Breast Cancer

Researcher: Kevin Chung 9.4

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the breast tissue. It is one of the most dangerous cancers, and after skin and lung cancer, it is the most common forms on cancer, causing more than 50,000 deaths in the US annually, 7% of all cancer deaths, and nearly 1% of all deaths.

Causes

The exact cause of this cancer has yet to be determined by scientists and doctors, however many risk factors have been identified. For example, women who have previously had the cancer in one breast are very likely to then have it in the other breast, women whose family members have had the disease are two to three times as likely then normal women, and age, race, obesity, diet, alcohol, exposure to hormones, and other environmental factors may all increase the chances of a women getting breast cancer.

Symptoms

The most well known symptom of breast cancer is the discovery of a lump that feels strange. Most women get diagnosed after they noticed that such a lump had formed.

According to the organization Cancer Research UK, other signs that all women should know about include:
  • A lump or thickening in an area of the breast
  • A change in the size or shape of a breast
  • Dimpling of the skin
  • A change in the shape of your nipple, particularly if it turns in, sinks into the breast or becomes irregular in shape
  • A blood-stained discharge from the nipple
  • A rash on a nipple or surrounding area
  • A swelling or lump in your armpit
Source: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/type/breast-cancer/about/breast-cancer-symptoms

Treatment & Prevention

There has been a lot of recent medical and technological developments and breakthroughs that constantly revolutionize the way we treat the disease as well as how we can improve the lives of the patients, and most importantly, how we lower the death rates and extend the survival years.

The exact treatment that is used depends on the stage of the cancer, and the conditions of the patient. The most common treatments used are surgery, chemotherapy, medications, radiation therapy, and alternative medicine.

Not much can be done to directly prevent any women from getting breast cancer, as human medicine has yet to have a very good idea about the causes behind the disease. And as they say knowledge is power. most importantly are being informed about the disease, and knowing about the symptoms. Risk factors may be controlled as much as possible, by avoiding the things that we know can commonly cause cancer. A proper lifestyle with sufficient exercise, in addition to an appropriate diet are also key to preventing all types of cancer. Finally, older women should take frequent tests, and medicine may be taken to treat precancerous conditions.