Friday, October 19, 2007
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is a Breast Cancer Awareness Month..so i want to contribute something especially to all the people i concern, my family, my friends and all of you out there that this is a really serious disease that can affected anybody...if you want to know more about this ..please read the article below and please spread it out to others..that is the least that i can do for the society...
Encyclopedia of Medicine by Carol A. Turkington
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth and uncontrolled division of cells in the breast. Cancer cells can invade and destroy surrounding normal tissue, and can spread throughout the body via blood or lymph fluid (clear fluid bathing body cells) to start a new cancer in another part of the body.
Every woman is at risk for breast cancer. If she lives to be 85, there is a one out of nine chance that she will develop the condition sometime during the rest of her life. As a woman ages, her risk of developing breast cancer rises dramatically regardless of her family history. The breast cancer risk of a 25-year-old woman is only one out of 19,608; by age 45, it is one in 93. In fact, 80% of all breast cancers are found in women over age 50.
Causes & symptoms
There are a number of risk factors for the development of breast cancer, including:
Family history of breast cancer in mother or sister
Early onset of menstruation and late menopause
Reproductive history: women who had no children or have children late in life and women who have never breastfed have increased risk
History of abnormal breast biopsies.
However, more than 70% of women who get breast cancer have no known risk factors. While a breast cancer gene was discovered in 1994, only about 5% of breast cancers are believed to be related to the gene.
In addition, some studies suggest that high fat diets, bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding, or using alcohol may contribute to the risk profile. Some studies have also found that for certain women, hormone replacement therapy may contribute to the development of breast cancer. However, these findings have been criticized.
It is important to realize that not all lumps detected in the breast are cancerous. Many are benign and require only the removal of the lump. While having several risk factors may boost a woman's chances of having breast cancer, the interplay of factors is complex. The best way to assess breast cancer risk is by doing monthly self examinations to detect any lump at an early stage. The second is to have a regular mammogram, an x ray of the front and side of the breast that will detect cysts or tumors at the earliest possible stage. Seeking risk assessment consultation at one of the many breast cancer centers located throughout the United States is also helpful.
The changes in the breast that may be a sign of breast cancer include:
Lump or thickening in breast or armpit
Changes in a nipple (thickening, pulling in, bleeding or discharge)
Dimpled or reddened skin over the breast
Change in size or shape
Abnormality on a mammogram.
More than 90% of all breast cancers are detected by mammogram (a low-dose x ray of the breast). Mammograms should be done to evaluate a suspicious lump. Screening mammograms should be ordered according to the doctor's guidelines. Despite the controversy about the cost-effectiveness of mammograms for women in their 40s, most doctors agree with the current American Cancer Society guidelines that recommend screening mammograms every year or two for women between 40 and 49, and every year after age 50. Women with a family history of breast cancer may want to have a mammogram every year after age 40.