Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Breast Cancer (Intro)

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women, apart from lung cancer. Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer while every twelve minutes a woman dies of it. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. One in every nine women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. It is the leading cause of death for women aged 34 to 54. Breast cancer affects Caucasian women most often followed by African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latinas, and Native American women.

Breast cancer, also known as breast carcinoma, is a cancer formed in tissues of the breast, usually the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that produce milk). It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare. No one knows why some women get cancer, but there are a number of risk factors. Risks that cannot be changed include:

  • Age - the chances of developing breast cancer rises as a woman gets older.

  • Genes - Most inherited cases of breast cancer have been associated with two genes: BRCA1, which stands for BReast CAncer gene one, and BRCA2, which stands for BReast CAncer gene two. The functions of these genes is to keep breast cells growing normally but when abnormalities, or mutations exist in these genes, they are associated with a greater breast cancer risk. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who have an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene often have a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both. However, research on these genes are still in progress.
  • Personal factors - beginning periods before age 12 or going through menopause after 55.

Other risks include being overweight, using hormone replacement therapy, taking birth control pills, drinking alcohol, not having children, having your first child after age 35 or having dense breast.

Symptoms of breast cancer include a lump in the breast, a change in size or shape of the breast or discharge from a nipple. Treatment may consist of radiation, lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Women who were treated for Hodgkin's disease with radiation, or also endured frequent X-rays during treatment for scollosis at a young age are at higher risk.

Interesting fact:

Pregnancy seems to give some protection against breast cancer, and the protection is greater the younger a woman is at her first pregnancy.

9 comments:

Dianobol said...

Are you sure that your statistics is exact? Because it sounds terrifying!

generic viagra said...

It is ironic and cruel to say that every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, while every twelve minutes a woman dies of itself, that we should stop and seek an urgent cure for this disease that we speculated so much ..

Colachampagne said...

The statistics I used are based on my reading. Never take what you read to be completely true but take it into consideration. Medicine is an area of constant research.

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