Breast Cancer Awareness Month : Focus on Breast Cancer Types and Causes
Breast Cancer awareness month seeks to increase awareness and support for breast cancer.
Cancer signifies the presence of abnormal cells that multiply uncontrollably. With the presence of this disease, the cancerous cells can stay in the breast or spread all over the body through the blood or lymphatic vessels. Most of the time, the progression of breast cancer takes several months and even a few years.
Key Facts About Breast Cancer You Should Know
- Breast cancer is the most identified cancer in women worldwide, and research has shown that it can affect women of all ages (both before and after menopause).
- One woman in 9 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime (that’s an estimated 12%) and one in 27 will die.
- Most often, breast cancer occurs after 50 years.
- There’s a 5-year survival rate for breast cancer victims and this rate after diagnosis ranges from 80% to 90%, depending on the age and type of cancer.
- The number of people affected has increased slightly but steadily over the last three decades. On the other hand, the mortality rate has steadily declined over the same period, thanks to advances in screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
- Three main risk factors of breast cancer include being a woman, genetics, and growing older.
- While breast cancer are more at risk for this disease, younger women also have some risk and 4% of women under 40 have been diagnosed of invasive breast cancer.
- With breast cancer survival rate climbing, more and more women are beating this disease and there are over 3.5 million women survivors in the US alone.
- Men may also be affected by breast cancer; they represent 1% of all cases.
- Like women, older men are also more at risk of developing breast cancer and early detection also greatly boosts their survival rate.
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Understanding the Breast and Cancer
The breast consists of fat, glands, and canals. The glands, arranged in lobules, produce the milk and the channels (lactation ducts or galactophorous) is used to transport the milk to the nipple.
Breast tissues are influenced by hormones produced by women in varying amounts throughout their lives (puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding …). These hormones are estrogen and progesterone.
Types of breast cancer
The various types of breast cancer evolved differently:
In situ ductal carcinoma.
It is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer in women. As the name suggests, this type of cancer forms inside the breast lactation channels. It is also diagnosed much more frequently since the more widespread use of mammography.
The treatment of this cancer leads to healing in almost all cases. Normally, it does not spread. In exceptional cases, without treatment, it continues to grow and can become “infiltrating” and spread outside the lactation channels.
Invasive or invasive cancers
These forms of cancer invade the tissues around the lactation channels but remain within the breast. On the other hand, if the tumor is not treated, it can spread to other parts of the body (for example, the bones, lungs or liver) by generating metastases.
It is formed in the lactation channels. Cancer cells pass through the canal walls; Lobular carcinoma. The cancer cells appear in the lobules grouped in the lobes. Then, they cross the wall of the lobules and spread in the surrounding tissues;
Rare cancer, mainly characterized by a breast that can turn red, swollen and hot. Breast skin can also look like an orange peel. This type of cancer progresses faster and is more difficult to treat;
Medullary, Colloidal or Mucinous, Tubular, papillary
These types of breast cancer are rarer. The main differences between these types of cancer are based on the type of cells affected;
Paget’s disease. Rare cancer manifested by a small nipple wound that does not heal.
Causes of Breast Cancer
Several risk factors for breast cancer are known. However, in most cases, it is impossible to explain the reasons for its appearance in a particular person.
Of mutations in genes, passed from one generation to another or acquired during life (exposure to radiation or certain toxic chemicals, for example, alter the genes) can cause mammary. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, for example, are susceptibility genes for breast and ovarian cancers. Women who carry mutations of these genes have a very high risk of cancer.
Evolution of Breast Cancer
The chances of recovery depend on the type of cancer and its stage of evolution at the time of treatment. Various factors influence the speed at which a tumor will grow.
October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October has been set aside as the breast cancer awareness month. It also goes by the name National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in America and is a campaign developed to increase awareness about this deepening scourge.
This awareness typically begins on October 1st and runs all through to October 31st.
Early detection of breast cancer saves lives and women are encouraged to carry out periodic breast examinations and also go for annual mammogram to detect possible cancerous growth.
Also, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends the following as ways to prevent cancer:
- Maintaining an ideal weight.
- Engaging in regular exercises.
- Breastfeeding where possible.
- Greatly limiting your alcohol intake.
- Going for regular screening as most cases of breast cancer presented no symptoms.
- Women 40 years and above are strongly advised to go for regular monograms.
Remember, early detection saves lives.
This is a guest post from HealthZigZag, a healthcare panning blog that seeks to inspire you to create a bold, authentic and more rewarding life.
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Tags: Breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, breast cancer awareness month