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Breast Cancer Facts You Should Know

by ALAN KABIR

 

Breast Cancer Facts You Should Know

What is breast cancer?

Most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts (lobules) and alveoli (nipple-like structures) of the breast. These ducts and alveoli make milk nourish infants. Breast cancer can also start in other parts of the breast, such as fat tissue or blood vessels. The disease usually occurs in women, but men can also get it. Breast cancers are named for where they begin. For example, if cancer starts in the milk ducts, it’s called ductal carcinoma. If it starts in the lobules, where milk is made, it’s called lobular carcinoma. Some 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year, and about 500,000 people die from it annually. It is less common in the developing world, but poorer countries have much higher rates of advanced and fatal diseases. The main risk factors for breast cancer are increasing age, female sex hormones (primarily estrogen), nulliparity (having never borne a child) and family history of breast cancer.


The cause of breast cancer

In almost all cases, breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast tissue and usually only grows there. Rarely, it may start in other parts of the body and spread to the breast gland. This type of cancer can originate from breast cells or, less commonly, from cells that line other parts of the body. It starts when a single cell in the breast develops changes to its DNA. These changes cause the cell to grow and multiply quickly, forming tumours that invade nearby tissue and spread throughout the body through lymph nodes and blood vessels.


Facts about breast cancer

It’s also the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, after lung cancer. And yet, despite these sobering statistics, breast cancer is still not taken as seriously as other types of cancers. This year alone, around 180,000 Americans will receive the devastating news that they have breast cancer. That’s more than 1 person every hour. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. 


Prevention of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, and it is also the leading cause of cancer death. According to one study, breast cancer can be avoided by avoiding certain environmental or lifestyle factors. Early detection is the method of preventing breast cancer.


How is breast cancer diagnosed?

Breast cancer is a term used to define any number of tumours that begin in the breast. Breast cancer most commonly refers to malignant tumours, which are cancers, meaning they can spread and grow into other tissues. The vast majority (90%) of breast cancers diagnosed are malignant tumours, but there are also benign (non-cancerous) conditions such as fibrocystic disease or mastitis that present as lumps or masses within the breast tissue.


How are breast cancers treated?

It can usually be cured if found and treated early; if not, it can spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. Breast cancer develops when cells in the breast become uncontrollably proliferative. These cells normally form a tumour, which can infiltrate surrounding tissues or spread to distant locations via the blood or lymphatic system.


What are the stages of breast cancer?

In the United States, it is estimated that one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. It is also estimated that almost one-third of all women will have been diagnosed with breast cancer by age 70. While there are many different types of breast cancer, most breast cancers begin when a cell in the breast begins to grow out of control and forms a tumour called an “invasive,” or sometimes “malignant,”.


Breast Cancer Awareness

For many, October is synonymous with Halloween. For others, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The month-long observation of breast cancer began in 1985 after President Ronald Reagan designated the month to promote awareness about the disease. The first published accounts of breast cancer appeared thousands of years ago in ancient Egyptian papyruses. The first documented case was recorded by a Greek physician named Hippocrates more than 2,000 years ago. Breast cancer awareness campaigns are growing in popularity, but many of these campaigns focus more on fundraising than they do on providing information about early detection methods. The pink ribbon campaign has become synonymous with breast cancer awareness, but some critics say that the emphasis on the colour pink is too focused on “glamorizing” breast cancer rather than talking about prevention.


Breast Tumor

The breast is formed in the mammary gland and is generally known as a malignant tumour. It can occur at any age, but it commonly affects women after menopause. A tumour is a biological mass of tissue that develops when new cells grow uncontrollably. A tumour can be either benign or malignant, depending on the degree of cellular differentiation and invasion of surrounding tissues. If the malignant cells metastasize to distant locations via blood or lymph vessels, then it is called cancer.


Breast carcinoma

The most frequent malignancy in women is breast carcinoma. Breast cancer is becoming more common all over the world, particularly in wealthy countries. Breast carcinoma is a cancerous tumour that develops from the breast’s epithelial cells. With an annual incidence of 570,000 new cases and a mortality rate of 150,000 fatalities, it is one of the most frequent malignancies in women.


The Causes of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and can be life-threatening if not treated early. There are many risk factors for breast cancer, such as genetics, exposure to radiation or chemicals, diet and lifestyle. Proper diet and exercise along with regular screenings can help prevent this disease. Women should do self-breast exams monthly and get annual mammograms starting at age 40.


Types of Breast Cancer

The most common type of breast cancer is invasive ductal carcinoma, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases. Invasive ductal carcinoma is sub-divided into two main types depending on how many cells are involved -infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) and Paget’s disease of the nipple (PDN).

 

Conclusion

Breast cancer can occur in men and women, but it is most common in women. If you notice any changes in your breasts or feel that something isn’t right, it is important to see a doctor immediately. If you are at risk for breast cancer due to family history, lifestyle factors or other reasons, then knowing the early warning signs of the disease will help you catch it before it progresses. Treatment for breast cancer depends on the type of cancer you have, how far it has spread within the breast and to other parts of the body, and your age and general health.

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