A Fox Chase Women's Cancer Center Program

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Resources and Education for Patients and their families

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For more information about Mammography Services at Fox Chase or to schedule an appointment, call 215-728-2646 .

Schedule a Mammogram Today

In addition to a full range of treatment, full mammography services are always available at the Womens Cancer Center.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-728-2646
or 728-2631.
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The Second Most Common Cancer in Women

It is estimated that more than 210,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. This makes it the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women (excluding basal and squamous cell skin cancers). Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States (after lung cancer). Women have a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, the number of women who die of the disease are declining because of early detection and improved breast cancer treatment options.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

A diagnosis of breast cancer can be both frightening and confusing. Multiple treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy and systemic therapy such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and biologic therapy, are recommended for many women.

The initial cancer diagnosis is critical for determining treatment and key to your overall outcome. Fox Chase Cancer Center has a multi-specialty team of world-class experts to develop a comprehensive plan for the full spectrum of breast cancer care and management. Comprehensive support services range from rehabilitation medicine to social-work services and support groups.

Breast cancer - What is it?

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules, which produce milk and bulbs. The lobes and lobules are linked by thin tubes called ducts.

Breasts also have blood vessels and lymph vessels, which carry fluid called lymph to organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are found throughout the body. They filter substances in lymph and help fight infection and disease. Clusters of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla (under the arm), above the collarbone and in the chest.

Breast cancer - How is it treated?

Doctors at Fox Chase recommend that DCIS be surgically removed to help prevent the cancer from becoming an invasive breast cancer and potentially spreading to other parts of the breast or body. Radiation therapy and hormone therapy may be recommended in addition to surgery for DCIS.

LCIS is non-cancerous. It is usually observed rather than being treated right away. Patients LCIS may consider chemoprevention, which decreases their risk, and those with DCIS may use hormonal therapy to prevent it from returning.

When a cancer has moved beyond the duct, it is called invasive cancer. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. As the cells invade surrounding areas, scar tissue or other fibrous growth surrounds the tumor cells forming a lump that can be seen on a mammogram or felt during an exam.

Infiltrating lobular carcinoma doesn't produce the same kind of fibrous growth, so it may be harder to detect on a mammogram. This type of cancer produces a softer lump, sometimes described as a thickening. If a lobular cancer is found in one breast, it may also be in the other breast. Therefore it is important to carefully monitor the second breast.

Screening is the most important way to find breast cancer early.

Screening for women at average risk of breast cancer is widely available and includes instruction in breast self-exam as well as breast physical examinations and mammography. These screening mammograms can be performed at Fox Chase to ensure high quality and rapid access to other specialists should further therapy be needed.

Men and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer may occur in men. Men at any age may develop breast cancer, but it is usually detected in men between 60 and 70 years of age. Male breast cancer makes up less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer.

For more information about breast cancer treatment and prevention at Fox Chase Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-888-FOX CHASE (1-888-369-2427). The breast cancer scheduling department can be reached at 215-728-3001.

Source material for some or all of this information was obtained from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and/or National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) web sites.

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