Battle Against Breast Cancer

First things first. Let's eradicate all the myths that surround breast cancer. To be thoroughly informed, we must know what are the correct facts, what are the wrong ones.

One common myth is a lump in the breast automatically means it's cancer. This is not true. It is reported that eight out of ten lumps are not malignant. As long as the lump is detected early, recovery is not a problem at all. Some of the non-cancerous stuff found in the breasts are the following: fibroadenomas, cysts or a fibrocystic disease.

Another myth is men do not acquire breast cancer. Well, they do. That's why men also have to be attentive to any change in their breasts.

Mammogram can trigger the widespread of breast cancer. This is not true. The pressure from this x-ray does not do a thing except detect if there is a suspicious growth within the breasts.

It has also been said that a history of breast cancer in the family means the woman will get it too. Not necessarily true, although those with history have greater risk. But every woman must still have a mammogram, just to check and rule out cancer. It is not a communicable disease, as what other people believe.

Now that those myths are out of the way, it is important to know about the risk factors of breast cancer:

1. Having menstruated at an early age and going into late menopause

2. Eating food which has ample amount of saturated fat

3. Having a family which has a history of acquiring the disease

4. Getting pregnant at a late age or not getting pregnant at all

5. Having undergone estrogen replacement therapy

6. Being obese

7. Having had therapeutic irradiation for treatment of Hodgkins Disease

There are different types of breast cancer: ductal carcinoma in-situ (most common type of breast cancer), infiltrating ductal, medullary carcinoma, infiltrating lobular, tubular carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma and inflammatory breast cancer which is characterized by drastic breast skin changes (redness, thickening and dominance of the hair follicles).

Like any other cancer, the breast cancer undergoes changes. Stage 0 is when there are abnormal cells in the lobule's lining. The presence does not really equate with cancer but it increases the risk. Taking a drug called tamoxifen may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Stage 1 and 2 refer to the stages wherein cancer has already spread beyond the ducts or lobes. Stage 1 indicates that the tumor is just of insignificant size and cancer cells have not gone beyond the breast, whereas stage 2 means the cancer has spread to under the arms, particularly to the lymph nodes and the tumor is now bigger than 2 inches. Radiation therapy can be conducted or mastectomy, which means the breast will be removed and reconstructed.

Stage 3 is advanced cancer wherein the tumor in the breast has grown immensely and the cancer has spread to tissues and lymph nodes near the breast. Chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, surgery and radiation therapy may be administered.

Stage 4 is called metastatic cancer. Radiation and surgery may be used as treatments.

Breast cancer can be fought and those who have it can win against it. Hollywood celebs even gather together for the Pink Ribbon, a movement to fight breast cancer. So women of the world, let's go and fight!




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