Get The 411 On Breast Cancer With Our Quiz!
Fill In The Blank:
- A flap procedure is when doctors use abdominal, gluteal, or back tissue to help reconstruct the breast. Learn more in this video animation.
- Roughly 5% to 10% of breast cancers are the fault of a gene mutation. Learn more here.
- Breast cancer treatment costs are astronomical. For a treatment drug that costs $120,000 a year, even an insured patient could spend $25,000 to $30,000 in out-of-pocket costs for that drug alone. Learn more here.
- Breast cancer has a sister cancer, ovarian cancer. About 1 in 67 women will develop this type of cancer in her lifetime. Learn more here.
- A new study shows that when two generic drugs (bisphosphonates and aromatase inhibitors) are paired together, they are more effective than tamoxifen at treating breast cancer, reducing recurrence, and reducing the risk of dying from the disease. Learn more here.
What Do These Acronyms Refer To?
- FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration) is a type of biopsy. Other biopsies are core needle biopsy and surgical biopsy. Learn more about the differences between them in this animated video.
- HER2 (Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2) is a protein involved in the growth of cells. Around 20% of breast cancers have higher than normal levels of HER2 (meaning they’re HER2+), which fuel tumor growth. Though HER2+ breast cancers tend to grow faster than HER2- and come with a higher risk of recurrence, there are treatments specifically for this protein. Triple negative cancer lacks receptors for HER2 as well as receptors for estrogen and progesterone, making it much more difficult to treat as hormone therapy and HER2-targeted therapy won’t work.
- DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) is is the earliest stage of breast cancer, where the cancer cells are found in the milk ducts. It’s also known as Stage 0 breast cancer. Stages range from 0 to 4. Learn more here.
- PALB2 (Partner And Localizer of Breast cancer 2 gene) is a gene that works with the BRCA2 gene to repair DNA and halt tumor growth. However, if you have a PALB2 gene mutation, it can suppress bone marrow function and cause your levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to dip drastically low. Doctors estimate people with this mutation have a 1 in 3 risk of developing breast cancer. Learn more here.
- APBI (Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation) is a speedy form of radiation therapy that only targets the part of the breast that is affected by cancer. Learn more here.
True or False:
- False – Not everyone with these mutations will get cancer. While the presence of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can increase your chances by about five times, it doesn’t guarantee that you will get the disease. Learn more here.
- False – While a prophylactic (or preventative) double mastectomy does reduce your risk by 90% (woo!) and a double mastectomy after diagnosis also reduces your risk of recurrence, you’re still not totally in the clear. The cancer could come back at the site of your surgery, or it could have already spread to other parts of your body. Most recurrences in women who have already had breast cancer occur within the first five years after diagnosis. Learn more here.
- True – Stage IV cancer is incurable. But just because it’s incurable doesn’t mean that patients can’t lead long, happy lives with proper treatment and care. Learn more here.
- True – A blood test can predict recurrence up to 8 months before physical symptoms show up. Learn more here.
- True – In the summer of 2015, cancer.gov updated their website touting the benefits of cannabis based on scientific studies, both in terms of killing cancer cells and ameliorating the effects of chemo. Learn more here.
- Apples have not been proven to help treat breast cancer. Compounds in olive oil, bitter melon, and ginger have had promising results, though.
- Obesity can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. The myths that deodorant, wearing a bra, and miscarriages/abortions can cause breast cancer are unfounded, and have been proven false.
- Bad breath is not a sign that you could have breast cancer. Learn more about physical symptoms here.
- Basketball players are not at an increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to the general population. Lawyers, librarians, and journalists are at a higher risk most likely due to a variety of factors, like sitting for long periods of time, high stress levels, and interaction with carcinogens in dyes. Learn more about the link between certain jobs and cancer risk here.
- All of the above are viable options after surgery. Learn more about reconstruction options here.
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