May 3, 2012
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer that women may face in their lifetime. It can occur at any age, but is more likely to occur after the age of 40 and as we get older. Breast cancer is an unrestrained growth of breast cells, which take places as a result of modifications, or abnormal changes in the genes, that is responsible for stabilizing the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. The genes are in each cell’s nucleus, which acts as the “control room” of each cell. Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through a systematic process of cell growth: healthy new cells take over as old ones die out. But over time, ...view middle of the document...
Risk factors do not tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several, does not necessarily mean that you will get the disease. Most women who have one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop the disease, while many women with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors (other than being a woman and growing older). Even when a woman with risk factors develops breast cancer, it is hard to know just how much these factors may have contributed to her cancer.
Finding breast cancer early is called “early detection”. The American Cancer Society recommends the following for early detection: “Women should have mammograms each year starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as they are in good health. A breast exam performed by a doctor or nurse should be a part of a regular check-up.” ("American Cancer Society", 2012). Young women, in their early 20s should also be watchful, we as young adults should know the steps of doing a breast self exam (BSE). We should be aware of how our breasts normally look and feel and report any new breast changes to a healthcare professional as soon as they are found. Finding a breast change does not necessarily mean there is a cancer, though. When we examine our breasts, we should have our technique reviewed during our periodic health exams by our doctor to insure that we are doing it properly.
Breast cancer type is categorized by whether it begins in the ducts or lobules, and the organs responsible for breast milk production. Understanding the specific type of breast cancer can help you ask better questions and work with your physicians to get the best breast cancer treatments. The 3 most common types of breast cancer are Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS), and Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).
According to American Cancer Society (2012), “IDC is the most common type of breast cancer representing 78% of all malignancies. These lesions appear as stellate (star like) or well-circumscribed (rounded) areas on mammograms. The stellate lesions generally have a poorer diagnosis. About 80% of all breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas. Invasive means that the cancer has “invaded” or spread to the surrounding breast tissues. Ductal means that the cancer began in the milk ducts, which are the “pipes” that carry milk from the milk-producing lobules to the nipple. Carcinoma refers to any cancer that begins in the skin or other tissues that cover internal organs, such as breast tissue. All together, “invasive ductal carcinoma” refers to cancer that has broken through the wall of the milk duct and begun to invade the tissues of the breast. Over time, invasive ductal carcinoma can spread to the lymph nodes and possibly to other areas of the body.”
According to American Cancer Society (2012), “DCIS is a type of early breast cancer confined to the inside of the ductal system. This is the most common type of NON-invasive breast cancer. Ductal means that the cancer...