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Understanding Breast Cancer

Posted by Joshua Richard on September 30, 2011 at 9:05 PM
UNDERSTANDING BREAST CANCER
Medical Messages October 2011

Walk On Foundation Inc. would like to take a moment to offer our prayers for each and everyone of you that has been effected in some way by Breast Cancer.   We will take this time to learn more about what Breast Cancer is, how it is treated, and how it effects the lives of many.   Keep your eyes open for a few stories from local women who are dealing with Breast Cancer on a daily basis.  

Also go visit  Life With Lissy on Facebook, as she will be doing giveaways each day in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast divide and grow without normal control. Between 50 and 75 percent of breast cancers begin in the ducts, 10 to 15 percent begin in the lobules and a few begin in other breast tissues.

 

Tumors in the breast tend to grow slowly. By the time a lump is large enough to feel, it may have been growing for as long as 10 years. However, some tumors are aggressive and grow much more rapidly.

It is important to note that both men and women can get breast cancer, however it is more common in women.

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer;

Due to the increased use of mammography, most women in the United States are diagnosed at very early stages of breast cancer, before symptoms appear. However, not all breast cancer is found through mammography. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge. Warning signs you should be aware of are listed below.

 

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underam
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of the nipple or other parts of your breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away
If you have any of these symptoms please see your health care provider.

Statistics
In 2011 it is estimated that among U.S. women:
  • There will be almost 288,000 new cases of Breast Cancer
  • There will be 39,500 Breast Cancer deaths
In 2011 it is estimated that among U.S. men:
  • There will be 2,140 new cases of Breast Cancer.
  • There will be 450 Breast Cancer deaths in men.
Treatment

Your breast cancer treatment plan is based on both medical and personal choices. It is tailored to:

 

Your specific type of breast cancer (the biology of the tumor)

 

  • The stage of the breast cancer
  • Other medical issues
  • Your personal preferences

 

Because of the differences between tumors and between people, your treatment plan may differ from another person’s, even though you both have breast cancer. Each treatment option has risks and benefits that you must consider with your own values and lifestyle.

 

Treatment for breast cancer can be thought of in two areas: local therapy and systemic therapy.

 

Local therapy

 

Local therapy is designed to remove the cancer from a limited (local) area, such as the breast, chest wall and lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary nodes), and make sure it does not recur (come back) in that area. It involves surgery, either with or without radiation therapy to the breast area.

 

Systemic therapy (adjuvant therapy)

 

Systemic therapy aims to get rid of cancer cells that may have spread from the breast to other parts of the body. It includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy. These drug therapies (either in IV or pill form) can travel through the body to get rid of cancer cells that may have spread from the breast. Because systemic therapy is an adjunct (or in addition to) breast surgery, these treatments are often called adjuvant therapy.

There is a lot more info to be discussed and to be found on Breast Cancer.   This is just a brief overview.  These notes were taken in part from http://ww5.komen.org/Default.aspx.

I have also found a site called Breast Cancer:  Beyond The Shock that is laid out very well.   This site also has an app that you can download onto your Ipod, Iphone or Ipad.  Well worth the time.   There is also a neat app for your Iphones called Breast Check that shows you how to check your breast, what to look for and actually let's you track any findings.  The app also can be set to give you reminders weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. to check yourself.

In the coming days we will be adding a story to this page from a young local lady who is currently going through treatments of Breast Cancer.   We will get an inside look at her life, how Breast Cancer has changed it, the treatments she goes through, and the outlook she has on life.  So please keep checking back.   We also will be doing a few giveaways on Life With Lissy, so make sure to go on Facebook and Like her page.

If you have any stories, or words of encouragement you would like to add about Breast Cancer please feel free to comment below.

Here is a video that has become very popular in the past month about breast cancer.  Take a moment to watch it (make sure to have tissues near by.)

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