Vim & Vigor - Summer 2012 - Gwinnett Medical Center - (Page 24)

NOT Be Breast Cancer It Might FEATURE BYLINE Suspicious lumps and bumps don’t always mean cancer ave you ever had “a scare”? Maybe you were doing a breast self-exam or merely lotioning up after a shower. Whatever you were doing, it was no less than a shock when you felt a lump. • “Is that what I think it is?” • “How long has it been there?” • “Oh my goodness, I have cancer.” • Because of effective breast cancer awareness campaigns—which have done wonders in helping increase mammogram prevalence and breast cancer survival rates—when women feel changes in their breasts, they may automatically assume it’s cancer. But that’s far from the reality. • “Most of the things that can go wrong in the breast are benign,” says Gail Lebovic, M.D., former president of the American Society of Breast Disease. “In fact, so many women will have lumps in their breasts at one time or another that we no longer call it a disease.” • About 80 to 85 percent of all breast lumps are not cancer, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. So if a lump isn’t cancer, then what is it? First, it’s important to understand a little about the anatomy of the breast. H OUR CHANGING BREASTS They may seem unchanging, but breasts are “very dynamic organs,” Lebovic says. “Breasts change during every monthly cycle, and they also change a lot throughout life, too.” • Blame it on hormones, says Shahla Masood, M.D., president of the World Society for Breast Health. “The function of the breast is to provide nutrition to children. The life cycle of breast tissue PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTY IMAGES BY SHELLEY FLANNERY 24 Vim & Vigor · SUM M ER 2 012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2012 - Gwinnett Medical Center

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2012 - Gwinnett Medical Center
Phil’s Feature
Good as New
With Open Hearts
The Breakfast Club
Arthritis Answers
A TV Guide to Radiology
Take Aim
It Might NOT Be Cancer
Colin Firth
Step Up to the Plate
Life After Cancer
Get Dad to the Doc
Virtual Health
PrimeTime Health
Half the Man He Was
Have a Happy Birth Day
Out of the White Coat
Transforming Healthcare

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2012 - Gwinnett Medical Center