Breast cancer is a destructive tumor that forms in the cells of the breast. This disease is most common in women, but it can affect men too. The 2015 statistics reports that an estimated 1,658,370 new cases of this fatal disease will be diagnosed this year and 589,430 deaths will occur in the U.S. This disease is very serious and can be invasive, it accounts for about 16 percent of all female cancers and about 23 percent of all invasive carcinoma. The scariest fact is that all the breast cancer deaths that occur worldwide account for 18.2 percent. Knowing what to do when diagnosed with breast cancer is very important.
Recognizing the symptoms can possibly save a life today, whether it is a friend or close relative. Some symptoms to recognize are feeling a lump in a breast, a pain in the breast that does not have to do with the menstrual cycle, seeing redness on the skin of the breast, a rash around the nipples, swelling in one of the armpits, and the size or shape of the breast changes. These are just some of the symptoms to look out for. If any of these should occur, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately.
There are some risk factors that can help develop breast cancer, but experts have not yet defined the definite causes behind it. Age can be a risk factor; that is why doctors advise getting an annual mammogram after 40 years old. Women over 50 are in the higher risk category for getting diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetics may be another factor in a cancer diagnosis. If a close family member has been diagnosed, risks are higher of getting diagnosed as well. Some other factors that may affect higher chances of a negative diagnosis are obesity.
There are several ways to diagnose and examine for breast cancer. The first and most common is a breast exam, which is a physical exam where the doctor feels for lumps or any abnormalities. There is also a test called a mammogram, which is a form of x-ray and used for cancer screening. Other more invasive tests include a breast ultrasound, biopsy, and breast MRI. Breast cancer is a potentially fatal disease, and if not taken seriously and all the factors are not recognized, it may be too late.
There are options for possible treatment for this type of cancer, depending on how early the disease is diagnosed. These options include radiation, surgery, a biological therapy which is a drug therapy, hormone therapy, and finally, once again, the most common treatment is chemotherapy. These treatment plans can come with some side effects. Depending on which treatment option is selected, most common side effects include nausea, hair loss, loss of appetite, and weight loss. It is very important to know and recognize these important factors when it comes to breast cancer.
The cure for breast cancer is a necessity because so many lives can be saved. There are multiple organizations and fundraising events held annually to raise money for research and development. The most popular one is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it runs for a whole month. In this calendar year, it starts on Oct. 1, 2015 and ends on Oct. 31, 2015. The second most common breast cancer fundraiser is the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the event is known as the Komen Race for the Cure. This a tour that goes around the country to raise money for a cure that is so very important in communities throughout the nation. For more information, please visit www.the3day.org and learn how to help save a life. It is important to understand and acknowledge what breast cancer is and these facts can help make a difference.
By Elina Brik