Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Breast cancer facts
- What is breast cancer?
- What are the different types of breast cancer?
- What causes breast cancer?
- What are breast cancer risk factors?
- What are breast cancer symptoms and signs?
- How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- How is breast cancer staging determined?
- What is the treatment for breast cancer?
- What is the prognosis of breast cancer?
- Can breast cancer be prevented?
- What research is being done on breast cancer? Should I participate in a clinical trial?
- I may have breast cancer. What questions should I ask my doctor?
- Is the doctor sure I have breast cancer?
- What type of breast cancer do I have?
- What difference does a precise diagnosis make?
- What has been done to exclude cancer in other areas of the same breast or in my other breast?
- What type of medical team do I need for the most accurate diagnosis?
- Is my family history relevant to my breast cancer diagnosis?
- What other studies should be done on my tissue biopsy?
- How urgent is it that I make decisions and begin treatment?
- Should I stop taking hormone therapy (HT)?
- Even though my breast tumor does not have hormone receptors, should I take tamoxifen to reduce the risk of a new tumor?
- I have a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a type of localized cancer. Why have I been advised to have a mastectomy when other women with invasive cancer have lumpectomies?
- Should I start chemotherapy before surgery?
- If I am advised to have a mastectomy, what are the risks and benefits of immediate breast reconstruction?
- Should my lymph nodes be removed?
- What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy and what are its benefits and risks?
- Are there any other questions I should ask my doctor?
- Breast Cancer FAQs
- Patient Comments: Breast Cancer - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Breast Cancer - How Was It Detected
- Patient Comments: Breast Cancer - Treatments
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
"Your mammogram is suspicious for breast cancer." "Your biopsy was positive for breast cancer." These are among the most terrifying words a woman can hear from her doctor. Breast cancer elicits so many fears, including those relating to death, surgery, loss of body image, and loss of sexuality. Managing these fears can be facilitated by information and knowledge so that each woman can make the best decisions concerning her care. Optimally, these issues are best discussed with the patient's doctor on an individual basis. What follows is a review of information on breast cancer intended to aid patients and their families in their navigation through the vast ocean of breast cancer information and issues. Although breast cancer can occur in men as well as in women, this article is specifically about breast cancer in women.
Breast cancer facts
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.
- One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.
- There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasizing) to other body tissues.
- The causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known although a number of risk factors have been identified.
- There are many different types of breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is diagnosed with physician and self-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
- Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (the extent of spread in the body).
According to the American Cancer society:
- Over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed each year.
- Nearly 40,000 women are expected to die of breast cancer in 2012.
- There are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- The recommendations regarding frequency and age when women should get screening mammography differ slightly between different organizations and task forces.
- Between 40 and 50 years of age, mammograms are recommended every 1 to 2 years (National Cancer Institute). After 50 years of age, yearly mammograms are recommended (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology).
- You should discuss with your health care professional the screening frequency that he or she recommends and what guidelines they follow.
- Patients with a family history or specific risk factors might have a different screening schedule including starting screening mammograms at an earlier age.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor (a collection of cancer cells) arising from the cells of the breast. Although breast cancer predominantly occurs in women it can also affect men. This article deals with breast cancer in women.
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