What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer happens when cells in our chest grow uncontrollably. It’s a disease that’s personal to Southwest Floridians because of who it targets. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Here you’ll find educational, medical, and awareness resources for people diagnosed with breast cancer in our community. Our resources are accessible and conveniently located for residents from Cape Coral, Naples, Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, and Bonita Springs.
Common Types of Breast Cancer Treated in Fort Myers
The two most common types of breast cancer in Southwest Florida are differentiated by their origin. Cancerous cells will originate in different parts of the breast, grow, and spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) - In IDC, cancerous cells start in the duct; the part of the breast that carries breast milk from the lobules to the nipple.
- Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) - In ILC, cancerous cells start in the lobules which are the glands that produce breast milk.
Women and men are born with ducts and lobules so both can develop IDC and ILC. However breast cancer is significantly less common in men. The CDC expects that only 1 out of every 100 cases of breast cancer in the US will be found in men.
Breast Cancer Treatment in Southwest Florida
Your physician may recommend a combination of treatments depending on your unique needs.
- Surgery: Surgeons remove parts of the body with cancer via procedures like a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
- Hormone Therapy: Physicians prescribe drugs like Tamoxifen which can restrict cancer’s ability to grow.
- Biological Therapy: Physicians strategically use your body’s immune system to help your body fight cancer and the side-effects of the other therapies listed.
- Radiation Therapy: Patients are given targeted high doses of radiation to shrink and kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Sessions where you’re given drugs that shrink and kill cancer cells in your body.
What is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer cells often have receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 that allow them to destroy the cells with hormone therapies and drugs. Triple-Negative Breast Cancer is a rare condition where a patient doesn’t have any of these receptors.
The CDC uses a lock-and-key metaphor to explain how Triple-Negative Breast Cancer limits the treatment options available to patients. Estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 are all locks on cancer cells that can be cracked with the right key (hormone therapies and drugs). If cancer cells don’t have any of those locks then doctors can’t use any of the keys on them.
Despite this, Triple-Negative Breast Cancer is still treatable. Radiation and chemotherapy remain effective options and your oncologist will discuss the treatment options best suited for you. If you are diagnosed with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer remember you are not alone in your fight and there’s a community of survivors and specialists in Fort Myers who can help you.
Breast Health Center - The Sanctuary
8960 Colonial Center Dr Fort Myers, FL 33905
Breast Health Center - Surfside
2441 Surfside Blvd, Suite 104 Cape Coral, FL 33914
Breast Health Center - HealthPark Commons
16281 Bass Rd, Suite 204 Fort Myers, FL 33908
Breast Health Center - Coconut Point
23450 Via Coconut Pt Estero, FL 33928Fax: (239) 343-4035
Breast Health Center - University Highlands
19511 Highland Oaks Dr, Suite 103 Estero, FL 33928Fax: (239) 343-4035