis or ductogram, may also be performed. If cancer is suspected, your doctor will perform a biopsy, a procedure in which a sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope, to confirm or rule out cancer.
The Valley Hospital Breast Center, which has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, offers:
How is breast cancer treated?
Treatment for breast cancer varies depending on a variety of factors, including the location of the tumor, its stage and your individual health. Generally, treatment for breast cancer may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy (medications that target cancer-causing gene changes in cells). Your physician can determine the best treatment for you. At The Valley Hospital, our breast surgeons, Laura Klein, MD, and Tihesha Wilson, MD, use oncoplastic techniques that combine traditional cancer surgery with plastic surgery techniques. This innovative approach allows for superior cosmetic results. We offer the full complement of breast procedures, including nipple areolar-sparing mastectomy.
Valley also offers state-of-the-art breast reconstruction services. Our plastic surgeons can offer patients a full range of reconstruction options.
To schedule a mammogram appointment at The Valley Hospital Breast Center, call 201-447-8200 or use our online scheduling.