Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Aug 30, 2016 03:31AM ● Published by Family Features

Whether it’s October or not, breast cancer is one of the most recognized cancers in the world. Thanks to massive public awareness campaigns, nearly everyone understands the significance behind a pink ribbon, but how many can say they have breast cancer knowledge beyond pink?


The truth is, breast cancer is extremely complex and not a one-size-fits-all disease. It’s classified into different types based on the unique biology of each tumor, including the size, whether and where it’s spread, how it looks under the microscope and what’s causing it to grow at the cellular level, according to the American Cancer Society. Understanding the various biological features is critical, as they help determine treatment decisions and directly affect patient outcomes.

As breast cancer survivor Pamela Cunningham knows all too well, knowledge is power when navigating a breast cancer journey. When diagnosed with Stage II HER2-positive early breast cancer, an aggressive type of the disease, Cunningham said that while she understood there were different stages, she was shocked to discover there were so many different types.

In fact, her mother had faced breast cancer several years earlier and neither Cunningham nor her father knew what kind her mother had.

To better understand her diagnosis, she talked with friends who had faced similar situations and even sought a second opinion. After learning more, Cunningham felt confident in her decision to receive a treatment regimen that helped shrink her tumor prior to undergoing surgery to remove it.

I'm really thankful I went the way I did,” Cunningham said. “I would advise other women to do their own research, find out the available treatments and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about all of your options and possible side effects.”

Cunningham and her oncologist, Dr. Karen Tedesco of New York Oncology Hematology, offer the following tips to help patients more fully understand how to approach a breast cancer diagnosis.

  1. Strength in Numbers: The news of a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly overwhelming to patients and their loved ones. Make the most of the first few doctor appointments by bringing a friend outside of the immediate family to ensure the information is being absorbed and the right questions are being asked.
  1. Build a Support Team: In addition to family and friends, it’s important to have a strong health care and surrounding support team. Seek out nurse navigators, local breast support groups and financial assistance to ensure you’re properly informed and have all the resources you need. Do not hesitate to consider a second opinion until you feel 100 percent confident in your health care team and treatment plan.
  1. Understand Your Diagnosis: Learning about your specific type of breast cancer is essential because the unique biology of your tumor can directly impact your breast cancer journey. Knowing the four S’s – stage, size, status and subtype – of your tumor can help you better understand your diagnosis and the treatment options available to you.
  1. Ask Questions, Then Ask More: Consider asking your doctor the following questions: Are you eligible for clinical trials? Are there special treatments geared toward your specific type of breast cancer? Do I need surgery? Does surgery have to be the first step? Being actively involved can help ensure each patient receives the best treatment option for them.

For more tips to take on a breast cancer diagnosis and to better understand the four S’s, visit gene.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by Genentech

Family Features Family Features Lifestyle
  • Tri-Cities Exchange Club Breakfast

    09/26/2017
    07:00AM — 08:00AM

    Every Tuesday morning, 7-8am, men and women meet for breakfast at Colonial Cafe on Randall Road, ...


  • Coat Drive

    09/26/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Please help those in need in our community with donations of new or clean, gently-used winter ite...


  • Sculpture on the Prairie

    09/26/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Fine Line Creative Arts Center is proud to annouce it's first Sculpture on the Prarie exhibit. E...


  • Wednesday Walking Club

    09/27/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00AM

    Wednesdays, April 5–October 25, 8–9 AM Free drop-in program for all ages Get fit the old-fashio...


  • Wednesday Walking Club

    09/27/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00AM

    Wednesdays, April 5–October 25, 8–9 AM Free drop-in program for all ages Get fit the old-fashio...


  • Coat Drive

    09/27/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Please help those in need in our community with donations of new or clean, gently-used winter ite...


  • Sculpture on the Prairie

    09/27/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Fine Line Creative Arts Center is proud to annouce it's first Sculpture on the Prarie exhibit. E...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    09/27/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Million Dollar Quartet

    09/27/2017
    01:30PM

    Paramount Theatre's rollicking 2017-18 Broadway Series opener is Million Dollar Quartet, the wild...


  • Coat Drive

    09/28/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Please help those in need in our community with donations of new or clean, gently-used winter ite...


  • Nature Tykes (for 3 year olds)

    09/28/2017
    09:30AM — 10:30AM

    In this program, for 3-year olds and their parents, grandparents or guardians, we’ll explore the ...


  • Sculpture on the Prairie

    09/28/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Fine Line Creative Arts Center is proud to annouce it's first Sculpture on the Prarie exhibit. E...


  • Fabyan Villa Museum & Japanese Garden open

    09/28/2017
    01:00PM — 04:30PM

    The Fabyan Villa Museum and Japanese Garden will return to a public hours schedule starting on Su...


  • Little Naturalists

    09/28/2017
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    In this hour-long program for 4-5-year olds, children will discover the wonders of nature through...


  • Million Dollar Quartet

    09/28/2017
    01:30PM

    Paramount Theatre's rollicking 2017-18 Broadway Series opener is Million Dollar Quartet, the wild...


  • Please join the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke, and Batavia represen...


  • Comedy at Zanies

    09/28/2017
    08:00PM

    See nationally known comics along with some of the country’s hottest new talents for a night full...


  • Coat Drive

    09/29/2017
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Please help those in need in our community with donations of new or clean, gently-used winter ite...


  • Moms Connect

    09/29/2017
    09:00AM — 10:15AM

    St. John Lutheran Church at 7214 South Cass Avenue in Darien, IL will sponsor a new Bible-based s...


  • Sculpture on the Prairie

    09/29/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Fine Line Creative Arts Center is proud to annouce it's first Sculpture on the Prarie exhibit. E...


  • Story Time at Creek Bend Nature Center

    09/29/2017
    10:30AM — 11:00AM

    Treat your child to Story Times at Creek Bend Nature Center. This popular program series is for c...


  • Million Dollar Quartet

    09/29/2017
    01:30PM

    Paramount Theatre's rollicking 2017-18 Broadway Series opener is Million Dollar Quartet, the wild...


  • Comedy at Zanies

    09/29/2017
    08:00PM

    See nationally known comics along with some of the country’s hottest new talents for a night full...


  • Live Entertainment: DJ

    09/29/2017
    09:00PM — 11:55PM

    Join us on historic Bourbon Street in Jambalaya at Pheasant Run Resort every Friday for live ente...


  • LEHSO Resale

    09/30/2017
    07:00AM — 02:00PM

    LEHSO Clothing Resale The Lisle Elementary Home & School Organization clothing resale is a bia...


  • The Holmstad’s 40th Annual Bazaar

    09/30/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    The community is invited to wrap up their holiday shopping early by stopping in at The Holmstad’s...


  • Sculpture on the Prairie

    09/30/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Fine Line Creative Arts Center is proud to annouce it's first Sculpture on the Prarie exhibit. E...


  • Green Fair

    09/30/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Eco Vendors, Farmer's Market, Recycling Extravaganza, Green Speakers, Food Trucks, Children's Mak...


  • National Public Lands Day

    09/30/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Volunteers are needed to help us plant trees, collect seeds and clear brush at our National Publi...


  • Million Dollar Quartet

    09/30/2017
    01:30PM

    Paramount Theatre's rollicking 2017-18 Broadway Series opener is Million Dollar Quartet, the wild...


  • Comedy at Zanies

    09/30/2017
    07:30PM

    See nationally known comics along with some of the country’s hottest new talents for a night full...


  • St. Charles Singers: Mozart Journey XII

    09/30/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    The St. Charles Singers will launch its 34th concert season this fall with a new installment of t...


  • Live Music

    09/30/2017
    09:00PM — 11:55PM

    Join us on historic Bourbon Street in Jambalaya at Pheasant Run Resort for live bands every Satur...


  • Comedy at Zanies

    09/30/2017
    09:45PM

    See nationally known comics along with some of the country’s hottest new talents for a night full...


Neighbors Magazines
Neighbors Magazines, 28 South Water Street, Batavia, IL 60510, 630-995-3482, www.welcometoneighbors.com
Contact us