Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Breast cancer is often known as an aggressive cancer. It is formed when cells grow uncontrollably in the tissues of the breast that lead to a tumor. Over 190,000 individuals are diagnosed yearly. (cancer center) Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death and the rate increases every year in woman and sometimes often in men. Over 12 percent of woman in the united states of america will be faced with breast cancer in their lifetime and is the most leading cause of death in woman between the ages of forty to fifty-five years old.(cancer org)
Woman who are over the age of sixty are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten to fifteen percent of cases appear in woman younger than forty five. Early breast cancer is difficult to distinguish and often does not show many symptoms. The most noticeable symptom is a lump or a mass within the breast tissue. As the tumor expands it can change how the breast looks and feels. Concerns and symptoms that are related to breast cancer are change and size or shape of the breast, lumps under the arm, change in breast color, discharge from the nipple, Pain and tenderness of the breast. (cancer center)
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Risk factors and early dictations are necessary in the fight against cancer. Genetic is a double risk factor and is very important that your doctor know about your family history with cancer. Obesity, having your first child after the age of thirty, using birth control for over ten years, experiencing menopause at a older age, start of menstruation before the age of twelve, heavy drinking, radiation (from another cancer) Woman age forty and older are all risk factors to developing cancer.(cancer center)
Monthly self breast exams, mammograms, biopsies, clinical breast exam and lab tests with breast tissue are ways to rule out cancer. Woman between the ages of twenties to thirty should be given a clinical breast exam at their yearly physical and woman age forty and older should be given a annual mammogram. (breastcancercharities)
There are four stages and several treatments for breast cancer. Stage 1: (invasive) tumor measures up to 2cm , no cancer has spread outside the breast. Treatment involves occasionally a mastectomy (removal of the breast) or chemotherapy to lower the risks of return. Stage 2: (advance)) Tumor measures 2-5cm, cancer is spread to the axillary lymph nodes under the arm. Treatment consists of mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Stage 3: (advance) Tumor is more the 2 inches, lymph node have spread to other lymph node surrounding the breast. Treatment includes the removal of lymph node, mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy. Stage 4: (metastaic) Cancer has spread beyond the breast through out the body commonly targeting the lungs, brain, skin, bone, liver or brain. Treatment is similar to stage 3 but also includes radiation to the other affected parts of the body.(breastcancerorg)
“Now it’s forced smiles and baggy shirts to hide what the cancer took from her but she just wants to feel like a woman again”-Martina Mcbride. Breast cancer is a personal journey for many woman and may alter the sexual desire and response. Woman often feel less comfortable with their body after a loss of breast or the loss of their hair. With the changing of hormones from chemotherapy it generally effects the sexual interest. Often times woman get reconstructive surrey to repair the loss of the breast, along with wearing wigs, hats and scarfs to feel more pleased with their appearance.
Taking care of your healthy is important, cancer in fact can be reduced by managing a healthy lifestyle such as; exercising more than 3 times a week for about thirty minutes at a time, maintaining a healthy weight and diet. Becoming familiar with your breasts and noticing any unusual signs for instance swelling or lumps you should contact a doctor immediately.
With todays fundings, research and raising awareness it has helped organized advances in the diagnosis’s and treatment of breast cancer. Having a better knowledge of the disease and understanding early detection has raised the number of survival rates and reduced the number of deaths.