Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast. Breast lumps, growths or tumors occur when old cells don’t die but instead form a mass. These cells can spread, traveling through vessels or lymph vessels and can begin to damage other tissues and organs; also known as metastasis.
What are breast cancer risk factors?
- Getting older
- Genetic mutations
- Reproductive history
- Having dense breasts
- Personal history of breast cancer
- Personal history of certain non-cancerous breast diseases
- A family history of breast cancer
- Previous treatment using radiation therapy
- Women who took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES)
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
- Nipple tenderness
- Lump in or near the breast
- Change in skin texture
- Enlarged pores on breast skin
- A lump in the underarm area
- Swelling of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast pain
- Nipple inverting
Types of Breast Cancer
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells have been found in the lining of the breast milk duct.
The atypical cells have not spread outside of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. Ductal carcinoma in situ is very early cancer that is highly treatable, but if it’s left untreated or undetected, it can spread into the surrounding breast tissue.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
ILC sometimes called infiltrating lobular carcinoma, is the second most common type of breast cancer after invasive ductal carcinoma (cancer that begins in the milk-carrying ducts and spreads beyond it).
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 180,000 women in the United States find out they have invasive breast cancer each year.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
The abnormal cancer cells that began forming in the milk ducts have spread beyond the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body. It is also sometimes called infiltrative ductal carcinoma.
- Most common type of breast cancer, making up 70- 80% of all breast cancer diagnoses.
- The type of breast cancer that can most commonly affect men.
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Facts about Breast Cancer
Facts according to breastcancer.org:
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
- About 40,920 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2018 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2017, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.