October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.
What does Cancer mean?
Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast. These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis.
Advances in screening and treatment for breast cancer have improved survival rates dramatically since 1989. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there are more than 3.1 million breast Trusted Source cancer survivors in the United States. The chance of any woman dying from breast cancer is around 1 in 38 (2.6%).
The ACS estimate that 268,600 women Trusted Source will receive a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer, and 62,930 people will receive a diagnosis of noninvasive cancer in 2019.
In the same year, the ACS report that 41,760 women will die as a result of breast cancer. However, due to advances in treatment, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989.
The first symptoms of breast cancer usually appear as an area of thickened tissue in the breast or a lump in the breast or an armpit.
Other symptoms include:
- pain in the armpits or breast that does not change with the monthly cycle
- pitting or redness of the skin of the breast, similar to the surface of an orange
- a rash around or on one of the nipples
- discharge from a nipple, possibly containing blood
- a sunken or inverted nipple
- a change in the size or shape of the breast
- peeling, flaking, or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple
Most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, women should visit a doctor for an examination if they notice a lump on the breast. Different tests can be used to look for and diagnose breast cancer. If your doctor finds an area of concern on a screening test (a mammogram), or if you have symptoms that could mean breast cancer, you will need more tests to know for sure if it’s cancer.
For more information about Breast Cancer please visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/what-is-breast-cancer/