third deadliest form of cancer in the US is breast cancer. It killed 206,983 people between 2003 and 2007. And
while there have been much attention focused on the disease and improved treatments, the death toll for 2012 is
expected to be around 40,000, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This is far too high but we will
discuss these details further and review some important facts.
primarily affects women since it most often begins in the tissues of the breast. The two main kinds of breast cancer include ductal carcinoma which begins in
the ducts which move milk from the breast to the nipple. And the
other primary type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma which begins in the parts of the breast which produces
can remain localized or it may spread to other tissues or organs.
Breast cancer is such a common disease in women that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over
The key risk
factors for breast cancer include: following:
and gender – The disease can strike men but it is rare. And the risk factors increase for women as they
age. Most of the advanced cases of breast cancer are found in women over 50.
person’s family history can play a significant role
in certain gene are a factor
women who began to menstruate early in their lifetime or who went through menopause later in life
(after age 55) have an increased risk.
In the early
stages of breast cancer, there are very subtle or minimal symptoms.
But as the cancer grows, symptoms may include: following:
in the breast or armpit which may have uneven edges and which do not generally hurt
in the size, shape and feel of the breast or nipple
fluid coming from the nipple
There are a
number of diagnostic tests used to detect breast cancer. The most
common is a mammogram which is a type of x-ray. A breast MRI may be
used to identify breast lump or analyze an abnormal feature more fully. A breast biopsy is often used to sample the tissue which is suspected to be
If one of the
tests indicates the presence of breast cancer, further tests will be ordered to better understand the extent of
the cancer and whether it has spread to other organs.
There are a
number of treatment options. The specific one chosen will be based
on the severity and size of the cancer. But commonly chemotherapy
is used to kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy may also be
used to kill cancerous tissue. And surgical procedures may be used
to remove the cancerous tissue. This can range from a portion of
the breast to the entire breast and lymph glands depending on the severity.
been some impressive strides in the treatments for breast cancer.
Much attention on the disease has encouraged many women to get screened regularly and seek medical attention
when there is evidence of a problem.
treatments have gotten more sophisticated and effective. One
example is targeted therapy which uses special drugs to attack cells which show changes.
many other important and effective treatment options and you are encouraged to search for more details
throughout the Internet. However keep in mind that the best
prospects for survival occur with early detection and treatment.