Breast cancer is the second most common cancer to strike women in the United States. Expert surgeon and gynecologic oncologist Anne O. Rodriguez, MD, can help women diagnosed with breast cancer with treatment and breast-conserving surgeries. Women in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Lompoc, California, can call the office nearest them or schedule online to discuss surgical treatment options.
When malignant cells develop in the tissue of the breast, a diagnosis of breast cancer occurs. Cancer can affect the various structures in the breast, including lobes made up of tiny bulbs that create milk and ducts that carry the milk to the nipple.
The most common type of breast cancer is called ductal carcinoma and begins in the cells of the ducts. There are many other types of breast cancer, some of which may even affect men.
The symptoms of breast cancer depend on the type of cancer you have. Signs may include:
If you notice any of these changes or your general practitioner has found a lump, contact Gynecologic Oncology Specialists.
Men and women can both get breast cancer, but it’s much more common in women. Certain conditions may increase your risk, such as:
If you’ve had breast cancer in the past or are of increasing age, you’re also at risk. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as being obese and drinking alcohol may increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
Regular clinical breast exams and mammograms (for most women older than 40) screen for cancer as part of your routine well-woman visit. If you find a lump or abnormal growth, you may undergo a tissue sample collection (biopsy) that a lab analyzes.
Dr. Rodriguez also performs sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy, the best way to determine if cancer cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes. This process is part of breast cancer surgery. If the cancer has spread, it helps inform further treatment.
Treatment for breast cancer includes radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Often, surgery is also required.
If you and Dr. Rodriguez agree, and it meets your treatment protocol, you may be a candidate for a nipple-sparing mastectomy. This treatment involves making a small incision and removing all of the breast glandular tissue. The overlying skin and nipple are left intact.
As an alternative to a full mastectomy, Dr. Rodriguez offers breast-conserving surgery when appropriate. This is lumpectomy followed by moderate-dose radiation in women with early-stage breast cancer.
If you have breast cancer, call Gynecologic Oncology Specialists to learn your treatment options. Alternatively, book an appointment online.