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Breast Cancer

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In this research, individuals will learn what breast cancer is, the history of the disease, interesting statistics, symptoms, stages, and treatments as well as preventions and the coping strategies for those living with breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer is a malignant tumor, or abnormal cells, starting within the breasts that become grouped cancerous cells that overtake tissues that can spread throughout different areas of the body. This often occurs and travels in the tubes of the breast that carries milk to the nipple that is known as; "the ducts," however can formulate in any areas of the breast. Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality (a "mistake" in the genetic material). However, only five to ten percent of cancers are because of an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. About 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the environmental factors of life in general.


It is believed that the Egyptians are credited for the discovery of this medical disease based on historical findings. The Edwin Smith Papyrus (a trauma surgery textbook from ancient Egypt) explained this type of cancer to be incurable and was managed by cauterization, which dates back as far as 1600 BC as the first known medical writing. (American Cancer Society, 2011) The first ever to extract underlying chest muscles, breast tissue, and lymph nodes took place in the seventeenth century by a Scottish surgeon Benjamin Bell and French surgeon Jean Louis Petit. (American Cancer Society, 2011)


* About one in eight United States women (under 12%) develops invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, just under 30% of cancers in women results in breast cancer. ("", 2011)

* Women who have NO family history of breast cancer have an 85% chance of breast cancer occurring and roughly 15% of women who contact breast cancer has a family member that was diagnosed with the disease. ("", 2011)

* Statistics state that in 2011 2.6 million individuals survived breast cancer in the United States and from 1999-2005 United Sates breast cancer cases decreased by about 2% per year in women ages 50 and older. A theory behind this is that the decrease was partially due to the reduction use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy). ("", 2011)

* About 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2011. A man's lifetime risk of breast cancer is about one in 1,000 ("", 2011)


Often times there are no symptoms to breast cancer. A lump may be too small for an individual to feel or to cause any unusual changes for an individual to notice by their own examination. For most, an abnormal area will turn up on a screening mammogram (x-ray of the breast), which can lead to further testing. ("", 2011) In some cases, however, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass that can be felt by touch. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. Although, sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. ("", 2011)

Stated by the American Cancer Society, any of the following unmoral difference in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:

* swelling of all or part of the breast

* skin irritation or dimpling

* breast pain

* nipple pain or the nipple turning inward

* redness, flakey, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin

* a nipple discharge other than breast milk

* a lump in the underarm area

(American Cancer Society, 2011)

Understanding these symptoms and obtain regular screening and testing will increase your chance of fighting breast cancer.


Breast cancer can start in different areas of the breast; the ducts, the lobules, or sometimes, the tissue in between, depending on the location of the cancerous cells, determines the different types of breast cancer.

The following listed are the several types of breast cancer:

* DCIS - Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

* IDC - Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

* IDC - Less Common Types (Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast, Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast, Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast, Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast, Cribriform Carcinoma of the Breast)

* ILC - Invasive Lobular Carcinoma

* Inflammatory Breast Cancer

* LCIS - Lobular Carcinoma In Situ

* Male Breast Cancer

* Paget's Disease of the Nipple

* Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast

* Recurrent and Metastatic Breast Cancer

("", 2011)

Screenings and Testing

The following information has been retrieved from the American Cancer Society, 2011.

* Diagnostic mammograms

1. X-ray of the breast that can show if anything abnormal is a threat or if it is nothing to worry about.

* Digital mammograms

1. This process is the almost the same except it can go farther in depth and se image size, brightness, or contrast more clearly. This is also used to send to other specialist electronically.

* Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

1. This is a process that uses radio waves versus the x-ray test. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and is released in a patter formed by the type of body tissue and by



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