“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide as well as in the United States. Breast cancer mostly occurs in women above 50 yrs old so there is sometimes a false sense of security in younger women that they are not at risk.”
“I have always felt that an informed patient is the best advocate for themselves. Learning about breast cancer and the various treatment options can give back some of the control you lose when you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Learn Look Locate is such a site that provides wonderful information through the intermingling of survivor stories, medical professionals and breast cancer education. Survivors, caregivers, high risk patients and women in general can each take away something from this much needed source.”
– Yara Robertson, MD Breast Surgical Oncologist
Yara V. Robertson, MD, FACS, is a board-certified general surgeon and fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist. Dr. Robertson practices at CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, providing quality breast cancer care. She has previously served as Vice-Chairman of Sisters by Choice, a local (Atlanta) non-profit organization that provides support for women diagnosed with breast cancer and provides education and free breast health screenings to uninsured women. Due to her work with Sister by Choice, she received congressional recognition from Georgia Congressman David Scott. She currently serves as a medical advisor for Not Putting on a Shirt, which is national non-profit organization that advocates for optimal surgical outcomes for women who choose to go flat after mastectomy. She is also a board member of the Arkansas Cancer Coalition which facilitates and provide partnerships to reduce the human suffering and economic burden from cancer for the citizens of Arkansas. As a kidney cancer survivor herself, D. Robertson is fully aware of the importance of the patient’s role in shared decision making and advocates for patient centered care. Dr. Robertson believes that women who choose to go flat after a mastectomy deserve a surgical result that is aesthetically pleasing to them.
Dr. Robertson is passionate about eliminating disparities in breast cancer treatment, especially in the African American community. She lectures on breast health and participates in a number of health fairs providing free clinical breast exams.
“Everyone, including the uninsured and underinsured, should receive quality breast health care.”
Breast cancer can occur in younger women and this year alone, 11% of all cases of breast cancer in the U.S. will be diagnosed in women younger than 45.
Some risk factors increase the chances of women getting breast cancer at a younger age & they should be aware of those risks. Risks include:
Any history of the chest wall or breast radiation during childhood or early adulthood
Close relatives diagnosed w/ breast cancer below the age of 50 or ovarian cancer diagnosed at any age, or a male w/ breast cancer in the family
Known genetic mutations such as BRCA1 & BRCA 2 in the family
Personal history of other beast issues such as lobular carcinoma in-situ (LCIS) or atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), or atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH).
Being told you have dense breast tissue on a mammogram
If you have a higher risk, then you need to talk to a healthcare provider for options. You may be screened earlier for breast cancer, possibly sent for genetic testing, or placed in a clinic for high-risk patients.
Know your breasts. It is very important for young women to be aware of changes to their breasts. Monthly self-breast exams have been hotly contested over the past few yrs. I feel that women should practice breast self-awareness which includes:
Knowing your risks
Seeing a physician
Getting a mammogram at the appropriate time
Clinical breast exam by your provider (every 2-3 yrs for women at average risk that are younger than 40, & annually for women 40 & older
Knowing what is normal for your breasts
Any new changes such as lumps, skin changes like thickening, any nipple discharge, nipple retraction, scaliness or itching of the nipple, puckering of the skin