breast cancer Essay
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. The American cancer society estimates that in 2002 about 192,200 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in the U.S. alone. Breast cancer also occurs in men.
An estimated 1,500 cases will be diagnosed among men. In 2002, there will be about 40,600 deaths from breast cancer in the United States.
What is breast cancer? Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that has developed from cells of the breast. To make it easier Ill put it this way. When the body needs new cells they will divide or reproduce. Sometimes the cells grow and divide out of control, which creates a mass of tissue called a tumor.
Now if the cells that are growing out of control are abnormal and dont function like the bodys normal cells the tumor is then called malignant or cancerous. Cells from the malignant tumors can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. They may also travel through your blood stream or lymph system to other parts of your body. If the cells are normal cells the tumor is called benign or non cancerous. This Disease occurs mostly in women, but dose occur rarely in men.
There are many stages of breast cancer.
Stage 0 breast cancer is when the disease is localized to the breast and lymph nodes.
Stage 1 is when the cancer is smaller than 1 inch across and hasnt spread.
Stage II is one of the following: the tumor is less than one inch but has spread to the underarm lymph nodes or the tumor is between 1-2 inches without spreading.
Advanced breast cancer results after cancer cells spreads to the lymph nodes and to other parts of the body.
Stage III breast cancer is also called locally advanced breast cancer. The tumor is now larger than 2 inches and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, or a tumor that is any size with cancerous lymph nodes that attach to each other or surrounding tissue.
Stage IIIB breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread to the Skin, Chest wall or internal mammary lymph nodes, which are located beneath the breast and inside the chest.
Stage IV breast cancer is defined as a tumor that has spread to places far away from the breast, such as bones, lungs or lymph nodes.
There are many warning signs of breast cancer that can be found when performing a monthly self-examination. Self-examinations should be performed at the same time each month, three to five days after your period ends. Look for
A mass or lump, that feels as small as a pea
A blood stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.
Redness on the skin on the breast or nipple.
A marble like hardened area under the skin.
A change in the size, shape or contour of the breast.
A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple.
An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
There are many Types of breast cancer. The most common types of breast cancer are Infiltration Ductal Carcinoma, this is when the cancer starts in the milk ducts of the breast.
Then it breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the fatty tissue of the breasts. This is the most common form of breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma in situ is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage. In situ it means that the cancer hasnt spread beyond its original point. This meaning that the disease is left in the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. If it is left untreated it may became invasive cancer.
It is almost always curable. Another kind of cancer is Infiltration Lobular Carcinoma. This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast where the breast milk is produced, but it has spread to the surrounding tissues or the rest of the body. This kind of cancer is responsible for 10-15% of breasts cancers. The last common type is Lobular carcinoma in situ is cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It isnt exactly a cancer but is a sign that breast cancer might develop later, possibly in both breasts.