Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer in the United States, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, outside of skin cancer. As a surgical oncologist, Trevan Fischer, MD, offers a number of different treatment options that help his patients in Santa Monica, California, successfully fight back against breast cancer. Dr. Fischer accepts patients across all of Southern California, including Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo and Palm Springs. To learn more, call or use the online scheduling tool to request a consultation.
As a disease, cancer begins when certain cells begin to grow out of control, and the origin of these cells determines which type of cancer you have and how it should be treated. When it comes to breast cancer, there are different types that start in distinct cells of your breast tissue. For example, the most common form of breast cancer begins in your ducts, which deliver breast milk, while other forms affect the glands that make the milk.
Two of the most common types of breast cancer are:
Invasive ductal breast cancer: This type of breast cancer begins in the cells of your milk duct and are growing outside of ducts. Because of this, there is potential for the cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body, likely initially to the lymph nodes under the arm.
Invasive lobular breast cancer: This type of breast cancer begins in the glands that produce your breast milk, but because it’s invasive, it can spread to nearby lymph nodes and, from there, to other parts of your body.
This type of breast cancer develops in the cells of your milk ducts, but it doesn’t spread from this area. While DCIS is considered noninvasive, it can turn into an invasive breast cancer if it isn’t properly treated.
There are other, more rare, forms of cancer involving the breast, including:
There’s also a class of diseases called benign breast disease, which mimic breast cancer, but they are typically noncancerous fibrocystic changes in your tissue.
Many breast cancer symptoms share similar characteristics, including:
Early detection with mammograms and clinical breast exams are key in preventing cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body. If found early, breast cancer can be cured.
The best way to know for sure whether cancer might be developing is to first have a mammogram and, if your doctor spots something suspicious, to undergo a biopsy in order to test the tissue for cancer cells.
As a surgical oncologist, Dr. Fischer has extensive experience removing the cancer from your breast tissue. Depending upon the type and extent of your breast cancer, Dr. Fischer may perform a lumpectomy, taking only the cancerous tissue, or a full mastectomy to remove your breast. Examination of the draining lymph nodes, a procedure called sentinel lymph node biopsy, is routinely done to evaluate if any cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes.
Dr. Fischer uses the most minimally invasive techniques available in order to spare as much of your breast as possible, but the circumstances may dictate that he remove a considerable amount of tissue to fully eradicate the cancer before it can spread.
If you’re dealing with a benign breast disease, Dr. Fischer is able to remove the growth if it’s causing you discomfort or pain. For DCIS, Dr. Fischer may recommend surgery in order to avoid cancer in the future.
Whether you’re dealing with a benign issue or invasive breast cancer, Dr. Trevan Fischer can help. Call or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.