CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Breast cancer is a scary disease. In 2013, there were about 230,000 new diagnoses of invasive breast cancer, and about 40,000 deaths.
Recent articles in the media have described certain genetic studies that can be done to increase early diagnosis and treatment for those women who have a genetic predisposition to Breast Cancer.
Most people would be surprised to know however, that those genetic tests have been around since 1995! -- and that it is likely that there are more than a few women who should have been tested (as well as some of their mothers and daughters) who were not, and have since suffered the worst that can happen to someone who has cancer.
Unfortunately, a significant number of women have, and have to, place their lives in the hands of physicians who do not keep current with Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment as it should be practiced.
Here are some of the questions that women need to ask their doctors:
1. How often do I need a breast exam?
2. Does breast cancer occur in women even in their 20s?
3. How often do I need an ultrasound, a mammogram, a CT scan or MRI of my breasts?
4. What is the difference between the ultrasound, mammogram, CT or MRI studies in diagnosing breast cancer?
5. Why should I wait until the next office visit for you to re-examine a breast lump that has been found? Why can't you send me to a surgeon now?
6. How long is it safe to wait to biopsy a newly found breast lump?
7. How long is it safe to wait between the breast biopsy and the definitive surgery?