Bad News – 1 Out of 2 Women Have Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the cells of the breast in men and women. It is diagnosed by the examination of surgically removed breast tissue.

Good News – Breast cancer is NOT a death sentence.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women. It is extremely rare in women in their teens or early twenties and uncommon in women under 35.

The first symptom, or subjective sign, of breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different than the surrounding breast tissue. Another reported symptom complex of breast cancer is Paget’s disease of the breast. Although many epidemiological risk factors have been identified, the cause of any individual breast cancer is often unknowable.

Risk

The primary risk factors that have been identified are sex, age, childbearing, hormones, a high-fat diet, alcohol intake, obesity, and environmental factors such as tobacco use, radiation and shift work.

However, in women who take 200 micrograms of folate (folic acid or Vitamin B9) every day, the risk of breast cancer drops below that of alcohol abstainers. Breathing secondhand smoke increases breast cancer risk by 70% in younger, primarily pre-menopausal women.

After taking into account various parameters about their health and family data through an interactive question-answer session, it identifies the risk group of the user and thus helps to detect breast cancer at an early stage.

Still, some benign breast conditions are important because women with these conditions have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Cells

Cells from benign tumors do not spread to tissues around them or to other parts of the body. Cells from malignant tumors can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. When breast cancer cells invade the dermal lymphatics, small lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, its presentation can resemble skin inflammation and thus is known as inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

The closer to normal cancer cells are, the slower their growth and a better prognosis. This radiation is very effective in killing cancer cells that may remain after surgery or recur where the tumor was removed. However, radiation affects normal cells and cancer cells alike, causing some damage to the normal tissue around where the tumor was.

Healthy tissue can repair itself, while cancer cells do not repair themselves as well as normal cells.

Lymph

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped collections of immune system cells that are connected by lymphatic vessels. Lymph is a clear fluid that contains immune system cells and waste products.

Stage is the most important, as it takes into consideration size, local involvement, lymph node status and whether metastatic disease is present. Breast cancer can also spread to other parts of the body via blood vessels or the lymphatic system. More recently, the technique of sentinel lymph node (SLN) dissection has become popular, as it requires the removal of far fewer lymph nodes, resulting in fewer side effects.

Research

The preliminary research into flax seeds indicates that flax can significantly change breast cancer growth and metastasis, and enhance the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen on estrogen-dependent tumors. These improvements have had a direct result on the decrease in mortality rates of people diagnosed with breast cancer and would not have been made without ongoing effective research.

Phenomenal research is being done but there is so much more we need to learn.

Family

If you are worried about having a family history of breast cancer, you can speak to your GP about a referral to a breast clinic. 85% of all diagnoses have no family history. While a history of breast cancer in the family may lead to increased risk, most breast cancers are diagnosed in women with NO family history.

If a woman also has a family history of breast cancer in first-degree relatives, her risk may be increased 11-fold.