Breast cancer affects a huge population around the world and the frequency of its occurrence has breast cancer awareness as a very important issue in today's times. In this article, I will discuss some very important facts that you should know about breast cancer.


What is Breast Cancer?

This type of cancer causes the malignant cells grow and multiply in the breast tissues. The damaged cells can invade the surrounding breast tissue but with early detection and treatment, the growth of the cancer cells can be stopped and most patients lead normal lives thereafter.



Some truths about Breast Cancer

 

  1. Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most diagnosed disease in the United States of America. Breast cancer also represents about 14% of allnew cancer cases around the world.
  2. True prevention of breast cancer means that the diseases must be stopped even before it starts to develop. This is basically a precautionary step which all women are advised to take. This prevents over-diagnosis or over-treatment and exposure to strong radiation and chemotherapy. Regular visits to get mammograms done is one of the first and vital steps for breast cancer detection.
  3. White women are more likely to develop breast cancer but African American women are found to have a higher mortality rate, which is about 31 for every 100,000 women, compared to 22 for every 100,000 white women. Comparatively, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific, Indian/Alaskan natives and American women have a lower mortality rates compared to white women.
  4. All breast cancer cases are not the same even though they might have similarities. It is not the size of the tumour that determines whether the breast cancer is aggressive or not but the biology and the micro-environment of the tumour which determines the aggressiveness. Some breast cancer cases are diagnosed from the detection of small tumours in the breast region but these even if found early, are still deadly. Some tumours grow slowly and on treatment can never be life threatening.
  5. There is a huge possibility of environmental estrogens playing a major role in the formation of breast cancer cells. Environment estrogens are artificial and synthetic chemicals and natural plant compounds that can mimic the estrogen hormone in the body. They behave like estrogen in the body and then blocks the natural hormone. These chemicals can be found in DDT, PCBs, BPA, detergents, plastics and several other things. More than 900 synthetic compounds from industries and commercial goods have been identified as Endocrine disruptors or EDCs.
  6. Breast cancer is a disease of malfunctioning genes. Lifestyle plays a huge role in the development of breast cancer. Unhealthy lifestyles generate the signals for the production of the malignant cells that have already primed because of faulty genes that have undergone mutation.
  7. Women in their 20s and 30s should have breast cancer detection exams performed on them every three years. This examination must be done regularly especially if there is a family history involving cancer. After the age of 40, women should increase the frequency and get cancer detection examinations done once every year.