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Oncology Esthetics: Breast Cancer Awareness

By: Morag Currin
Posted: October 2, 2013, from the October 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Signs and symptoms. These include lumps in breast, changes in breast size or shape, changes in the feel of the nipple or breast, and yellowish or bloody nipple fluid discharge.

Paget’s Disease. This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple, then to the areola. It is rare, accounting for only about 1% of all cases of breast cancer. Paget’s is often mistaken for eczema (a severe skin rash and inflammation), an infection or injury, or some other skin condition. For many people, it can take several months to get a correct diagnosis. Paget Disease is almost always associated with either DCIS or IDC.

Signs and symptoms. Paget’s Disease causes the skin on and around the nipple to become red, sore, flaky or scaly. At first, these symptoms tend to come and go. Over time, symptoms of Paget’s Disease usually worsen and may include:

  • Itching, tingling and/or a burning sensation;
  • Pain and sensitivity;
  • Scaling and thickening of the skin;
  • Flattening of the nipple; and
  • Yellowish or bloody discharge from the nipple.

Phyllodes tumor. Phyllodes tumors of the breast are rare, accounting for less than 1% of all breast tumors. Phyllodes tumors tend to grow quickly, but they rarely spread outside the breast. Although most phyllodes tumors are benign, some are malignant, and some are in between noncancerous and cancerous. All three kinds of phyllodes tumors tend to grow quickly within a period of weeks or months, to a size of 2–3 cm or sometimes larger. This rapid growth does not automatically mean the phyllodes tumor is malignant; benign tumors can grow quickly, too. The lump is usually not painful. If left unchecked, it can create a visible bulge as it pushes against the skin. In more advanced cases, a phyllodes tumor can cause an ulcer or open wound to form on the breast skin.

Signs and symptoms. A lump may be felt while examining the breasts.

Oncology Esthetics: A Practitioner's Guide REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION
Author: Morag Currin

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Oncology Esthetics Revised and Expanded Edition has been written with heartfelt sensitivity in order to give you the information you need to treat clients who are cancer survivors or are undergoing treatment for cancer.

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