February 27, 2020 - Thursday
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Breast Cancer: Dispelling Myth and Fact

Breast Cancer Question and AnswerQ: Dr. Gardner,
My sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer, (DCIS), our grandmother died of breast cancer many years ago.  I do not know what to expect, we are all scared of losing her. Patricia age 45, West Palm Beach, FL

A: Patricia,
Cancer is a scary word for any family. I am sorry your family is facing this illness; the good news is that your sister’s cancer was caught in stage 0. Due to early detection and innovations in treatment, your sister’s prognosis is excellent. Those individuals who catch cancer in this early stage have a 95% Cure Rate. I can assure you the treatment options available to her far surpass those your grandmother had available. Today treatment for breast cancer that is caught early is gentle, easy, kind and profoundly effective.

Q: Dr. Gardner,
I have been hearing about Stage 0 breast cancer, I though Breast Cancer was staged I-IV. Is this a new type of cancer? Ella, 28 Palm Beach Gardens, FL

A: Ella,
In Stage 0 DCIS breast cancer, abnormal cells appear in the ducts of the breast. This type of breast cancer is being diagnosed more often due to the increased use of mammogram screenings. Sometimes these cells can develop into invasive cancer. That is why it is paramount to diagnose and treat early. With early treatment stage 0 breast cancer has a 95% cure rate.

Q: Dr Gardner,
I was just diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer; I am considering a radical mastectomy, is this really necessary? While it may sound silly when I am facing cancer, I don’t want to lose my breast.
Alicia, 52 West Palm Beach, FL

A: Alicia,
A radical mastectomy is an option but not the only choice you have available. In Stage 0 breast cancer breast sparing surgery is frequently performed. Typically, a lumpectomy will be performed. In this surgery the lump that contains cancer cells and some of the surrounding tissue will be removed. Any breast tissue removed can be reconstructed using your own body tissue. Leaving little if any trace of intrusion in the breast itself.

Q: Dr. Gardner,
In every case of breast cancer are chemotherapy and radiation necessary following surgery?
Lisa, 35 North Palm Beach

A: Lisa,
The treatment for breast cancer will depend on the type and stage of the disease. In stage 0 breast cancer Chemotherapy is not necessary. Radiation treatment is very effective in greatly reducing the risk if reoccurrence. Radiation can be administered locally for 5 days following surgery or for 3 weeks if radiation treatment is delayed 6 weeks post –op.

Q: Dr. Gardner,
I hear conflicting views on when and how often women should get mammograms? I don’t want to expose my body to unnecessary radiation. I also do not want to leave growing breast cancer undetected. Whitney, 33, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

A: Whitney,
Early detection is the key to curing breast cancer. 10 Years ago only 5% of breast cancer cases diagnosed were stage 0 today that percentage is 28%, this is entirely due to early detection. We recommend all women begin annual mammogram screenings at age 40. Due to advances in early detection and treatment, today Breast Cancer is Curable 87-97% of the time.

Palm Beach Breast Institute
2151 45th Street, Suite 208, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

(561) 881-9100

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