Helping Guide Patients To Breast Health

There are several risk factors for breast cancer among women. Helping patients understand their medical history and how it contributes to their own risk is essential in promoting a preventive approach to breast cancer. Some factors are outside of our control, like age. Women are also at an increased risk of cancer directly following menopause, and roughly 10% of breast cancers may be related to genetics. However, some risk factors can be mitigated. Losing weight and eliminating the use of tobacco and alcohol may help decrease risk. Here is a list of significant risk factors that may prompt patients to be extra vigilant about their breast health:

  1. Older age
  2. A personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast disease
  3. Family history risk of breast cancer
  4. Radiation therapy to the breast or chest
  5. Obesity
  6. Tobacco use
  7. Drinking alcohol

Breast Health & The Importance Of Education

Patient self-examination and awareness are powerful tools in detecting early signs of breast cancer, which dramatically increase the chance of successful treatment. Successful patient self-examination begins with a sense of what’s normal for a woman’s own breasts. Encourage patients to conduct regular breast self-exams. With practice, women will discover how breasts vary in sensitivity, texture, and size at different times of the menstrual cycle and with age.

Here Are The Top 12 Physical Signs Of Breast Cancer:

  1. Increased breast density
  2. Large dimples
  3. Scabbing on the surface
  4. Redness and warm sensation
  5. Fluid secretion
  6. Skin sores
  7. Bumps
  8. Enlarged veins
  9. Sunken nipples
  10. Change in shape and size
  11. Enlarged, swollen skin follicles
  12. Hardened lumps

Hormones & Breast Health

The average age of women diagnosed with breast cancer is 61. This age may coincide with the incidence of menopause, as women have stopped producing significant amounts of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Helping women understand how these changes affect their bodies and how these hormones interact with their breasts’ receptors and cells are critical for proper education and prevention.

The Hormone Receptor Model

Dr. Edward Friedman has performed extensive research on a hormone receptor model for understanding the relationship between hormones and breast cancer proliferation. This model explains that endogenous estradiol levels do not initiate breast cancer but rather increased aromatase activity leading to high estradiol levels in epithelial cells and surrounding fat cells that influence the proliferation of this disease. This model also explains how the two different progesterone receptors may affect the performance of progesterone, and how individual genetic differences may render its effect differently.

BioTE’s Research & The Importance Оf Testosterone

Testosterone receptors are the most widely expressed hormone receptors in the breast and may have a breast protective effect on potential breast cancers. In a recent white paper study on the hormone receptor model, Gary S. Donovitz, MD, and Mandy Cotten, DNP, explain that a review of the history of androgen therapy reveals that testosterone and dihydrotestosterone were used successfully to treat breast cancer in the 1940s and 1950s and that activated androgen receptors have a potential tumoricidal effect.

Most post-menopausal breast cancers are estrogen receptor-positive, and 75% of these tumors are androgen receptor-positive, allowing for an increase in apoptosis and a decrease in cellular proliferation. While the research of hormone receptors and breast cancer is ongoing, the clinical utility of hormone optimization to support breast health has been clearly established..

As a result of these positive experiences, I began seeing Dr Weaver as a patient. I’ve also trusted her with the care of my two young sons who have both needed treatment for fractures and sports injuries. I appreciate her approach to medicine.

K.W. age 38