Breast Cancer

About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the breast tissue. Most often, the growth of these cancerous cells will begin in the lobules or the ducts,  but they can also begin development within the stromal tissues of the breast.

The cause of breast cancer is unknown, but research shows that certain risk factors are associated with the disease.

Risk Factors

Note – Research has shown that most women with known risk factors do not get breast cancer and that many women who get breast cancer have none of the risk factors listed below.

  • Caucasian women, age 50 or older
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Changes in breast tissue
  • Changes in certain genes
  • Increased exposure to estrogen over a lifetime through:
    • Early onset of menstruation
    • Late onset of menopause
    • No childbearing or late childbearing
    • Absence of breast feeding
    • Taking hormone replacement therapy for extended periods of time
    • Tobacco use
    • Increased breast density
    • Radiation therapy before the age of 30
    • Overuse of alcohol
    • Physical Inactivity
  • Gender
    • 100 times more common in women than in men
    • 2nd leading cause of cancer death in women (second to lung cancer)
    • Most common form of cancer in women other than skin cancer
  • Age
    • Increases as a women ages
    • Approx. 77% of women with breast cancer are over age 50 when they are diagnosed
    • 18% are diagnosed in their 40’s

Treatment

Typical treatments of breast cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and biologic therapy. Various surgeries such as a lumpectomy or mastectomy are often used as a first step to ridding the body of breast cancer.

As the patient prepares for their mastectomy or lumpectomy, they will also have to consider options to reconstruct the breast. During a breast reconstruction, a plastic surgeon will shape the breast using an artificial implant or tissue from another area of the body.

If you are considering your options of breast reconstruction surgery and would like to speak to a local plastic surgeon of Reston, Virginia, please contact Dr. Wendy Gottlieb to schedule an appointment today.

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