Breast Cancer

RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Elmhurst, IL, Westchester, IL, Hinsdale, IL, Oak Park, IL & Addison, IL

As many as 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. From preventive care to diagnosing illness, RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology offers valuable medical support for women of all ages. With five locations in Elmhurst, Addison, Westchester, Oak Park, and Hinsdale, Illinois, the dedicated physicians provide quality preventive care methods and help you navigate a breast cancer diagnosis. Click to book a personal breast cancer consultation or call your nearest RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology office

Breast Cancer Q & A

What is breast cancer?

Cancer refers to numerous diseases involving the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and can infiltrate and destroy your normal body tissue. Cancer can often spread to different parts of the body. Breast cancer develops in the cells of the breasts.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Some of the symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Fatigue
  • A breast thickening or lump that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  • Changes in the appearance, shape, or size of your breast
  • Changes to the skin on your breast, such as dimpling
  • A newly inverted nipple
  • Scaling, peeling, flaking, or crusting of the areola or breast skin
  • Pitting or redness of the skin over your breast that resembles the skin of an orange
  • Difficulty breathing or persistent cough
  • Persistent unexplained joint or muscle pain
  • Persistent unexplained fevers or night sweats

During your well-woman exam, your RPW physician performs a breast exam to check your breasts for any signs of cancer or abnormalities. 

If you have any concerns, or if you find a lump or other change in your breast, you should visit RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology for an evaluation. 

What causes breast cancer?

Breast cancer typically begins with the cells in the milk-producing ducts, but it can also start in the glandular tissue called lobules or in other breast cells or tissues.

Estimates state that there is a link in around 5-10% of breast cancers to certain gene mutations passed through family generations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2.

All cancers are the result of DNA mutations or changes within the cells. Most gene mutations happen after birth and can be worsened or caused by a number of factors, such as radiation, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), viruses, obesity, hormones, a lack of exercise, and chronic inflammation. In other instances, you might inherit certain gene mutations.

Gene mutations happen regularly as a normal part of cell growth, but the cells contain a mechanism that acknowledges when a mistake occurs and keeps you healthy by repairing the mistake. A cell can become cancerous when a mistake is missed.

What happens after a breast cancer diagnosis?

Confirming a breast cancer diagnosis often includes a number of tests, such as imaging, biopsies, and bloodwork. If cancer is identified, your RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology physician can help you find a specialist for breast cancer treatment. 

Depending on your needs and diagnosis, your RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology physician partners with you to ensure you get the best possible care. The team can give you referrals for cancer therapy or a specific surgical procedure when needed. 

For compassionate care, the best in preventive medicine, and expert breast cancer diagnosis, call RPW Obstetrics and Gynecology or schedule through the online system.