Friday, April 11, 2014

AFTER DCIS: What I want to know about breasts

In my life I've gone to a periodontist, two eye specialist MDs, and a podiatrist.  It occurs to me that it's unusual for anyone to die of eye disease or foot disease.   

Oh, and two "professional breast fitters" measured me several sizes too small, i.e., I can't breathe at all in a 32, and they didn't have any 34D.  Don't you wonder if the mastectomy fitters have any real training?

One put me in an expensive underwire.  (This was before the lumpectomy.)  I have no separation between my breasts, so I don't wear under wires.  That one was pressing hard on almost an inch of each breast.  I pointed this out.  She said, But look how good you look!! I ran.   Finally, in radiation, someone pointed out that underwires are not recommended.

So, why don't we have breast doctors?  Do any medical schools teach breast care?  Do schools of osteopathy teach breast care?   Are doctors taught anything scientific about breast care before we get a disease?  

While looking up Dr. Northrup, MD, I did find something about tight bras being a problem, and about not wearing your bra all the time.  That much seems like good advice.  With heavy breasts, this is a tricky decision.  She also mentions avoiding a lot of estrogen.  She offers a monthly letter about breasts, but I probably won't subscribe to it - her focus for general protective health is different from mine.

And  there doesn't seem much knowledge about ongoing  breast care after lumpectomy and radiation, except stay hydrated.  I do leave my bra off for some periods, but after awhile I have some breast pain.   I also have periodic slight breast pain with my bra; and my radiated breast, months later, seems warmer to the touch, with a pink and  apparently swollen aureole.  The nurse at the radiation center is not much help.  I wonder if I'll get the doctor if I call again.

I've watched the medpage hot topics breast video, but I want to know:  Are any specific substances being tested for better adjuvant therapy?  Will more than a handful of women be able to afford them?

 Are we still going to be taking Tamoxifen fifty years from now? What can we do to avoid uterine cancer in the meantime? Memorial Sloan Kettering list Tamoxifen as one of the six "key risk factors for endometrial cancer."  Endometrial cancer is not my idea of a little problem. 

 Will Evista become more affordable?  

Are women really quitting Aromatase inhibitors because of the nasty side effects?

If a woman has had CIS in another part of the body, doesn't that make mammos more advisable?

What do the studies mean when they say a cancer drug did not reduce mortality?

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