Breast Cancer: 5 Things to Know About Your Breasts

Cancer Survivorship Events: Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center @ Johns Hopkins University

Breast Cancer: 5 Things to Know About Your Breasts | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Below is a list of upcoming events. If interested in attending, please make sure to register by using the “Register” button for the corresponding event. Or click here to view previously recorded events.

Cancer Survivorship Program

Thursday, August 13, 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET

Mindfulness and Meditation

Neda Gould, PhD

Join the Director of the Mindfulness Program at Johns Hopkins and the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Program for an overview on the science behind mindfulness and how it can be easily incorporated into everyday life.  The session will end with a guided meditation that will be sure to relax you.

Register Now for this event

Cancer Survivorship Program

Thursday, July 16, 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET

Managing Sleep and Fatigue

Tracy Vannorsdall, PhD

During this session, Dr. Vannorsdall will discuss ways to maximize good sleep and combat fatigue.

Register Now for this event

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET

An Integrative Approach to Good Health

Harpreet Gujral DNP, FNP-BC

Please join us to learn simple, yet potent practices to enhance wellbeing and support the immune system. Harpreet Gujral will describe how sleep, food, physical movement and mind/body practices can help us optimize our health.

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Cancer Survivorship Program

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET

A Kitchen Table Chat

Chef and Author, Rebecca Katz

Join The Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Program for a Kitchen Table Chat with chef and author, Rebecca Katz.  During the hour, Rebecca will discuss eating healthy with what you already have at home, navigating tastes and flavors, preparing food efficiently to save time, creating nourishing foods, and most importantly, how to bring YUM to your table. 

Register Now for this event

Cancer Survivorship Program

Thursday, May 7, 2020 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM PM

Zoom Yoga class

Jessica Hensley, Certified Yoga 4 Cancer Instructor

Join Jessica Hensley, a y4c certified  Yoga 4 Cancer Instructor to lead us in a yoga class for you, your caregiver and your whole family. A wonderful pre-dinner activity for all. If you do not have yoga props, no worries, we can substitute water bottles for weights, toilet paper rolls for yoga blocks and a blanket for a bolster. 

Cancer Survivorship Program

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM ET

Singing Bowls and Meditation

Emily is a certified yoga therapist and Sound Healer working in the Baltimore area. She offers group classes, private yoga therapy and sound healing sessions and she offers Yoga & Wellness retreats locally and globally.

Singing bowls create both pure tones and harmonic overtones which have the ability to shift brain waves, enhancing relaxation, creativity and healing. Sound Healing is one of the oldest forms of healing known to mankind and has been used the world over to attune, invoke, and transform consciousness.

Sound produces powerful vibrations and, as we are vibrational beings by nature, our very structure is transformed by its movement.

Every organ, bone and cell in our body has a resonant frequency and when our bodies feel sluggish, uninspired or unhealthy, sound can reset and re-tune these subtle energy fields.

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Updates in Breast Cancer Research and Clinical Care Webinar

Mary Wilkinson, M.D., Breast Cancer Medical Oncologist

During this webinar, we will discuss what is new and upcoming in the field of breast cancer research

Cancer Survivorship Program

Thursday, January 9, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Methods to Enhance Breast Cancer Survivorship

Jenni Sheng, M.D., Breast Cancer Medical Oncologist Johns Hopkins Medicine

During this webinar, Dr. Sheng will discuss updates and changes to the field of breast cancer survivorship

Cancer Survivorship Program

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Exercise During and After Cancer

Jessica Engle, D.O., Assistant Professor of Medicine

Johns Hopkins Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

During this webinar, we will discuss how to create, maintain and thrive with an exercise practice after a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET

Integrative Therapies in Oncology Practice

Ting Bao, MD, DABMA, MS

Director, Integrative Breast Oncology

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

During this webinar, we will discuss: non-pharmacological and integrative approaches to reduce symptoms and improve cancer patients’ quality of life.

View Recorded Webinar Download Brochure

Cancer Survivorship Program

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Pelvic Health Considerations for Breast Cancer Survivors

Mary Austin, PT, DPT, WCS Board Certified Pelvic Health Expert

During this webinar, we will discuss:

? Role of the pelvic floor muscles in sexual, urinary, and bowel function

? Effects of cancer treatments on sexual function, pelvic pain, and urinary or bowel control

? Conservative treatment options to enhance pelvic floor function during or following cancer treatment

Cancer Survivorship Program

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Nipple Tattooing After Breast Cancer

Vinnie Myers

Why nipple tattooing?

  • How it is done
  • Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
  • Financial considerations

Cancer Survivorship Program

Friday, July 27, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Menopausal Management and Breast Cancer

Wen Shen, MD, MPH Division of Gynecologic Specialties.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics

During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • Menopausal symptoms after breast cancer
  • The different types of menopause
  • Ways to address/reduce symptoms
  • Sexual health after breast cancer
  • The role of estrogen, menopause, and breast cancer
  • Long-term health concerns after menopause

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Advances in Localized Breast Cancer Treatments

Melissa Camp, MD MPH

Breast Surgeon

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Fariba Asrari, MD

Radiation Oncologist

Director, Johns Hopkins Breast Center-Greenspring Station

Johns Hopkins Medicine

During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How surgery and radiation are used for treating breast cancer
  • What's new with surgical and radiological procedures
  • The types of surgeries that are offered
  • What options are available for radiation
  • Potential side-effects
  • Suggested follow up care

Cancer Survivorship Program

Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Endocrine Therapy and Breast Cancer

Karen Lisa Smith MD MPH

Medical Oncologist

Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Join us for a webinar to discuss the role of endocrine therapy and breast cancer.  Topics will include:

  • The different types of endocrine therapies
  • How treatments work
  • Who benefits most from this treatment
  • Suggested duration of various therapies
  • Side effect management
  • Potential interactions
  • What is new and upcoming in this field

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET

Exercising After Cancer: Strategies for Starting and Staying Active

Julie Everett, DPT, PT, CLT  is a physical therapist who specializes in cancer rehabilitation, lymphedema therapy, and pelvic health at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Her clinical interests include community education on rehabilitation and exercise with a primary focus on post-surgical dysfunction, lymphedema, fatigue, and strength building.  

Join physical therapist, Dr. Julie Everett to discuss:

  • Developing an exercise routine
  • Setting goals
  • Assessing progress
  • Knowing when to back off
  • Managing fatigue
  • Preventing/addressing lymphedema

View Recorded Webinar Download Brochure

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Survivorship and Advanced Cancer

Sydney Dy, MD, MSc, FAAHPM is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Medicine and Oncology at Johns Hopkins, with extensive expertise in quality of care, safety, and decision-making research, particularly in patients with cancer and serious and terminal illness. She is a co-author on over 100 peer-reviewed publications and numerous government reports and book chapters. Dr. Dy helped develop and lead many of the first palliative care programs at Johns Hopkins for over 15 years. 

Join palliative care Expert Dr. Sydney Dy to discuss how patients and families can thrive after an advanced cancer diagnosis.  This webinar will address:

– Some common symptoms to watch out for and how to approach them if they come up

– Services and resources that may be available to you and your family

– Ideas for communicating about difficult issues

– Thinking about values and goals and what’s important to you

View Recorded Webinar Download Brochure

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Understanding Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment May 31, 2016 @ 7pm ET

Tracy Vannorsdall, PhD

This webinar will address the types of cognitive problems patients report and what is found in research studies, risk factors for cognitive declines, the trajectory of cognitive declines and recovery, and recommendations/tips/strategies for compensating. 

View Recorded Webinar Download Brochure

Cancer Survivorship Program

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET


Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer: 5 Things to Know About Your Breasts | Johns Hopkins Medicine

  • What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?

In 1940, the lifetime risk of a woman developing breast cancer was 5%, or one in 20. In 2019 (the latest year for which statistics are available), the risk was 13% — or one in 8. In many cases, it's not known why a woman gets breast cancer.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of getting a disease. Different cancers have different risk factors.

However, having a cancer risk factor, or even several of them, does not necessarily mean that a person will get cancer. Some women with one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop breast cancer, while about half of women with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors.

Significantly higher risk

  • History. A woman with a history of cancer in one breast, such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer, is three to four times lier to develop a new breast cancer, unrelated to the first one, in either the other breast or in another part of the same breast. This is different than a recurrence of the previous breast cancer.
  • Age. Your risk for breast cancer increases as you age. About 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are ages 45 or older, and about 43% are ages 65 or above. Consider this: In women ages 40 to 50, there is a one in 68 risk of developing breast cancer. From ages 50 to 60, that risk increases to one in 42. In the 60 to 70 age group, the risk is one in 28. In women ages 70 and older, one in 26 is at risk of developing the disease.

Moderately higher risk

  • Direct family history. Having a mother, sister, or daughter (“first-degree” relative) who has breast cancer puts a woman at higher risk for the disease. The risk is even greater if this relative developed breast cancer before menopause and had cancer in both breasts. Having one first-degree relative with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman's risk, and having two first-degree relatives triples her risk. 
  • Having a male blood relative with breast cancer will also increase a woman's risk of the disease.
  • Genetics. About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary. Carriers of alterations in either of two familial breast cancer genes called BRCA1 or BRCA2 are at higher risk. Women with an inherited alteration in the BRCA1 gene have about a 72% chance of developing breast cancer by age 80, and those with an inherited alteration in the BRCA2 gene have about a 69% chance of developing breast cancer.  There are several other types of abnormal genes that increase risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast lesions. A previous breast biopsy result of atypical hyperplasia (lobular or ductal) or lobular carcinoma in situ increases a woman's breast cancer risk by four to five times.

Slightly higher risk

  • Distant family history. This refers to breast cancer in second- or third-degree relatives such as aunts, grandmothers, and cousins.
  • Previous abnormal breast biopsy. Women with earlier biopsies showing any of the following have a slight increased risk: fibroadenomas with complex features, hyperplasia without atypia, sclerosing adenosis, and solitary papilloma.
  • Having dense breasts. Your breasts have more fibrous than fatty tissue.
  • Age at childbirth. Having your first child after age 35 or never having children puts you at higher risk.
  • Early menstruation. Longer lifetime exposure to endogenous (your own) estrogen increases your risk, such as starting to menstruate before age 12, starting menopause after age 55, and never having had a pregnancy.
  • Weight. Being overweight (especially in the waist), with excess caloric and fat intake, increases your risk, especially after menopause.
  • Excessive radiation. This is especially true for women who were exposed to a large amount of radiation before age 30 — usually as treatment for cancers such as lymphoma.
  • Other cancer in the family. If a family member had ovarian cancer under age 50, your risk is increased.
  • Heritage. Female descendants of Eastern and Central European Jews (Ashkenazi) are at increased risk.
  • Alcohol.Use of alcohol is linked to increased risk of developing breast cancer. Compared with nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk, and those who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1.5 times the risk of women who do not drink.
  • Race.Caucasian womenare at a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer than are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American women. The exception to this is African-American women, who are more ly than Caucasians to have breast cancer under age 40.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Long-term use of combined estrogen and progesterone increases the risk of breast cancer.This risk seems to return to that of the general population after discontinuing them for five years or longer.

Low risk

  • Less lifetime exposure to endogenous estrogen. Having a pregnancy before age 18, starting menopause early, and having the ovaries removed before age 37 decreases the risk of developing breast cancer.

Factors not related to breast cancer:

Scientists are still investigating whether smoking, high-fat diets, lack of exercise, and environmental pollution increase breast cancer risk.

Some studies have suggested that women who are using birth control pills have a very slight increased risk of developing breast cancer. That risk disappears after stopping them for 10 years or more.

Still other studies show no connection. More research is under way to confirm these findings.

Women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

SOURCES:The American Cancer Society.

National Cancer Institute.


© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Paying Attention to Cancer Pays Off for Your Employees

Breast Cancer: 5 Things to Know About Your Breasts | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Lillie Shockney is a University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer and a professor of surgery and oncology, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the co-developer of the Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work program.


Here’s the good news about cancer, according to 2017 statistics from the American Cancer Society: nearly 15.5 million people diagnosed with cancer are surviving their illness, and about 53 percent of them are under the age of 70.

As an employer, that means you will ly be paying the cancer-related health care costs for many more years than employers in the past, when the employee population tended to retire at age 62 or 65 rather than 67 or 70, or beyond.

Employers need to pay attention to these costs.

Consider this: for every 100 employees in the workforce, 5 percent will have a history of cancer and 27.1 percent of employees will be in treatment for cancer.

A 2015 initiative of the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) notes that “employers report a level of complexity in managing employees’ cancer-related needs beyond that associated with any other type of disease or condition” due, in large part, to the related costs.

Cancer treatment alone accounts for 12 percent of employers’ total medical costs in the United States, with $125 billion spent on direct medical costs.

And keep in mind that another $139 billion are associated with diminished productivity and lost work time, either for cancer treatment or for caring for someone with cancer.

Employees who are also caregivers account for nearly 75 percent of early departures and late arrivals at the workplace, often engaged in long telephone calls at work to handle caregiving issues.

And caregivers often suffer stress-related illnesses, further reducing their productivity.

Employers need to pay attention to these employees.

The incidence of cancer is going up. As of 2017, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer in their lifetime. And although cancer deaths have risen to more than 600,000 annually, by 2024, it is expected there will be more than 20 million cancer survivors.

An overwhelming majority of employees who have received a cancer diagnosis—particularly those with breast cancer—either want to or need to keep working through treatment. Many people strongly identify with the work they do and the company they do it for.

Among the roughly 40 percent of cancer survivors who are age 25 to 64, there’s often a feeling of loss of that identity as well a loss of a satisfaction with life and connectivity with friends who are work colleagues.

These and other concerns can and do impact a cancer patient’s productivity and very ability to work.

And employers are generally best served by having their experienced employees remain on the job and be as productive as they possibly can for as long as they possibly can.

Again, from the 2015 NEBGH report: “Employers are concerned that programs and services to assist employees through the cancer journey appear to be limited and/or uncoordinated…[they] are searching for the best way to engage employees beyond traditional health plan programs, because as one employer noted: “I know my employees won’t even pick up the phone if they see their health plan on their [c]aller ID.”

So, here’s the question: What can you do to support your employees, both before and after a cancer diagnosis, keep your company running efficiently, and manage the related health care costs?

The Johns Hopkins experience

We asked the same question at Johns Hopkins in February 2012.

I and my colleague at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Terry Langbaum, informed our leadership that while we were among the nation’s most highly regarded cancer centers for diagnosis and treatment, we were not doing a particularly good job of supporting our own employees who had cancer or who were providing care for a loved one with cancer and still wanted to work. And we identified a gap in supporting supervisors who needed to understand the often complex issues related to managing these employees. Their colleagues.

We began a 4-month initiative to better understand what sort of engagement would best support both employees and managers. Here’s what we learned from employees:

  • We learned that most employees receiving cancer treatment are actually able to work throughout most of their treatments; this is because treatments have improved over the years and many have fewer side effects and, therefore, have less of an impact on a person’s quality of life. Employees didn’t always think to let managers know that for various reasons cancer treatment and how one feels after it may be better or worse than expected from one treatment to the next, so they might be able to work, or not, regardless of their plan;
  • We learned that most employees are not fully aware of their company’s policy on sick leave, telecommuting, and flex time schedules;
  • We learned that many employees do not know which websites and other resources provide credible information about risk factors, symptoms of specific cancers, and treatment options. So they end up wasting a lot of precious time trying to make sense of their condition and their options from often misinformed providers.

Here’s what we learned from managers:

  • They (and co-workers) want to support a colleague when told he or she has been diagnosed with cancer, but not everyone has the ability—the skill, really—to provide that support. Supervisors and co-workers can be at a loss for words, or worse, say and do the entirely the wrong thing. They may not be fully versed on their employees’ rights. We learned that managers need immediate access to this information when they learn they have an employee dealing with cancer. And that information must be continuously updated to include changes to internal policies and state and federal laws;
  • We learned that managers who provide reasonable work flexibility for their employees in treatment or caregiving are commonly able to keep their employees on the job. Keeping your employee team intact has a positive effect on morale and productivity, for both the employee with cancer and her/his co-workers, who are ly to be part of their support system;
  • We learned that managers are not as familiar as they need to be with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), so they don’t inadvertently (or intentionally) fail to accommodate an employee with cancer. There have been situations across the country where employees have won high-dollar law suits because a supervisor eliminated the employee’s job or even fired the employee for not performing up to par while undergoing cancer treatment. Lack of managerial training can be an expensive incident for the company to have to bear, not to mention the company’s reputation.

Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work

With this information, we began to build an employee benefit program that addressed what we’d learned.

The program is now called Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work.

Collaborating with our health literacy and patient education colleagues, we developed a comprehensive web-based platform with resources for employees at risk, newly diagnosed, surviving after treatment, and serving as a caregiver to a loved one.

Employers also can choose to provide their workforce with a specially trained Johns Hopkins certified oncology nurse navigator, who is a patient advocate and resource, providing employees and managers with 24/7 telephonic, email, text support.

There are two important philosophies ingrained in Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work. The first is to enable an employee to work while receiving their cancer treatment, if they so choose.

  This approach is one of my long-held mantras: Only give cancer the time it needs to get rid of it. Don’t allow it to steal away any more of a your time, your family time, your social time, your personal time, or even your work time. It doesn’t deserve it.

Working provides a sense of normalcy, and maintain normalcy during any crisis reduces stress.

The second philosophical grounding is this: Survivorship must begin at the time of diagnosis. This means keeping the patient’s life goals preserved rather than forfeited to this disease and its treatment.

The Johns Hopkins nurse navigator gives priority to working with the patient as her/his advocate so that these life goals are known to the treatment team.

The treatment team in turn can then incorporate these life goals into the treatment planning process.

So, how are we doing?

We identified a technology partner, which gave us the ability in October 2014 to pilot the web-based platform and oncology nurse navigator with Pitney Bowes’ 10,000 employees.

In January 2015, we launched the program for the approximately 31,000 employees across The Johns Hopkins University and Health System.

And we’ve received positive feedback from employees with cancer, those who are caring for someone with cancer, and managers:

  • Employee’s satisfaction with the program on a scale of 1-5, 5 being excellent ranges from 4.5 to 4.8;
  • 94 percent of employees who became cancer patients found the nurse navigator to be very helpful;
  • Prior to communicating with the nurse navigator;
    • 33 percent lacked information about their treatment plan;
    • 50 percent didn’t really understand their insurance coverage;
    • 37 percent lacked knowledge of support organizations and other available free resources;
  • The most common sections of the website content visited has been
    • Screening/ prevention/risk assessment tool;
    • What if I am diagnosed;
    • Working during treatment.

And as we hoped, the most frequent statement from managers and supervisors using the program—“I wish this program had been implemented sooner.”

This article was originally published in the September 2017 issue of The Self Insurer magazine.

Learn more about how Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work can benefit your employees.


Johns Hopkins to Study Alternative Therapies for Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer

Breast Cancer: 5 Things to Know About Your Breasts | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Can tart cherries alleviate cancer pain? Does prayer help healAfrican-American women with breast cancer? To answer such questions, JohnsHopkins Medicine has been awarded a 5-year, $7.8 million grant from the NationalInstitutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and AlternativeMedicine to establish a research center to study complementary and alternative

medicine in the treatment of cancer.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Complementary and AlternativeMedicine (CAM) in Cancer will initially pursue four studies of alternativetherapies for breast and prostate cancers, will train and educate physicians andmedical students in alternative medicine and research techniques, and will

review and fund pilot studies of other alternative treatments.

East Meets West

“Our aim is to reconcile scientific method with alternativemedicine treatments—two areas currently in opposition in the West,” saidAdrian S. Dobs, md, mhs, principal investigator of the new center and associateprofessor of endocrinology. The Center will promote collaboration betweenalternative medicine and mainstream scientific communities to determine the most

promising alternative treatments and the most scientific way of studying them.

Among the research projects is an evaluation of PC-SPES (acombination of eight Chinese herbs) for its ability to reduce stress (leading tooxidative DNA damage in cancer cells) and for its ability to improve the immunesystem in prostate cancer patients. Scientists will also study soy and sourcherries for their ability to reduce cancer pain, and investigate the impact ofprayer on the health of African-American women with breast cancer. In addition,

the Center plans collaborations with Johns Hopkins Singapore.

Breast and prostate cancers will be the focus of intitialstudies at the Center, but Dr. Dobs believes that information gleaned from

studying these cancers may be generalized to other forms of cancer.

A Lucrative Alternative

“Often patients ask their physicians about an alternativemedicine treatment that they heard of, but receive little direction one way orthe other because there is little scientific evidence,” said Dr. Dobs, whoalso directs Hopkins’ Clinical Trials Unit and serves as vice chair for thedepartment of medicine.

“Then the onus is on the patient to decide, andthis can be dangerous for patients.

” Despite the lack of scientific proofand safety data on alternative medicine treatments, Americans spent more than$27 billion on alternative therapies in 1997, exceeding out-of-pocket spendingfor all hospitalizations in the United States, according to a survey published

in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“We have assembled a top-notch team of cutting-edge Hopkinsscientists and leaders in alternative medicine, and we will proceed with an open

mind and a healthy amount of skepticism,” said Dr. Dobs.

The initial trials should begin in about 6 months. Those wishing
to find out more about the studies or volunteer should call 410-847-3550.