What Is Cancer?
Just the word can be frightening, but what is it, really? What happens in your
body and why is it so hard to diagnose and treat this disease? When a cell becomes
cancerous, it isn't very different from every other cell that is functioning normally
in your body. It just grows faster and lives longer - and takes space and food
that other cells need.
Knowing more about how the breast develops and what it does helps to understand
the changes that can take place. Hormones create changes that allow women to
breast feed their babies. These effects on the breast can cause cells to go
haywire and turn cancerous. Take a look inside the female breast to see why
women are more at risk for breast cancer than men.
Some risk factors are known and can be eliminated. Others
have to do with your genes or other factors that you can't control. It is important
to realize that there are things you can do to minimize your chances of becoming
a statistic in the breast cancer epidemic.
Lumps, Bumps & Other Conditions:
Nearly 80 percent of finding on mammograms are not cancer. They are usually a benign tumor, a cyst or some other noncancerous condition. These may require a biopsy to make sure that there are no cancerous cells, but they normally are easy to treat and not very dangerous.
There are steps you can take to lower your breast cancer risk.
Nothing comes with guarantees, but these suggestions have many
research studies to back up the fact the less breast cancer is
found in women who take preventive measures.
Types of Breast Cancer:
Breast cancer can take many forms. The in situ types are those that have not moved from the lobes or ducts to invade other tissue. Invasive breast cancer
has spread from the original site to other areas of the breast, the lymph system
or other organs. Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but very aggressive form
of this disease that requires special attention.
Diagnosing Breast Cancer:
Finding out that you have breast cancer is the first step to treating it. These diagnostic tools are the best way to get a diagnosis if you find a lump or are concerned about whether you have breast cancer.
Staging Breast Cancer:
Staging is the way that doctors determine which treatments are best for your cancer. Stage I is the earliest diagnosis where the tumor is still small and has not spread. Stage IV means the there are tumors in areas other than the breast. Of course, it's much more complicated than that. The best news to hear after a diagnosis of breast cancer is that it is still at Stage I. The statistics are best for this early diagnosis. However, if you are diagnosed with a more advanced case, don't let the numbers get to you. With good treatment and solid
support, survivors can celebrate anniversaries for many years after a late stage diagnosis.
New and better treatments are being developed constantly. One of the reasons that the breast cancer survival rates have improved is the aggressive fight to find more effective ways to stop the disease from spreading.