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Resources for Breast Health

Anatomy of the Breasts

Each breast has 15 to 20 sections (lobes), which are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.

Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT)

BCPT was a clinical trial that studied tamoxifen as a prevention therapy for those at high risk for breast cancer. Data showed the results of tamoxifen treatment to be "highly significant," with a 49 percent reduction in the number of invasive breast cancers seen across all age groups.

Common Breast Conditions

Detailed information on the most common breast conditions, including mastalgia (breast pain), benign breast lumps, fibrocystic breast changes, nipple problems, nipple discharge, breast infections, and breast inflammation

Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment

Your oncologist will determine how long and how often you will have chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy can be administered intravenously or by pill, and is usually a combination of drugs.

How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

It is important to remember that a lump or other changes in the breast, or an abnormal area on a mammogram, may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems.

Other Treatments for Breast Cancer

Other treatments for breast cancer include hormone therapy, used to prevent the growth, spread, and recurrence of the cancer, adjuvant therapy, and biological therapy.

Home Page - Breast Health

Detailed information on breast health, anatomy of the breast, breast development, breast cancer prevention, common breast conditions, and breast cancer in males and females

Breast Infections and Inflammations

The most common type of breast infection is lactational mastitis, which occurs when a woman is breastfeeding. The nipples become cracked and sore, allowing bacteria from the baby's mouth to enter the ducts and rapidly multiply in the milk.

Common Benign Lumps

The two most common types of benign breast lumps are cysts and fibroadenomas. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the breast tissue. Fibroadenomas are solid, smooth, firm, benign lumps that are most commonly found in women in their late teens and early 20s.

Lymphedema Following a Mastectomy

Whenever the normal drainage pattern in the lymph nodes is disturbed or damaged—often during surgery to remove the lymph nodes—the arm may swell. This swelling, caused by too much fluid, is called lymphedema.

Mammogram

Detailed information on mammography, including the different types of mammography, how one is performed, and recommended guidelines

Normal Breast Development and Changes

Breast development occurs in distinct stages, first before birth, and again at puberty and during the childbearing years. Changes also occur to the breasts during menstruation and when a woman reaches menopause.

Mastalgia (Breast Pain)

The most common type of breast pain is associated with the menstrual cycle and is nearly always hormonal.

Post-Mastectomy

Detailed information for women following a mastectomy, including breast reconstruction, lymphedema prevention, and breast prosthesis

Nipple Problems and Discharge

Nipple conditions are a common benign breast condition affecting many women. Some problems are related to lactation, and others are not.

Post-Mastectomy Prosthesis

A prosthesis can be worn against the skin, inside the pocket of a mastectomy bra, or attached to the chest wall. Prosthetic devices are designed to look feminine and be comfortable.

Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy is a process that precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. Radiation done after surgery can kill cancer cells that may not be seen during surgery.

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Factors that appear to raise a woman's risk for breast cancer include advancing age, family history, benign breast conditions, and a late menopause.

Topic Index - Breast Health

Detailed information on breast health, anatomy of the breast, breast development, breast cancer prevention, common breast conditions, and breast cancer in males and females

Stages of Breast Cancer

When breast cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will order tests to find out if the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This is called staging and is an important step toward planning a treatment program.

Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR)

STAR was a clinical trial of the drug raloxifene that included more than 19,000 postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer. The results showed that raloxifene worked as well as tamoxifen at reducing breast cancer risk.

Surgery for Breast Cancer Treatment

Surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Today, women have many surgical options and choices.

About Tamoxifen

Tamoxifen has been used to treat both advanced and early stage breast cancer. More recently, tamoxifen is being used as an additional therapy following primary treatment for early stage breast cancer.

About Taxol

Taxol, or paclitaxel, is a drug used for treating certain women who have advanced breast or ovarian cancer. Paclitaxel is a compound that is extracted from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.

Treatments for Breast Cancer

Detailed information on breast cancer treatment, including surgery, breast reconstruction, lymphedema, breast prosthesis, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, Tamoxifen, and Taxol

Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

People with this syndrome have dark moles around the mouth, nose, and eyes, as well as multiple polyps in the intestines.

Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Li-Fraumeni syndrome raises the risk for breast cancer and many other types of cancer.

Genetics of Breast Cancer

Detailed information on the genetics of breast cancer, including information on hereditary breast ovarian cancer syndrome, brca1, brca2, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, and ataxia telangiectasia

Cowden Syndrome

The risk for breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and thyroid cancer is increased with Cowden syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T)

The risk for breast cancer may be increased for women who carry the A-T gene. Ataxia telangiectasia is a rare childhood disease that affects the nervous system and other body systems.

Fibrocystic Breast Changes

Detailed information on common fibrocystic breast changes, including what fibrocystic changes feel like
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