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(breastcancer.org) Breast cancer symptoms vary widely — from lumps to swelling to skin changes — and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. Symptoms that are similar to those of breast cancer may be the result of non-cancerous conditions like infection or a cyst.
Breast self-exam should be part of your monthly health care routine, and you should visit your doctor if you experience breast changes. If you’re over 40 or at a high risk for the disease, you should also have an annual mammogram and physical exam by a doctor. The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it.
The actual process of diagnosis can take weeks and involve many different kinds of tests. Waiting for results can feel like a lifetime. The uncertainty stinks. But once you understand your own unique “big picture,” you can make better decisions. You and your doctors can formulate a treatment plan tailored just for you.
In the following pages of the Symptoms and Diagnosis section, you can learn about:
Understanding Breast Cancer
How breast cancer happens, how it progresses, the stages, and a look at risk factors.
Screening and Testing
The tests used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring, including mammograms, ultrasound, MRI, CAT scans, PET scans, and more.
Types of Breast Cancer
The different types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), inflammatory breast cancer, male breast cancer, recurrent breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, and more.
The characteristics of the cancer that might affect your treatment plan, including size, stage, lymph node status, hormone receptor status, and more.
Your Pathology Report
A detailed, step-by-step explanation of what your pathology report says and how this might affect your treatment options.
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HealthCentral.com– Rea Panares, director of Minority Health Initiatives at Families USA, said the main problem of access to health care among Spanish-speaking Americans is lack of health insurance, not language.
“One of the barriers to access is language, and we have seen that in a number of different reports and studies in the past,” Panares said. “Spanish-speaking patients are less likely to have access to health care, mainly due to cultural and language barriers.”More than 70 percent of Spanish-speaking Hispanics are uninsured, particularly in new growth areas, Panares said. “That’s a stark finding,” she said. Part of the problem is that the federal government does not reimburse states for health-care costs for new legal immigrants.
Panares noted that there is a federal five-year ban on eligibility for public benefits for all legal, documented immigrant children and pregnant women. While some states offer benefits, others do not, she said. “This points to why we need national health-care reform,” Panares said.
Another study in the same journal found that along the U.S.-Mexican border, the number of uninsured increased 7 percent from 2000 to 2005.
“Results from this study indicate that existing disparities in health-care access will continue to undermine the health status of the region’s population unless major health-care policy reforms are initiated to promote greater accessibility to U.S. health care,” the University of Texas researchers concluded.
In a third study, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found poor U.S.-born children were as likely as foreign-born children to have public insurance coverage. But after 2000, foreign-born children were 1.59 times more likely to be uninsured compared with U.S.-born children.
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