Breast Cancer – The Enemy
Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells which most often reproduce rapidly and in a very uncontrolled manner. Cancer cells also often metastasize or spread to other healthy cells in your body. Cancer can attack anyone at an any age or gender or race. It is the second leading cause of death in the United States with heart disease being the leading cause. The most common cancer diagnosed is skin cancer. However gender specifically the most common cancer found in men is prostate and the most common cancer in women is breast cancer.
Breast cancer is when the abnormal growth of cells originate in the breast tissue. Breast cancer affects both men and woman but is way more prominent in women. Symptoms of this disease are: a lump or abnormal tissue change in the breast, blood discharging from the nipple, unexplainable size or shape changes in breast, skin abnormalities and consistent unexplainable redness to the skin on the breast, skin also may be pitted like the skin of an orange. If you feel any abnormality in your breasts do not wait to see your doctor. A routine test called a mammogram, which squeezes your breast flat to look at the tissue inside with a low density x-ray, can be run to detect abnormal cells. A woman should have a mammogram every one or two years, especially women in their 40’s and older. Most breast cancer can be detected by a mammogram before it is detected by hand, and the earlier it is found the better the prognosis.
Inflammatory breast cancer or IBC is a rare type of this disease but a extremely aggressive one. This type of breast cancer grows very rapidly and most often metastasizes very quickly. Symptoms of IBC are mostly the same as with breast cancer but also the skin tends to get red, swollen and very warm like it is inflamed. Skin color can also be pink, purplish, or looked bruised. Most women with IBC feel burning, pain and tenderness in the breast, and also develop swollen lymph nodes. If you detect any of these symptoms it is extremely important you act as quickly as possible as IBC is again extremely aggressive. The IBC survival rate is much lower than with breast cancer because it has usually metastasized by the time of the diagnosis.
Treatment is usually chemotherapy followed by radiation or hormone therapy. However not all cases warrant the same treatments. No diagnosis of cancer is a death sentence. It is best to try to stay positive and do all you can to beat the disease. There are many support groups set up to help lift peoples spirits and let them know they are not alone in their battles. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation is leading the fight against breast cancer by raising awareness and money for the disease. Pink ribbons are the universal symbol for the disease.
Breast Cancer – The Enemy