Breast Surgery

An abnormal mammogram, or a mass that is felt in the breast can be one of the most alarming events in a woman’s life.

Fortunately, mammogram abnormalities and palpable lumps that are biopsied frequently reveal a non-cancerous process.

Both Dr.s Richard and Tracy Fansler have extensive experience in managing and counseling patients with breast abnormalities. We can often provide biopsy of breast abnormalities in our office under local anesthesia, including those seen on mammogram or sonogram.

The Mammotome Biopsy system allows removal of mammogram and sonogram abnormalities through a small (3mm) incision which cosmetically can generally be well hidden.

In the event that a Breast Cancer is diagnosed, the most current treatment and counseling can be offered from physicians who genuinely care about their patients.

Breast Cancer Myths

MYTH: Finding a lump in your breast means you have breast cancer.

TRUTH: Eight out of ten lumps are benign, or not cancerous. If you discover a persistent lump in your breast or any changes in breast tissue, it is very important that you see a physician immediately. Many times fear keeps women from aggressive health care. Sometimes women stay away from medical care because they fear what they might find. Take charge of your own health by monthly self-exams, regular visits to the doctor, and regularly scheduled mammograms.

The diagram to the right illustrates some common non-cancerous breast anomalies. Although these may feel like lumps to the touch, they should not be cause for concern. However, only your doctor can diagnose these conditions and suggest treatment. The bottom line is, if you detect something out of the ordinary during your monthly breast self-exam, see your doctor immediately. Early detection always is the best form of prevention.

MYTH: Men do not get breast cancer.

TRUTH: This year 211,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 will die; however, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die. While the percentage of men who are diagnosed with breast cancer is small, men should also give themselves monthly exams and note changes to their physicians.

MYTH: A mammogram can cause breast cancer to spread.

TRUTH: An x-ray of the breast is called a mammogram. The x-ray and the pressure on the breast from the x-ray machine cannot cause cancer to spread. Do not let tales of other people’s experiences keep you from having a mammogram. Base your decision on your physician’s recommendation and ask the physician any questions you may have about the mammogram.

MYTH: Having a family history of breast cancer means you will get breast cancer.

TRUTH: While women who have a family history of breast cancer are in a higher risk group, most women who have breast cancer have no family history. If you have a mother, daughter, sister, or grandmother who had breast cancer, you should have a mammogram five years before the age of their diagnosis.

MYTH: Breast cancer is a communicable disease.

TRUTH: You cannot catch breast cancer or transfer it to someone else’s body. Breast cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell growth in your own body.

MYTH: Knowing you have changes in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene means you can prevent breast cancer.

TRUTH: Five percent to ten percent of women who have breast cancer are thought to carry the mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Alterations in these genes for men and women can predispose them to breast cancer. If you are a carrier of the genes, you should be monitored closely by your physician. Carriers of the genes have a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

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