• Dr. April Speed Answers Your Breast Cancer Related Questions

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    Is it true women who breast feed are less like to get breast cancer?

    Nursing/breast-feeding does reduce breast cancer.

    How will Obamacare affect my ability to get a mammogram?

    It will actually make it easier (essentially no or low cost) as it is now covered under the affordable care act.

    What do you do if you have a breast issue and you can’t afford the MGM?

    There are many local programs that offer assistance through their local Susan Komen affiliate, hospital breast navigator program and even emergency breast Medicaid which financially assists any woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer with covering the cost of imaging and treatment.

    What do you do if you have a breast issue and you can’t afford the MGM?

    There are many local programs that offer assistance through their local Susan Komen affiliate, hospital breast navigator program and even emergency breast Medicaid which financially assists any woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer with covering the cost of imaging and treatment.

    What kind of screenings do you suggest for those who are adopted and are not aware of their family history?

    Adopted patients not aware of family history can be frustrating for any individual but these patients should get screened just like the rest of the population. Clinical breast exam every three years starting at age 20 and annual MGM starting at age 40. I strongly recommend if there are any new changes in the breast regardless of age or family history to go see your doctor right away.

    What is 3D tomosynthesis?

    3D mammography, also known as 3D breast tomosynthesis, is a new groundbreaking technology that generates 3D images of the breast and gives physicians a clearer look through the overlapping breast tissue. This more comprehensive view increases the ability to detect and diagnose small tumors that may be hidden on a traditional mammogram, especially in dense breast tissue. As a result, 3D mammography improves cancer detection and reduces false-positive and false-negative findings. Fewer women are being called back for additional imaging or for biopsies.

    My 15-year-old granddaughter had a hard lump on the side of her breast. The doctor checked it and told her to keep checking it, should we do something else?

    This may be benign but at least get a baseline ultrasound then have it followed up in 6 months-year. This may be a benign lump common in your girls your grand daughters age called a fibroadenoma. Usually these are just watched because they usually get smaller over time. If they continue to grow it may need to be removed.

    As a survivor since being diagnosed in 06, I took tamoxifen for 5 years and finished in 2012. Have you noticed re-occurrence in women once they have finished that 5 year window. One of my friends finished hers in 08 and ended up with pancreatic cancer in 2010. She just succumbed about a month ago to it! Just wondering if you have any stats on that.

    No we don’t see an increased risk of recurrence after 5 yrs. The highest risk of recurrence is in the first 5 yrs and the first 2 yrs are the times we see recurrence the most. There are some studies that suggest 10 yrs of Tamoxifen instead of five may be helpful in terms of recurrence but we’ll have to wait and see if this bears out. Your friend with a breast cancer recurrence and pancreatic cancer may have had an undiagnosed cancer gene so this event may not have been related to her stopping the Tamoxifen.

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