Breast cancer is a type of cancer that is primarily seen in women but can occur in men. It begins when cancer cells begin to spread, starting in the breast. It can be frightening to learn you have breast cancer and you may be concerned about your future. Understanding the timeline can give you a better idea of what to expect and it can help to ease any worries.

Discovering Breast Cancer

It all begins when you first recognize the signs of breast cancer. Breast cancer can be found through various screenings which is why it’s important to have regularly scheduled mammograms. However, you can also discover the signs yourself. Breast cancer is often first seen as a lump in the breast. Note that not all breast lumps are cancer. Aside from lumps, you may also experience swelling, skin dimpling, breast or nipple pain, nipple discharge, or other irritation. Once you notice signs, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to address your concerns.


Once you see the signs of breast cancer, whether through your own observations or the results of a screening, you will need to be scheduled for a biopsy. Typically biopsies can be scheduled fairly quickly to address any concerns. During a biopsy, the doctor will remove small amounts of tissue to have it analyzed. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure if you have breast cancer. You should have the results of your biopsy within a few days. If it has been a few days and you haven’t heard anything, consider calling in to see if your results are ready.

Determining Treatment

Once you have a diagnosis, the next step will be determining how to treat your breast cancer. Cases will vary and not everyone will receive the same type of treatment. Your treatment will depend on your stage of cancer as well as other factors such as your overall health, if you’ve gone through menopause, how quickly the cancer is spreading, and more. In most cases, surgery is the first treatment option and, if needed, it is accompanied by radiation or chemotherapy. Talk with your doctor to know what treatments you will need to address your breast cancer.


In most breast cancer cases, surgery is used as the first form of treatment. Surgery is used for a variety of reasons. Your doctor might use surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Surgery can also be used to determine if the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes. If it has, this means cancer cells may have spread throughout your body and this will require further treatment. You may also have surgery to restore the breast’s shape once the cancer has been removed. Your doctor will inform you what surgeries you will need and how they will improve your situation.


Chemotherapy treatment uses anti-cancer drugs that will target the cancer cells in your body and destroy them. Chemotherapy is often a combination of several drugs (usually 2-3 at a time). This combination leads to better results. You can receive chemotherapy intravenously or by mouth depending on what your doctor recommends. Typically, chemotherapy will need to be sustained over an extended period of time to effectively remove all cancer cells. Not every individual with breast cancer will require chemotherapy treatments.

Breast cancer is a concerning condition and it can lead to several worries. Taking time to further educate yourself can help calm these worries and give you a better idea of what your specific situation entails.

Having the proper care can help you with your situation. Click here to find a health care provider.