FROM OUR EXPERTS
It’s got to go! The myth that breast cancer doesn’t hurt causes way too much pain! Like many myths, this one has roots in a fact. Compared to a breast cyst, which is often very tender to the touch, a cancerous lump usually doesn’t hurt when a woman or doctor feels it.
We hear many reports from women that go something like this:
I found this lump in my breast, so I went to see the doctor. It really hurt when he did the exam. He told me not to worry because breast cancer doesn’t hurt, but I am worried. Shouldn’t he have ordered a mammogram or ultrasound to see what it is?
Probably the doctor made a determination based on the shape, texture and tenderness of the lump that it was a cyst. I hope that what he said to the patient was, “Usually a painful lump like this is not breast cancer.” However, what the patient took away was the message that breast cancer doesn’t hurt.&nb...
You’ve been through every drug the oncologist has in his or her bag of tricks, yet nothing has managed to quell those debilitating side effects—of chemo, radiation, or hormone therapy.
Have you considered complementary therapy? Acupuncture is steadily gaining ground as an effective treatment for breast cancer side effects. Read our acupuncture FAQs, and see if it might be right for you.
Q. I’ve heard that acupuncture might help me with the nausea I’m feeling from chemo. Could you tell me what it is? A. Acupuncture is a common practice in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), where it’s been used for thousands of years to alleviate allergies, anxiety, migraine headaches, depression, and other chronic conditions. Researchers have found that, for some women with breast cancer, it helps reduce fatigue, hot flashes, nausea and vomiting from chemo, and pain. The traditional theory behind acupuncture is that vital energy flows ...
Q. I had breast cancer in the past, and I’m really scared of it coming back. What can you tell me about recurrent breast cancer? A. Recur (“re-occur”) means the same breast cancer you initially experienced has returned. It may come back in your breast (the same one, if you had a lumpectomy; or the other breast); but it may also come back in another part of your body. The important thing to remember is recurrent breast cancer is the SAME cancer you had initially. It’s possible for you to get breast cancer that’s entirely new; maybe you had DCIS the first time, and now you have ILC. These are different cancers. Or maybe you’ve developed cancer somewhere else in your body, cancer that’s not related to breast cancer. While this is obviously REALLY bad luck, it happens. The point is, it didn’t start with your original breast cancer. Q. Why is that important, whether or not it’s related to my original breast cancer or not? A. Because t...
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