In a recent study conducted, statistics show that “One in Eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime” (Cancer.org). As October is breast cancer awareness month, it is important to know what Breast Cancer is and what breast cancer entails.
What is Breast Cancer?
First off, what is Breast Cancer? “Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body” (Cancer.org). Breast cancer is much more common in women than in men, but it is important to know that men can also get the cancer.
Breast cancer does not have one specific cause. Breast cancer can be caused by genetics, gender, lifestyle (i.e. alcohol, smoking, not exercising), age, being overweight, etc.
Signs and Symptoms
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast
- A change in the size and shape of the breast
- Fluid discharge from the nipple
- A change in the feel or appearance of the skin area of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
There are ways to prevent breast cancer and stop it from spreading. The key is to get a head start on prevention. There are three key ways:
- Self Exams – Women are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month.
- Clinical Exam – A clinical exam is a physical exam performed by your health care provider as part of the annual checkup beginning at age 20.
- Mammogram – Women at age 40 should receive a mammogram every 1-2 years. “A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Diagnostic mammograms are used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found.” (Cancer.org)
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. the following statistics were released:
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
- Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
In order to live a healthy life, both women and men need to take control of their health and well being. Early prevention is the key in getting in front of breast cancer. If detected early, most people continue a normal life.
1. 1. “Breast Cancer Facts.” National Breast Cancer Foundation. Web. .
2. 2. “Breast Cancer Health Center.” WebMD. Web. .
3. 3. “Breast Cancer Facts & Figures.” Cancer.org. Web. .Sharing is Caring!