Written by Michele Wheat
Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women, and it is a disease that can affect men as well as women. No one is really sure what causes breast cancer, but the physical appearance of breast cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in one or both of the breasts. Over time, the cancerous tumor grows until it becomes noticeable and starts to affect different parts of the body. The skin around the tumor may begin to change color, the area becomes painful to the touch, the armpit closest to the tumor starts to swell, and a colorless discharge from the nipple often starts appearing. Women who go through annual mammograms and clinical breast exams often have their tumors caught early enough to have the cancer treated successfully. The key to surviving breast cancer is to have it caught as early as possible and to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor.
In 2015, there were 231,840 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women and 2,350 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in men. While the rate of cancer in women is one in every eight women, the odds of a man getting breast cancer are one in every 1,000 men. The fatality rates for women from breast cancer have been dropping steadily since 1989, but that did not prevent an estimated 40,290 women in the United States from perishing from the disease in 2015. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed form of cancer for American women, with skin cancer being the first. By the end of 2015, 2.8 million women in the United States were newly diagnosed with breast cancer, were fighting breast cancer, or had already won their breast cancer fight. Around the world, an estimated 1.5 million new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year. The highest rate of breast cancer outside of the United States occurs in the United Kingdom.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump found anywhere on the breast. In some cases, tumors may appear in the armpit as well. Another common symptom is a colorless and odorless discharge from the nipple. This discharge may not be apparent at first, but it becomes more prevalent as the condition advances. In some cases, the skin around the tumor may become a different color than the rest of the body, and it may also start to dry out. The area around the tumor may become tender, and it will also be painful to the touch. You may also notice that the breast feels warmer than the rest of the body, and the breast could also change shape by becoming flatter or going through some other transformation. The underarm area will become swollen and will also be sensitive to the touch.
The risk of getting breast cancer increases when several different conditions occur. It has been found that women who do not breastfeed after childbirth are more prone to getting breast cancer. Women who smoke, drink alcohol in excess, and have a non-active lifestyle also increase their chances of getting breast cancer. It is estimated that breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men, which makes women the primary risk group for breast cancer. It is thought that upward of 10 percent of all breast cancer cases are hereditary, which makes prevention extremely difficult. To reduce the chances of getting breast cancer, women need to live an active life, monitor their diets, avoid smoking, and avoid consuming too much alcohol.
Breast cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immune system therapy. In a surgical solution, a portion of the breast is removed, or the entire breast is removed if the cancer has spread that far. Radiation therapy attempts to isolate the cancer cells and destroy them before they have a chance to spread. Chemotherapy uses combinations of medications to isolate and destroy the cancer cells. Immune system therapy utilizes medication specifically designed to boost the immune system to encourage the body to destroy the cancer cells on its own.
About Breast Cancer