Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help. Oct / Nov
Q: I’ve been breastfeeding and recently noticed a lump. What is considered normal and when is there cause for concern?
A: Taking care of baby plus breastfeeding are big jobs. Because of that, sometimes there is a tendency to put your own health care needs on the backburner. While lumps and bumps can form when breastfeeding due to blocked ducts or mastitis, they should always be taken seriously. Even though it may be viewed as one more thing to juggle, it’s highly important that if a new breast mass or lump is discovered — breastfeeding or not — to have it evaluated by your health care provider.
— Clara Stone, PA-C, Samaritan Medical Group Breast Center – Corvallis
Q: I’m pregnant and have been diagnosed with cancer. Is it safe for me to seek treatment?
A: Absolutely seek treatment. Treatment options vary widely, depending on the type and location of the cancer. There are many types of cancer, all of which have special considerations for both the mother and unborn baby. As a medical physicist and radiation safety officer, I can only speak to the radiation therapy aspects of possible treatment.
Technology for radiation therapy has advanced greatly so that cancer can be targeted while sparing healthy tissue. Targeted radiation treatment to an extremity or the upper torso, like breast, lung, head or neck, is unlikely to impact fetal development. Many other treatment options exist, so regardless of your diagnosis, your OB/GYN should work closely with your cancer care team to determine the best treatment options going forward.
— Elizabeth Shiner, medical physicist, Samaritan Radiation Oncology
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