Advocate Christ Medical Center
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How prevalent is breast cancer?
What are the symptoms?
Can breast cancer be detected early?
What are the risk factors?
If any medical treatments are ordered by my doctor, will my insurance cover them?
Who is part of the treatment team?

How prevalent is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, after skin cancer.  One in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. It also can develop in men, although male breast cancer is rare.

What are the symptoms?

Early symptoms of breast cancer can be an unusual lump in the breast or underarm, discharge from the nipples, soreness, or changes in the breast's shape or skin texture.

Can breast cancer be detected early?

Every year, breast cancer screenings detect breast cancer before patients experience symptoms, increasing the patient's chance for survival. The American Cancer Society recommends the following screenings to promote early detection of breast cancer:

  • Yearly screening mammogram for women aged 40 and older.
  • Clinical breast exam every year for women aged 40 and older. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam every three years.
  • Yearly MRI and mammogram for women at any age, who are designated as high risk for breast cancer.
  • Monthly breast self exam for all women, beginning in their 20s to track any changes in breast tissue.

What are the risk factors?

Some of the factors that increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer include:

  • Age 60 and over
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Genetic factors
  • Being overweight

While many of these risk factors are beyond our control, there are important steps women can take to catch breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage: monthly breast self-exams and annual mammograms beginning at age 40, depending on your other risk factors. Women with increased family or genetic risk may be advised to begin mammograms when younger and to pursue other diagnostic tests.

If any medical treatments are ordered by my doctor, will my insurance cover them?

Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.

Who is part of the treatment team?

The team at Advocate Christ Medical Center is staffed by a specially trained team of breast oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, genetics counselors, breast health specialist and nurse manager, who are dedicated to caring for patients with breast cancer. You will remain under the care of your primary care physician while you are treated by the specialists at Christ Medical Center. To ensure that your physician is kept up-to-date, our team will provide ongoing reports on the progress you have made.

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