Definition: Defining the Meaning of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple). Another type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the breast ducts or lobules to surrounding normal tissue.
Breast Cancer is a disease, and it is formed by cancer cells that are malignant which have formed in the tissues of the breast, and is considered to be a, 'heterogenerous,' disease; it differs depending on the individual, as well as by the age of the person. It also differs by the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves
No woman wants to hear this diagnosis from their doctor, but should you find yourself facing a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, understand that it doesn't always mean the end. A diagnosis of Breast Cancer can be the beginning of learning how to obtain facts, knowledge, hope, and learning how to fight this disease.
In the United States, Breast Cancer is the form of cancer that women get most except for skin cancer. Breast Cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of death from cancer for women in America.
Estimates suggests that every year almost two-hundred thousand women will find themselves facing a diagnosis of Breast Cancer; more than forty-thousand of these women will die.
Male Breast Cancer
Educational efforts have raised some level of awareness among men, and more needs to be done. Men do get Breast Cancer as well, and about one-thousand seven hundred men will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer each year; of them, four-hundred and fifty will die from it. Evaluation of men with Breast Cancer is very similar to the evaluation methods used for women, and this includes mammography imaging techniques.
There are some noted factors that raise the risk of getting Breast Cancer. These risks include:
- A lump in the breast,
- A change in breast shape,
- Dimpling of the skin,
- Fluid coming from the nipple,
- A red scaly patch of skin.
In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.
- Your Age: Statistic show that half of all women diagnosed with Breast cancer are over the age of sixty-five.
- Your Weight: Obesity, or being overweight, increases your risk of getting Breast Cancer.
- Your Diet and Lifestyle: A Diet that is high in saturated fats, more than two alcoholic drinks per day, and lacking in physical activity increases your risk for getting Breast Cancer.
- Your Reproductive and Menstrual History: If you began menstruation early, or menopause late; had your first child at an older age, or have never had a child, or have taken birth control for more than ten years if you are under the age of thirty-five - you are at an increased risk for Breast Cancer.
- Your Personal and Family History: If there is a history of Breast Cancer in your family, in your Mother or Sister in particular, or if you have a personal history of Breast Cancer in a benign form, you are at increased risk for Breast Cancer.
There are also other factors that may increase your risk for Breast Cancer.
If you have dense breast tissue, which may be identified through a mammogram, or have had past radiation therapy - these are risk factors for Breast Cancer.
A history of hormone treatments like progesterone or estrogen, or gene changes including BRCA1 and BRCA2 or others; are risk factors as well.
Breast Cancer Awareness
The pink ribbon is the most prominent symbol of breast cancer awareness. The pink ribbon is associated with individual generosity, faith in scientific progress, and a "can-do" attitude. It encourages consumers to focus on the emotionally appealing ultimate vision of a cure for breast cancer, rather than on the fraught path between current knowledge and any future cures.
October has been designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.
Quick Facts: Breast Cancer Prevention
Women may reduce their risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol, being physically active and breastfeeding their children. These modifications might prevent 38% of breast cancers in the US, 42% in the UK, 28% in Brazil and 20% in China. The benefits with moderate exercise such as brisk walking are seen at all age groups including postmenopausal women. Marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids appear to reduce the risk.
Statistics: Breast Cancer
In the United States, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2015 are:
- About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer
- About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
- At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)