Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Specialist
Discovering that you have breast cancer or have a high risk of developing the disease is devastating news. At the Oregon Breast Center in Lake Oswego, Oregon, leading breast cancer specialist and surgeon Judith Richmond, MD, FACS, and her team has helped countless women through this unnerving diagnosis, to treatment and recovery. For superior and compassionate breast cancer care, call or book an appointment online with the Oregon Breast Center.

Breast Cancer Q & A

by Judith Richmond, MD, FACS

Why do I have breast cancer?

Breast cancer can affect anyone at any point in life, but some patients have higher risk factors. Women have a much greater chance of developing breast cancer than men. Over 190,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer form in women in the United States annually. Another 60,000 instances of non-invasive breast cancer in women are reported.

Your risk also goes up as you age. Roughly two out of every three invasive breast cancer cases start in women over 55. Breast cancer trends show that if a woman starts menstruating before age 12, her chances of developing breast cancer later on in life is greater.

Your risk can go up too if you:

  • Are over 30 and haven’t had a full-term pregnancy
  • Have low vitamin D levels
  • Are overweight or generally sedentary
  • Smoke or drink heavily

Sometimes the cause of breast cancer isn’t always known. Dr. Richmond works with you to try and find the cause to determine if other members of your family are at risk.

Is breast cancer genetic?

Often, yes. If a first-degree female in your family — sister, mother, or daughter — is diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk doubles. Plus, if anyone in your family has breast cancer, your chance also increases. Researchers estimate that up to 10% of all types of breast cancer are hereditary.

Are there different types of breast cancer?

Yes. Cancers are typically put into one of two categories: in situ or invasive. With in situ breast cancers, the growth hasn’t spread to surrounding tissue. If your diagnosis is an invasive (or infiltrating) type of breast cancer, it means that the cancer cells have invaded surrounding breast tissue.

Most types of breast cancer are carcinomas, which are tumors that develop throughout epithelial cells in organs and tissues. They are defined based on where they grow. Adenocarcinoma growths, for example, start in your milk ducts.

Ductal carcinoma in situ growths is non-invasive or preinvasive common types of breast cancer. These tumors are sometimes invasive and called invasive ductal carcinoma. Lobular carcinoma in situ is another common form that affects your milk glands. Some breast cancers are less common, including sarcomas, angiosarcomas, and phyllodes.

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, need a second opinion, or have a risk of developing it, come in for a visit. Book your appointment online or give us a call.

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