Dr Oz: Breast Cancer Card
In the segment “What’s Your Risk For The Cancer You Fear Most?,” Dr Oz mentioned a Susan G. Komen Breast Test Awareness Card that seems very exciting! Dr Oz said that “This is the one hour that could save your life.” We know how to diagnose it, treat it, and cure it, but what is the real risk of breast cancer? Before the end of this show, 23 more women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Every 69 seconds, a woman dies from breast cancer. It’s what you don’t know about breast cancer that may be putting you at risk. There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors and researchers say that the odds you will survive are now 85 percent.
Mary, an audience member, was 38-years-old she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her first thought was her children and their future. She told her children about the diagnosis by sitting them down and explaining it to them. They didn’t really understand except her 16-year-old, who was scared.
Melissa, another audience member, had been diagnosed the second time around. She tried to do all the screenings because her mother had breast cancer twice. Melissa had an open biopsy when she was 16. She was very diligent, so she found it very early. She had a surgery 5 weeks ago today and felt like the screening saved her life.
Lisa always did her own self-breast exams. On one occasion, she felt something hard and round and got tested by her doctor. That’s when she found out she had breast cancer. During her diagnosis, Lisa had tremendous support from her family and friends.
Dr. Ruth Oratz, MD, Breast Oncologist, stated that the most important thing for a woman to understand is what her risk factors are for developing breast cancer. It’s the exposure to estrogen that can cause those cancers to start developing.
Dr Oz: Breast Cancer Risks
– You started menstruating before age 12
– You had first child after 30
– You bottle fed your children
– You went into menopause after 55
– You had hormone treatments
Dorothy, an audience member, stated that she had exposure to 3 out of the 5 risk factors. Dorothy was diagnosed with breast cancer at 50 and had no idea of those risk factors. (The audience admitted to being just as surprised at the risk factors as Dorothy.)
Factors You Can Control:
– Weight/Diet—being overweight increases the amount of estrogen in our body. Gaining more than 45 lbs in adulthood doubles the risk of getting breast cancer.
Dr Oz showed an animation of a cancer cell that invaded the body and squeezed the normal cell out of the way. When you have less belly fat, an immune cell comes down and cleans out the cancer cell. Again, this happens when you have less belly fat. If you have too much estrogen due to belly fat, the immune cell cannot come and clean up the cancer cell and the cancer cells continue to increase.
Dr Oz: Breast Cancer Tests
Asked about breast density, Cheryl, an audience member, stated that she had a family history of breast cancer. According to Dr. Oratz, dense breast tissue creates more risk for developing breast cancer. Dr Oz showed Cheryl 2 fake breast to see if she could tell which was dense. She felt around some but couldn’t really tell. Dr Oz says that you cannot tell by just touching the breast. Get a mammogram (x-ray). Dense tissue on a mammogram looks white while non-dense tissue looks clear.
Dr. Oratz stated that women should start the screening process at age 40. If you have increased risk factors, you can start early. As we learn more, women with lower risks can start later or get checked out less frequently. Once you know you have dense breast, find out about more screening tests. Joanna, an audience member, had dense breasts. She felt a lump during her self-exam. She went to her doctor and he told her that she had a dense breast and at the same time she was given the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Dr Oz: Digital Tomosynthesis
What To Do If You Find Out You Have Dense Breasts:
– Get an MRI
– Obtain Digital Tomosynthesis (a 3-D picture to see tiny abnormalities in breast tissue)
Kelly, an audience member, was a nursing mother who found a lump. She had a mammogram and found out that she had breast cancer and it had spread to the lymph node. Dr. Oratz stated that women should do self-examinations, especially younger women, who do not go in for screening. Important note: examine the breasts as well as just under the armpit. The lymph nodes can get swollen first before you feel a bump in breast. Check for things like shape differentiation or anything that’s out of the norm.