Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women. It affects millions of women each year. There are also cases of men suffering from breast cancer. Cancer in the breast occurs when cells in the breast become abnormal and divide without control or order.
Loma Linda University Medical Center has a vast array of resources available for cancer treatment. We work very closely with the James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment Center to provide our patients with technologically advanced treatment options and a seamless treatment experience.
Breast Cancer Center
The Breast Health Center at LLUCC offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and patient focused approach to patient care. By bringing together state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and a team of physicians in one location, patients receive timely, efficient and high quality care.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and affects millions of women each year. Cancer in the breast occurs when cells in the breast become abnormal and divide without control or order.
Screening and Treatment
LLUCC's strong commitment to research in breast cancer assures patients access to the latest advances in the prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer. Our facility offers the latest cancer treatment options and diagnostic tools, including the only breast MRI in the region.
Support and Resources
At LLUCC we pride ourselves in treating the whole person including mind, body and spirit. We offer support groups, nutritional support and a dedicated breast cancer suvivorship clinic.
The physicians at our Breast Health Center are committed to providing you with the best care possible. From diagnosis through treatment our physicians are here to guide you every step of the way.
Three-step Plan for Preventive Care
The thought of having breast cancer is frightening. However, ignoring the possibility that you may develop breast cancer or avoiding the processes to detect cancer can be dangerous. Although there are some women who are at higher risk, the fact is that all women are at risk for breast cancer. That is why it is so important to follow this three-step plan for preventive care. Although breast cancer cannot be prevented at the present time, early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment. Routine care is the best way to avoid serious forms of breast cancer. Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main goal of routine breast care, other benign conditions, such as fibrocystic breasts, are also often discovered through routine care.
Step 1. Breast self-examination (BSE)
The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that breast self-exams (BSE) are an option for women ages 20 and olderas a means of familiarizing themselves with their breasts so they can notice changes more easily.BSE is recommended regularly around the same time every month. Regular BSE will allow you to know how your breasts normally feel so that you can readily detect any change(s). Changes may include:
- Development of a lump
- A discharge other than breast milk
- Swelling of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Nipple abnormalities (for example, pain, redness, scaliness, or turning inward)
If you notice any of these changes, see your health care provider as soon as possible for evaluation.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests BSEs do not lower risk for death from breast cancer. Talking with your doctor about the benefits and limitations can help you decide if you should start performing BSEs.
Step 2. The clinical examination
A breast examination by adoctor or nurse trained to evaluate breast problems should be part of a woman's physical examination. The ACS recommends:
- Between ages,20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast examination (CBE)by a health professional every three years.
- After age 40, women should have a breast examination by a health professional every year.
The USPSTF, however, believes there is not enough evidence to assess the value of CBEs for women ages 40 and older. Women should talk with their doctors or other health care providersabout their personal risk factors and make a decision about whether they should have a CBE.
Aclinical breast examination by a doctor or nurse is very similar to the procedures used for breast self-examination. Women who routinely practice BSE will be prepared to ask questions and have their concerns addressed during this time.
Step 3. Mammography
Mammography is a low-dose X-ray of the breasts to find changes that may occur. It is the most common imaging technique. Mammography can detect cancer or other problems before a lump becomes large enough to be felt, as well as assist in the diagnosis of other breast problems. However, a biopsy is required to confirm the presence of cancer.
Experts have different recommendations for mammography. Currently, the USPSTF recommends screening every two years for women between ages 50 and 74. The ACS recommends yearly screening for all women ages 40 and older. Women should talk with their doctors or other health care providers about their personal risk factors before making a decision about when to start getting mammograms or how often they should get them.
A diagnostic mammogram may be required when a questionable area is found during a screening mammogram.
Both the National Cancer Institute and the ACS suggest that women who may be at increased risk for breast cancer should talk with their doctors or other health care providers about whether to begin having mammograms at an earlier age.