A Mother and her Two Daughters

03 March 2011

Continued Awareness about Inflammatory Breast Cancer

I’m not a big fan of Dr. Oz, probably because I’m not a daytime television watcher and that’s when his show is on – I think.  I also worry about takeaways from his show I hear other claim, simplistic things like drinking cherry juice every day will keep you from getting cancer.  Not true, but it may be more about viewer interpretation versus what the famed medical talk show hosts actually promotes.  He's probably a great guy, but again, I’ve never watched his show. 

However, I was told this week by a friend that Dr. Oz recently discussed the misunderstanding of breast cancer, more specifically the myth that all breast cancers present themselves as a lump. 

I did a little research and found that on February 3, Dr. Oz had a guest on his show to discuss the many myths surrounding cancer – the name of this episode being “The Biggest Lies You’ve Ever Been Told About Cancer.”

One of his guests was Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen For The Cure of Greater New York and a 13-year breast cancer survivor. 


Regarding Lie #3 The Only Place To Check For Breast Cancer Is Your Breast

Regarding Breast Cancer Prevention:  Dr. Richardson strongly advocates physical activity and stress management. This decreases your risk of developing breast cancer and other cancers. She also advocates self-awareness, mammography, and prevention. Dr. Richardson mentioned that getting Vitamin D is very important for breast cancer prevention, and can reduce your risk by as much as 50%.  If you don't get it from moderate sun exposure, you should take at least 1000 IU of Vitamin D a day. She stressed that you need the active form of Vitamin D in Vitamin D3.

Regarding Inflammatory Breast Cancer:  Dr. Richardson said, “There’s a very aggressive type of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer that does not present a lump at all. In fact what you find is a change in the skin, it’s dimpling similar to the skin of an orange, thickening of the skin and dimpling of the skin. This is so important because one it is very, very aggressive and the big part is a lot of doctors don’t recognize this and women are treated as they have a breast infection and that is horrible and I urge every woman if you get an irritation in your breast that does not go away you must go an see your doctor. Even say ‘can this be inflammatory breast cancer’, use the words because this is so deadly it is more common in African American Women and it’s a very, very serious condition women need to know about”.

I’m sharing this with all of you dear readers, especially women.  Remember:
  • There’s more than one kind of breast cancer, and the IBC-kind isn’t packaged up in a lump.
  • Mammograms usually don’t detect Inflammatory Breast Cancer. 
  • Make sure your doctor is aggressive with an ultrasound or biopsy in the event your breast becomes swollen, warm, itches, changes colors or the texture of the skin or areola begins to thicken.  And watch for nipple discharge or retraction too. 

 Get in touch with your body, including your breasts.  

Oh yeah -- P.S.  I don't want to sound like a nag, but have you had your Vitamin D levels checked recently?  

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