Q: How long does it take for breast cancer to grow? My doctor just examined my breasts a month ago (no lumps), and today I found a lump. Is it possible that breast cancer could have developed so quickly?
Answer from the expert staff of breast cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center at Providence Portland Medical Center:
Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?
Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:
Q: “A friend forwarded an article to me suggesting that vitamin D can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Is this true?”
Answer from Alison Conlin, M.D., medical oncologist, Providence Cancer Center:
Q: “It has been two weeks since I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, and I have not had my MRI, PET, CT or follow-up. Everyone says, ‘You have time.’ How do they know I have time? How do they know that my cancer cells aren’t dividing right now? Why aren’t breast cancers taken out immediately and patients treated for any cancer spread right away?”
Answer from Stacy Lewis, M.D., medical director, Providence Cancer Center, and oncologist, Providence Oncology and Hematology Care Clinic:
Prostate cancer, once it spreads to lymph nodes and bones, generally is not curable. But basic and clinical researchers at Providence are working on this challenge.
Watchful waiting is a treatment choice for some older men who learn they haveprostate cancer in their later years. It means that you and your doctor will watch your cancer to see if it causes any symptoms or appears to be growing. It may seem odd to have cancer and not treat it, but sometimes waiting is the best choice because of the side effects of treatment.
Cancer Care is a national nonprofit that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer.
Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Of all the side effects of chemotherapy, nausea and vomiting are the most common and are among the most feared. But having chemotherapy does not mean that you have to suffer with nausea and vomiting.
The grade of prostate cancer refers to how the cancer cells look under a microscope. Identifying what grade your cancer is helps you and your doctor choose the best way to treat it.
The ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) is the first nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care.
American Cancer Society’s description and explanation of staging cancer. Staging is the process of finding out how much cancer there is in the body and where it is located. It is how the doctor learns the stage of a person's cancer. Doctors use this information to plan treatment and to help find out a person's outlook (prognosis).
National Cancer Institute home page with links to all cancer topics, clinical trial information, statistics, research and treatment information.