Breast cancer occurs because of the irrepressible growth of cells in the breast that invade the nearby tissues and it spreads throughout the body. These collections of irrepressible tissue growths are called tumors or malignant tumors. However, not all tumors are cancerous.
Breast cancer has been diagnosed in large numbers in North America and Europe. In 2001, about 200,000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the United States alone. 1 in 8 women has a risk of developing breast cancer, but the risk of dying from breast cancer is much lower, barely 1 in 28. But when that 1 is your friend or family, it hits very close to home.
- A higher risk among older women
- Women with a family history
- Women with a previous history of breast cancer
- Women who had radiation therapy in the chest region
- Women who started their periods before 12 years old
- Women who had menopause after 50 years old
- Women who never had children
- Women who had children after age 30
- Women with genetic mutation (In recent times genetic mutations for breast cancer have become a hot topic of research.)
The breast cancer tumor has the following symptoms:
- Lump or thickening that appears on the breast or underarm
- Changes in the breast’s shape
- Nipple turned inwards followed by colorless discharge
- Red or scaled skin or nipple
- Ridges on the breast skin.
If a woman experiences any of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean she has breast cancer. In such a case she should undergo a breast cancer personal check-up. It is estimated that 95% of breast cancer is detected through personal check-up. The breast cancer personal check-up includes checking for lumps in the breasts after each menstrual period, puckering the skin, and checking for nipple retraction or discharge. For consistent result, every woman should do a breast cancer personal check-up at the same time every month. Various other techniques such as mammography, thermography, ultrasonography, computerized tomography scan etc, can also help detect breast cancer.
Breast cancer treatments include surgery that removes cancerous tissues, with breast conservation therapy (BCT) being one such surgery. Other breast cancer treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and biologic therapy. Radiotherapy is a common breast cancer treatment, and radiation treatment and chemotherapy may follow surgery to ensure the destruction of the stray cancer cells.
Even after undergoing many or all of these breast cancer treatment measures, unfortunately almost half the women suffer from a recurrence of the disease.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation – Helping Them Help Others
During the month of October, 2011, we are holding a fundraising event to raise money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For more information and to enter, please visit http://www.jonravencontest.com. We want you to send up a photo that shows your beauty – and breast cancer survivors are definitely encouraged to enter. We have great prizes and are looking forward to raising money for a great cause. If you would like to share your story as a breast cancer survivor or the friend of family of a survivor – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – let’s use this opportunity to help people learn more about this disease and how to handle it if they face it in the future.
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