In the United States in 1995 alone, 43,063 died from Breast Cancer Essay. It is
the number two cancer killer and the number one cancer in females ages 15
to 54. On average if a woman gets this disease, their life expectancy
drops nineteen and a half years. This cancer is within the top three
cancers of all woman above the age of 15, and comprises 6% of all health
care costs in the U.S.
totaling an astounding 35 billion dollars a year.
An average woman is said to have a one in thirty chance of getting the
cancer, but if that person had family history of the disease, their
chances have been measured up to a one in six chance. Sixtynine percent
of AfricanAmerican women survive from it, and there are predicted to be
nearly two million new cases reported this year in the U.S. The disease is
Breast cancer is a group of rapidly reproducing, undifferentiated cells in
the area of the breast in women.
The earliest changes occur in the
epithelial cells of the terminal end buds (TEB) of the breast milk ductal
system. While the outlining steps of breast cancer are unknown, the cells
in the breast trigger a reaction of cell reproduction. These new cancer
cells form tumors. If cancer cells are active or are considered malign,
the tumor grows at tremendous speeds, and may end up in metastasis.
Metastasis is a complex process in which cells break away from their
primary tumors, and via the blood supply or through the lymph system
relocate into other organs, thus spreading cancer throughout the body if
left untreated. Generally, if a lump is smaller than one centimeter, it is
considered benign, although every woman should consult her doctor about
any unusual bumps or feeling in the chest.
One sign of breast cancer
results from ductal cancer in the breast. A once hollow open tube could be
completely clogged up with cancerous cells thus leaving an awkward feeling
in the chest area. Other complications that result from this cancer and
others is on top of the clogging and cramming of the system, the body’s
need to not only supply for itself, but for the large tumors.
Recently genes have been touted as a great cause of cancer. It now is
thought among the medical community that while there are definite
environmental contributors to cancer, even those people who are exposed to
few carcinogens may suffer from disease that runs in their families. Among
the genes that is being heavily researched is the gene BRCA1.
In one of
the preliminary detections of this particular gene, over 250 Jewish women
were discovered to have mutations with this germline allele, accounting
for approximately 13% of all breast cancer patients observed. Jewish women
in specific were used, as early on their was a definite pattern of breast
cancer through the Jewish community especially that which lived in the
United States. The specific mutation, 185delAG, was, ;strongly associated
with the onset of breast cancer in Jewish women before the age of 30.;
Scientists thrived upon this new information of genealogical interplay, so
the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) set out determined to
study the overall effects of these genes, not only along familial lines,
but also concerning the general population. In an article printed on
January 18, 1996, germline alterations in BRCA1 were discovered in six of
the 80 women surveyed with breast cancer but had no apparent familial
history of it. Thus the scientists concluded that mutation was not limited
to women with history of cancer.
In an article printed in the Dallas
Morning News, genes were sighted as a cause of five to twenty percent
of all breast cancer. In that article, a gene known as p53 supposedly
stalls reproduction, and can even cause a cell to ;commit suicide;. Other
genes that seem to accelerate growth to overtake and stick to proteins
includes HER2, neu, and erB2. ;Ten years from now, you won’t go for a
BRCA1 test,” said Dr. ShattuckEidens of Salt Lake city. “You’ll go for a
breast cancer predisposition test.
; relation between serum estrogen
levels at a single time with links to breast cancer, but no evidence links
estrogen levels over an extended time to the risk of breast cancer, until
researchers at the New England Journal of Medicine proposed a study.
Bone mass is a cumulative effect of estrogen on bones scientists say, and
so the study focused on the more easily observed density and mass of bone
tissue in women. Four levels were accounted for, and .