Breast Cancer

Every day in American a women is diagnosed with breast cancer. The earlier breast cancer is detected the better chances a women has for survival. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in the breast tissue or underarm lymph nodes. If untreated the cancer is likely to spread to other organs of the body. Susan G. Komen and other organizations has donated money in finding a cure for breast cancer; also to bring awareness to women on the importance of self-breast examination and yearly mammogram testing. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women in the United States.

In 2011, and estimate of 39,520 women in the United States are expected to die of breast cancer. Breast cancer death rates are higher than those of any other cancer, besides lung cancer. A women’s risk of breast cancer doubles if she has a family history of breast cancer. About 15 percent of women who get breast cancer have a family member that was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over time if untreated cancer cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes, small organs that filter out foreign substances in the body.

If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they have a pathway into other parts of the body. Cancer spreads when cells break away from the malignant tumor and enter the blood stream. (Breast Cancer. Org) The symptoms of Breast cancer are lumps in the breast, swelling, skin changes of the breast and enlargement or scaliness of the nipple. Women should give themselves a self- breast examations monthly espeically if they are over the age of 40. (Breast Cancer. Org) If any women notices any changes to the breast an doctor appointment should be made immediately.

The doctor will perform two test on the brest which are mammography and ultra sound. Mammography is an x-ray taken to examine the breast. An ultrasound is use to determine if the lump is solid or if the lump contains fluid. In some cases a needle is used to get a sample of the fluid. Once these test are proformed a doctor will be able to determine if a women has breast cancer. Based on the mamaography and ultra sound the doctor will be able to determine the stage of cancer. Breast cancer has four stages. Stage one is the size of the cancer. Stage two, whether the cancer is invasive or non-invasive.

Stage three, whether the cancer is in the lymth nodes. Stage four, whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the breast. There are several types of surgeries a women can chooce from to remove canceous cells in the breast or lymph nodes. Lumpectomy and partial or segmental mastectomy. Lumpectomy surgery involves removal of cancerous lumps from the breast. Partial or semental matectomoy is a surgical removal of the tumor, some of the breast tissue around the cancer, and the lining over the chest muscles below the cancer. Usally, some of the lymph nodes under the arm are also removed.

Once these procedures are done radiation is given to the women for several weeks. Most women who are treated early live healthy lives. “Medical Editor” Teresa G. Odel points out that a women’s age has been shown to be the strongest risk factor for developing breast cancer and dying from the disease. In general, risk rises as a women ages. Statistics has shown that more than half of all cancers occur in women aged 65 years or older. Two percent of breast cancer are diagnosed in women yonger that 35. As, a result, breast cancer incidence increased at a rate of about 3.

1 percent per year from 1980 through 2010. In 2010, breast cancer killed about 425,000 women worldwide, and about 68,000 of the deaths could be attributed to young women in developing countries aged 15 to 49 years. (Teresa G Odle) In addition, to age being a factor in developing breast cancer, breast development is a another factor associated with breast cancer. Breast development occur throughout a women’s lifetime, and some can be cumulative. Breast development begins in utero, and continues into adulthood, until a woman’s mature breast . Breast tissue undergoes many age-related changes.

Benign fibrocystic changes to the breast occur in stages based largely on age. (Teresa G Odle) The public has come to know, the organization by the name of Susan G. Komen, which is known for bringing awareness to women about breast cancer, and the importance of self-breast examinations. Through donations and grants Susan G. Komen was able to build a website where women various information on breast cancer. Examples are what to expect if a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the types of treatments available, and the importance of staying healthy.

The pink ribbon logo for Susan G. Komen can be seen in magazines, newspapers and TV commercials and department stores. The race for the cure is a race created by this organization to inspire women that their life is not over, continue to fight and live their lives to the best of their ability. Many women who run in the marathon are breast cancer survivors, or family members and friends of love ones that have survived breast cancer. Many women do not learn much about their breasts unless they breastfeed or have a problem with their breast.

Becoming familiar with breast structure and how the breasts function can help a woman understand the normal changes that occur during her lifetime. (Susan G. Koman for the Cure) A reader might ask; what are the steps women can take to help their bodies stay healthy, and lower the risk of developing breast cancer.

Evidence has shown that by maintaining healthy weight, not smoke and limiting alcohol intake and exercising regularly will help in lowering the risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore, women between the ages of 35 to 65 should take vitamin-D which helps supports healthy breast tissue.

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