Friday, January 28, 2011
Medical Reports: Breast Cancer Battle
Younger women often think they don't have to worry about breast cancer, but doctors say more and more young women are getting hit with cancer that is tough to treat. 7's Christine Cruz has more on this "Breast Cancer Battle."
WSVN -- Melissa Baio, Breast Cancer Patient: "So, how was your day?"
Melissa Baio wasn't really worried when she felt a lump in her right breast last year.
Melissa Baio: "I don't have any cancer in my family. It doesn't run in my family at all."
But at age 33, the young mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Dr. Mindy Williams, Memorial Regional Hospital: "We are definitely seeing a lot of breast cancer being diagnosed in patients in their 20s and 30s."
Surgical Oncologist Dr. Mindy Williams is seeing an alarming number of young women diagnosed with a deadly form of breast cancer.
Dr. Mindy Williams: "We definitely see more of what we call 'triple negative breast cancers' in younger patients."
Dr. Williams says triple negative tumors are more difficult to treat. They don't respond to hormonal therapies, like targeted chemotherapy, so the cancer is more likely to come back.
Dr. Mindy Williams: "Most triple negative breast cancers do recur within two to three years if they are going to recur."
Melissa's tumor was triple negative.
Melissa Baio: "There was another tumor they had discovered after I did an MRI that was growing underneath the larger one."
To fight it, she decided to have both breasts removed in a bilateral mastectomy, followed by traditional chemotherapy every three weeks.
Melissa Baio: "I've had my ups and downs, and I've had my problems with nausea."
Dr. Williams believes women should start getting yearly mammograms beginning at age 40 and start doing self breast exams as young as 20.
Dr. Mindy Williams: "So with no family history, no reason to increase or to begin screening at an earlier age, physical exam is crucial."
Melissa Baio: "I never in a million years would have thought that I would be a breast cancer person."
Christine Cruz: "Dr. Williams recommends all women follow a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, quit smoking and exercise five days a week."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Women's Imaging Center at Memorial Regional Hospital
Tel: (954) 265-5916