Frequently Asked Questions
Am I at high-risk for breast cancer and why?
The simple fact is that ALL women are at risk for breast cancer, but of course, some at higher risk than others. The biggest factor affecting breast cancer risk is having a family history of breast cancer. However, simply having a relative with breast cancer does not mean that a woman is DESTINED to develop breast cancer.
What causes breast cancer?
We do not know what causes breast cancer. Though the research has progressed a great deal, the final answer about breast cancer cause is unknown. Suffice to say, when the answer is found, it will prove to be from a combination of many different factors.
What about taking hormones and risk of breast cancer?
Much has been written about hormones and breast cancer risk. Clearly, those women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should not take hormones of any type. Though hormones statistically increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, for most women, that increased risk is minimal. The advisability of taking hormones is an individual assessment that is influenced by family history and previous breast problems.
I found a lump, what now?
A new lump requires further investigation. Start by making an appointment for evaluation, which starts with a thorough breast exam, and may then include an ultrasound evaluation in the office. We can then determine what type of additional imaging (mammogram, MRI, etc.) is necessary.
We can typically solve the problem within one visit to the office.
How quickly can I have my surgery scheduled?
Usually surgery can be scheduled within a week of initial consultation.
Will I need chemotherapy for my breast cancer?
The need for chemotherapy is determined only after all pathology reports are reviewed. Chemotherapy depends on evidence of breast cancer spread, or high risk of spread.
Does having breast cancer automatically require a mastectomy?
No. Most women with breast cancer will have the option of breast conservation (lumpectomy and radiation) as well as mastectomy. Each person is individually assessed for which options are appropriate.
What can I do to prevent this breast cancer from happening again?
Since we do not know the cause of breast cancer, this question is difficult to answer. Some medications may be recommended that decrease the risk of a second breast cancer. We can discuss risk reducing strategies during your consultation.