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Introduction to Breast Cancer

Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MSc, MPH, MA, MBA, FRCS(C), FACS

Welcome to an Introduction to Breast Cancer! In this course, we’ll learn a bit about the leading cause of cancer in women worldwide – from the basic biology of the disease, to risk factors and prevention, to treatment modalities to survivorship. We’ll talk to leading experts, explore some of the milestone studies that have pushed this field forward, and have interactive discussions on discussion boards and social media. You’ll even have an opportunity to let us know what topics you want to cover on tweetchats, so we can try to make the content fit your interests.

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Welcome to an Introduction to Breast Cancer! In this course, we’ll learn a bit about the leading cause of cancer in women worldwide – from the basic biology of the disease, to risk factors and prevention, to treatment modalities to survivorship. We’ll talk to leading experts, explore some of the milestone studies that have pushed this field forward, and have interactive discussions on discussion boards and social media. You’ll even have an opportunity to let us know what topics you want to cover on tweetchats, so we can try to make the content fit your interests.

There is something in this course for everyone – if you’re a breast cancer survivor or the friend/family member of someone with this disease, this course will help you to better understand this disease, and give you ideas for questions you may want to ask your doctor. Maybe you’re a healthcare provider or studying to be the same, this course is a great refresher on where the state of the science is. If you’re a healthcare administrator wondering about how the interdisciplinary components of breast cancer care fit together, or an entrepreneur thinking about unmet needs in this space, or someone in public health interested in prevention, this course is also for you!

Are you ready to learn a lot, and have some fun while we’re at it? If so, I hope you’ll join us! Let’s get started!!!

Enroll now

What's inside

Syllabus

Welcome to the Course!
Risks and Prevention
Join me as we start to learn about what breast cancer is, the epidemiology of this disease and the risks associated with it. In these lectures, we’ll talk about genetic mutations that predispose us to developing breast cancer. As you’ll find out, this goes far beyond just BRCA!
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Under the Microscope
What is cancer and how does it work? Want to learn the fundamentals of what breast cancer is? The different “types” – what is in situ vs. invasive? What is lobular vs. ductal? What is grade vs. stage? And what do molecular subtypes refer to? Well, tune in! Learn about the hallmarks of cancer – what are the processes that actually lead to this disease? Maybe this will give you some ideas about how we can stop cancers in their tracks!
Making the Diagnosis
Want to learn more about how to find breast cancers early, when they’re most treatable? This is the lecture for you! “Tissue is the issue” – learn how we actually do the biopsies to make the diagnosis of breast cancer. How do we stage breast cancer? Learn what tests we need to do and in whom in order to get this information!
All About Surgery
How do we actually remove breast cancer? Is a lumpectomy just as good as a mastectomy? Find out in this session. There are many different options for reconstructing a breast after a mastectomy – from tissue expanders and implants, to using your own tissue. In this talk, we’ll explore some of these options. Why do we take out lymph nodes, and how? What are the side effects? Learn more about this in this session! Do you have questions about lymphedema? How do you prevent it? Can/should you lift weights after a lymph node dissection? Should you wear a sleeve if you are going on a plane? What about shaving, hand surgery, and having an iv placed? We’ll answer all of these questions in this session.
Beyond the Knife
Learn all about radiation therapy – who needs it, when, what are the different types, and how do we minimize side effects. Who needs chemotherapy? What about hormonal therapy? What is targeted therapy? We’ll learn all about the drugs we use to treat breast cancer in this session.
Potpurri
Not all breast cancers are the same. Let’s learn a bit more about inflammatory breast cancer, Paget’s disease, Male breast cancer, breast cancer in pregnancy and metastatic disease. Let’s talk all about clinical trials – what they are, how they are monitored, and some of the trials that have really moved the field forward. So, you or your patients have gotten through diagnosis and active treatment, and you’re now in the survivorship period. Great! But this poses a whole new set of issues as people adjust to their “new normal”. Learn about what these issues are, and a bit about survivorship care plans as well.

Good to know

Know what's good
, what to watch for
, and possible dealbreakers
Examines the leading cause of cancer in women worldwide
Taught by Dr. Anees B. Chagpar, a recognized expert in breast cancer
Develops foundational knowledge and recent advances in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
Explores unique perspectives and ideas in breast cancer care
Facilitates interactive discussions and tweetchats to engage learners
Requires extensive background knowledge in breast cancer or related fields

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Reviews summary

Comprehensive and expert introduction

Learners say this course is a comprehensive and expert introduction to breast cancer. Key features include interviews with experts, up-to-date information, and reviews of complex topics in a way that is accessible for students. One learner who is actively involved in cancer awareness appreciated the course for reinforcing their knowledge base. Another student described the course as engaging because the instructor asks questions typical students might have like "what does this mean?" The course is well received with all reviews being 4 or 5 stars. Students looking for a thorough overview of breast cancer should consider taking this course.
Information presented clearly.
"She made sure to review areas when people might not understand the information, and even included updates where information had changed, keeping the information current."
Helpful for cancer awareness.
"As a person involved in creating cancer awareness in my Country, this course is very informative."
"The DR's are very knowlegable."
Engaging and thorough instruction.
"Dr Agness Chagpar is very through, and covers the topics of breast cancer well."
"She also refers back to previous information, "Remember when we discussed this study.""
"Dr Chagpar has obviously spent a lot of time of this course, and has a passion for helping people with breast cancer, and especially has an interest in research."

Career center

Learners who complete Introduction to Breast Cancer will develop knowledge and skills that may be useful to these careers:
Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Nurse
Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Nurses play a vital role in the development of new treatments for breast cancer. They work with patients, physicians, and researchers to ensure that clinical trials are conducted safely and ethically. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Nurses because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to manage clinical trials effectively.
Breast Cancer Research Scientist
Breast Cancer Research Scientists conduct research to understand the causes, development, and treatment of breast cancer. They may work in a variety of settings, including universities, hospitals, and research institutes. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Research Scientists because it would provide them with a strong foundation in the biology of breast cancer and the latest advances in its treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to design and conduct research studies.
Breast Cancer Surgeon
Breast Cancer Surgeons perform surgery to remove breast cancer tumors. They also work with patients before and after surgery to provide them with support and guidance. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Surgeons because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to perform surgery safely and effectively.
Breast Cancer Medical Oncologist
Breast Cancer Medical Oncologists use chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other drugs to treat breast cancer. They work with patients before, during, and after treatment to provide them with support and guidance. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Medical Oncologists because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to prescribe and administer treatment safely and effectively.
Breast Cancer Radiation Oncologist
Breast Cancer Radiation Oncologists use radiation therapy to treat breast cancer. They work with patients before, during, and after treatment to provide them with support and guidance. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Radiation Oncologists because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to prescribe and administer radiation therapy safely and effectively.
Breast Cancer Pathologist
Breast Cancer Pathologists examine breast tissue samples to diagnose breast cancer. They also work with other members of the healthcare team to develop treatment plans for patients. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Pathologists because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to diagnose breast cancer accurately and efficiently.
Breast Cancer Genetic Counselor
Breast Cancer Genetic Counselors provide information and support to patients who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with breast cancer. They help patients to understand their risk of developing breast cancer, and they provide them with information about genetic testing and other preventive measures. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Genetic Counselors because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide accurate and compassionate care to patients.
Breast Cancer Patient Navigator
Breast Cancer Patient Navigators help patients to navigate the complex healthcare system. They provide patients with information and support, and they help them to coordinate their care. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Patient Navigators because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide compassionate and effective care to patients.
Breast Cancer Advocate
Breast Cancer Advocates work to improve the lives of people affected by breast cancer. They may work for non-profit organizations, government agencies, or other organizations. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Advocates because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to advocate for the needs of people affected by breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Support Group Facilitator
Breast Cancer Support Group Facilitators lead support groups for people affected by breast cancer. They provide a safe and supportive environment for people to share their experiences and learn from each other. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Support Group Facilitators because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to facilitate support groups effectively.
Breast Cancer Nurse
Breast Cancer Nurses provide care to patients with breast cancer. They work with patients before, during, and after treatment to provide them with support and guidance. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Nurses because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide compassionate and effective care to patients.
Breast Cancer Social Worker
Breast Cancer Social Workers provide emotional and social support to patients with breast cancer and their families. They help patients to cope with the challenges of diagnosis and treatment, and they connect them with resources and services. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Social Workers because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide compassionate and effective care to patients.
Breast Cancer Dietitian
Breast Cancer Dietitians provide nutrition counseling to patients with breast cancer. They help patients to make healthy eating choices that can support their overall health and well-being. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Dietitians because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide evidence-based nutrition counseling to patients.
Breast Cancer Exercise Physiologist
Breast Cancer Exercise Physiologists help patients with breast cancer to improve their physical fitness and overall health. They develop and supervise exercise programs that are tailored to the individual needs of each patient. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Exercise Physiologists because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to design and implement safe and effective exercise programs for patients with breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Specialist
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Specialists help patients with breast cancer to recover from the physical and emotional effects of their treatment. They provide a variety of services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. This course would be beneficial for Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Specialists because it would provide them with a comprehensive overview of breast cancer, its diagnosis, and treatment. The course would also help them to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to provide compassionate and effective care to patients.

Reading list

We've selected ten books that we think will supplement your learning. Use these to develop background knowledge, enrich your coursework, and gain a deeper understanding of the topics covered in Introduction to Breast Cancer.
This clinical guide provides practical guidance on the diagnosis and management of breast cancer.
This comprehensive guide provides a detailed overview of breast cancer, including its diagnosis, treatment, and management.

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