Breast Cancer FAQs

Q. What are the signs of breast cancer?

Often there are no overt signs or warning symptoms, and the signs of breast cancer can vary depending on the person. It is good to be aware of your own body and changes in it. 

  • A lump or hard knot in the tissue different from your normal breast tissue.
  • Change in color or feel of the skin: swelling, thickening, tenderness, warming, darkening, dimpling, reddening, or warming sensation.
  • Change in breast size or shape outside of usual changes in your cycle.
  • Scaly, itchy, or sore nipple.
  • Sudden nipple discharge.

> You can learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult your primary care physician for further evaluation to determine the cause of these symptoms.

> Learn how breast cancer is detected.

Q. What are some key statistics about breast cancer?
  • According to the NCI, there is an 89.2% survival rate after five years for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Approximately 12.3% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Q. How do I decide which breast cancer treatment option is best for me?

Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center (WVCI) have breast cancer doctors ready to talk to you all about your options. We offer the latest treatment options available – surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy – and each individual is different, so no treatment plan is the same. Your breast cancer specialist will recommend a treatment plan depending on a number of factors, such as the breast cancer type, location of cancer, the stage of the cancer at detection, and your age and general health. It’s important for you to learn the facts, know your options, and choose a treatment that’s best for you.

> Learn more about your treatment options for breast cancer.

Q. What are the side effects of treatment?

The side effects vary depending on the individual, the drug, and drug doses. A few common side effects of chemotherapy are nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, anemia, mouth sores, taste and smell changes, and menopause. Please discuss any concerns about the side effects of your treatment with your oncologist. You can also read about integrative care and alternative therapies that might help manage the side effects of traditional therapies for breast cancer.

Q. What is a clinical trial? Should I participate in one?

At WVCI, patients have access to innovative therapies through clinical trials because of our partnership with The US Oncology Network. These clinical trials provide our patients access to breast cancer treatments otherwise unavailable. If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials or participating in a clinical trial for breast cancer, talk to your oncologist.

> Find out more information about available breast cancer clinical trials in Eugene and Corvallis.

Q: What are the risk factors for developing breast cancer?

Learn about the risk factors of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Specialists Near You in Willamette Valley

Our breast cancer specialists are available to answer any additional questions you might have about breast cancer. You can also read our guide to learn about what to expect after a breast cancer diagnosis

If you are seeking breast cancer treatment or a second opinion on treatment plans, our cancer centers are located in Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Florence, Lincoln City, and Newport, Oregon.

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