Breast cancer has affected the lives of many in our campus community. We encourage you to educate yourself, and one another, about breast health and the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Together we can spread the early detection message, support our colleagues with breast cancer and work toward finding a cure for this disease.
This webpage is designed to provide education and resources on breast health, early detection guidelines and campus and community awareness activities. In addition, for those campus members with breast cancer, this webpage serves as a gateway to resources -- on campus, online and in the Bay Area.
It is not yet known how to prevent breast cancer, or even what causes it. The key is finding breast cancer early, and the key to early detection is screening. Below are the American Cancer Society Guidelines for breast cancer detection. Talk with your primary care provider about these guidelines and your personal breast health.
|Clinical Breast Exam||Age 20-40: Every 3 years
Age 40+: Yearly
|Screening Mammogram||Age 40+ : Yearly|
|Breast Self-Exam (BSE)||Age 20+: optional|
For more information about early detection and screening, call Health*Matters at (510) 643-4646.
Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is performed by a trained medical professional, and includes inspection and palpitation (feeling) of the entire breast area, the area under the arms, and the lymph node area above and below the collarbones. Talk with your clinician about scheduling your clinical breast exams.
A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. It can find breast cancer that is too small for you, your doctor, or nurse to feel. For more information about screening mammograms, please check see online resources.
Genetic Testing & Counseling
For information and counseling about genetic testing and breast cancer, as well as a link to a directory of cancer genetic professionals who provide services related to cancer genetic risk assessment, counseling, and testing, please see online resources.
Breast Self-Exam (BSE)
BSE is an option for women starting in their twenties. BSE plays a small role in finding breast cancer, but it can be helpful to know how your breasts normally look and feel. Check with your clinician to see how to do a BSE correctly. It is ok to not do BSE or to not do it on a regular schedule.
Whether you use BSE or not, always see your doctor right away if you notice any changes such as a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or the nipple turning inward, redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or a discharge other than breast milk.
For Screening Mammograms
- National Cancer Institute
- The Northern California Cancer Center for the online version of the Bay Area Breast Cancer Resource Guide, a comprehensive directory of breast cancer and breast health services, including free mammograms.
- The Bay Area Breast Cancer Resource Guide
Provided by the The Northern California Cancer Center, this is a comprehensive directory of breast cancer and breast health services, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, emotional support, childcare, transportation, free mammograms and financial assistance, prostheses and information.
- Berkeley's Women's Cancer Resource Center
This center was founded in 1986, by a small group of cancer survivors, and provides information and referrals to resources as well as peer support, legal services, and educational forums and workshops. An information and referral hotline is available by calling (510) 548-WCRC.
- UCSF/Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
Specifically designed to meet the needs of patients with breast problems, breast cancer, or general concerns about breast health. They offer comprehensive services, including health care, psychological support, and clinical trial research. You may schedule an oncology appointment by calling (415) 353-7070 or an appointment with a surgeon at (415) 353-7111.
- UCSF Cancer Resource Center
The CRC maintains a library of books and other media, provides access to the Web and specialized health databases, and offers personalized research assistance. They also host a variety of support groups/exercise classes/workshops and direct people to other community resources. All CRC programs are free. For more information, call (415) 885-3693.
- Alta Bates Comprehensive Breast Center
Located within the Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Breast Center provides services and information on breast cancer, including diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, therapy, patient education and support. Services include low dose screening mammography; MammaCare instruction in breast self-examination; full diagnostic services, including breast ultrasound and image-guided biopsy and treatment and rehabilitation services. The Breast Cancer Early Detection Program makes screening and detection services available to uninsured women, those with limited financial resources, and women with disabilities. For more information, please call (510) 204-1591.
- Alta Bates Patient Resource Center
Located within the Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center, this is a full-service multi-media oncology library available for use by patients and their family members. Available is a comprehensive assortment of books, videos and audiotapes on cancer. Assorted cancer newsletters, pamphlets and community support groups are identified to make it easier for patients to access information. A volunteer is available to assist with Internet searches and the CD ROM cancer programs. For more information, please call (510) 204-1591
- Bay Area Breast Cancer Forum
Part of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, this site provides information and minutes from monthly meetings with health care providers, researchers, patients, patient advocates, and families on current issues relating to clinical trials.
- National Cancer Institute
Up-to-date information about breast cancer from the National Cancer Institute, the Federal Government's primary agency for cancer research. You can also call toll free at 1-800-4-CANCER to speak with someone directly for answers to any cancer-related questions.
- American Cancer Society/Breast Cancer Network
Comprehensive website, with information about breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as stories of survivorship and advocacy. You can also call toll free at 1-800-ACS-2345 with your questions about breast cancer.
- Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization
Y-ME was founded by two breast cancer patients in 1978, when they realized that their needs for information and support could best be met by women who had also experienced breast cancer. You can call their hotline at 1-800-221-2141, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week , to speak with a trained peer counselor who is also a breast cancer survivor.
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
This site contains over 100 pages of general breast health information, along with specific areas that address the needs of special audiences, including breast cancer survivors and their friends and families, the media, and the medical and scientific communities. There is a toll-free helpline at 1-800 I'M AWARE (1-800-462-9273) for information and help in decisions about breast health and breast cancer concerns.
- National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This organization and website is dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer issues, especially the importance of early detection. Educational materials and resources are also available, either free or at a low cost.
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
This organization's mission is to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and providing mammograms for those in need.
On-Line Support and Information
- The Breast Cancer List
Established since 1994, this site provides a forum for discussion concerning any issue related to breast cancer. On-line support is available through the listserve 24-hours a day. Check out the website for more information on how to join the list.
Website of Dr. Susan Love, breast cancer surgeon, author of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book. Provides easy-to-understand medical information and stories of survivorship.
- Celebrating Life
A site for African American women with breast cancer. The Celebrating Life Foundation was established in 1995 to promote breast cancer awareness specifically targeting African American women and women of color.
- Breast Cancer On-Line Support
This site provides a list of various discussion forums and support groups available on-line. You can create your own webpage, join an online discussion group, and encourage others to join you online to exchange information and personal experiences.
If you are interested in getting involved with increasing public awareness about breast cancer, improving patient education, and/or advocating change through political legislation, check out these websites for information and current news and events in the fight against breast cancer:
- National Breast Cancer Coalition
- Feminist Majority Foundation/Breast Cancer Information
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Disclaimer: The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat or provide a second opinion on any health problem or disease. It is meant to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between an individual and his/her clinician.
Last revised: Sept 2011