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Breast Cancer - What Everyone Should Know

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to get people talking and learning about one of the most common cancers amongst women. In response to this, we have decided to provide you with some background information that every woman and man should know about this prognosis. But before we start let’s give you some basic information about Cancer.

Cancer occurs in the body when the natural, healthy systems that control the creation, growth and death of cells don’t work properly. The cells don’t die at the normal rate which means there’s more cell growth than cell death. This excess growth can form a tumour.

No One Is Exempt From Breast Cancer

We are all at risk of developing breast cancer, (Men too! although they receive less than 1 percent of all diagnoses.) Some women are more likely than others to develop breast cancer, especially if it runs in their family. Most women who get breast cancer have no significant risk factors. So, every woman should educate herself about breast cancer and make breast examinations including mammograms a priority.

Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast divide and grow without their normal control functions. Tumors in the breast tend to grow slowly. By the time a lump is large enough to feel, it may have been growing for over 10 years. Some tumors are aggressive and grow much faster. Between 50-75 percent of breast cancers begin in the milk ducts, about 5-15 percent begin in the lobules and a few begin in other breast tissues.

There Are Different Kinds Of Breast Cancers

There are several different types of breast cancers that exist. For example, cancer can originate in the lobules, which produces milk; in the ducts, which carry milk toward the nipple; or, more rarely, in the breast's connective tissue. Breast cancers also differ in their genetic makeup and in whether hormones (estrogen, progesterone or neither) or a protein called HER2/neu can spur their growth.

Breast Cancers Are Treated Differently

Breast cancer treatments are treated appropriately and treatments vary from patient to patient.

For example, women who have estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers, which can use the hormone as fuel for growth, might take anti-estrogen treatments that wouldn’t work for patients with other types of the disease.

Comprehensive Treatment Is Best For Breast Cancer

Breast cancer treatment is multidisciplinary, involving surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and psychologists. As such, it's most effective when specialists work together to give patients comprehensive care.

The Best Prevention

Women are advised to use common sense and take a broad view of staying healthy, rather than trying to act on every study that suggests a specific product, food or lifestyle choice might increase or decrease one's risk of breast cancer. Try to maintain a healthy weight, healthy diet and regular exercise are good ways to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Breast Cancer Information And Support

Cancer Research UK

Freephone: 0808 800 4040. They are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Macmillan Cancer Support

Freephone: 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am to 8pm)

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