Breast cancer results from a genetic abnormality that causes uncontrolled cell growth. These abnormalities are inherited from your mother or father in about 5-10% percent of the cases. The remaining 90-95% of cases stem from a genetic abnormality that happens as a result of the aging process or usual “wear and tear” over time.
And while breast cancer is common, affecting about 13% of women at some point, your prognosis is likely to be quite good if the disease is detected early.
Read on to learn more about breast cancer, including why early detection is important.
Once you develop breast cancer, early detection is one of the most important ways to ensure a positive outcome. When breast cancer is found early, it’s often small and hasn’t yet spread. These factors make it far easier to treat.
And early treatment brings a higher survival rate. People who are diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer have a 98% survival rate for five or more years. That number drops to 75% by the time breast cancer evolves to stage 4.
The best way to detect breast cancer early is to schedule routine screenings and mammograms. You can also conduct self-breast exams, making sure that you seek medical support if you notice any unusual lumps.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women between the ages of 45-54 have a mammogram every year. Between ages 40-44, these screenings are helpful but optional. From age 55 on, you can likely switch to a mammogram every other year unless you’re at high risk for breast cancer.
If your mammogram results show any abnormalities, additional tests, such as another mammogram or a biopsy, may be recommended to confirm or rule out cancer.
Dr. Forgione-Rubino performs breast biopsies, as well as surgeries that help treat breast cancer at any stage, including partial and full mastectomies. A partial mastectomy, also known as a lumpectomy, leaves as much of your natural breast tissue as possible intact. A mastectomy removes your entire affected breast.
When Dr. Forgione-Rubino performs a mastectomy, she sometimes uses a nipple-sparing technique for a better cosmetic outcome. Our team also works with plastic surgeons for anyone seeking reconstructive breast surgery after cancer treatment.