By: Natalie Pritchard
Human Development 1
27 February 2015 Most people know what breast cancer is or have at least heard about it from others. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast; a tumor is a group of cancer cells that grow in tissue and spread to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can also get it. A little less than thirty percent of the cancers that attack women are breast cancer.
Approximately eighty-five percent of all breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer what so ever, however the chances double if a first relative has been previously diagnosed. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being a female and growing older in age. By the middle of 2014, there were a little more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S.; which includes women currently being treated, women who have already finished treatment and have made it through successfully. With scientists working everyday with different types of cancer treatments there are many treatment options that can be done. However, typically three treatment options are what individuals choose from or they do all three. The most common form of treatment for breast cancer is surgery, which involves removing the tumor, tissue and typically the breast. Some individuals who have found breast cancer in one breast will more than likely remove both breasts to avoid the possible other breast being infected. Or like Angelina Jolie, she chose to remove both breasts without even being diagnosed; it was just the scare of someone in her family having it.
Chemotherapy is a treatment method that uses a combination of drugs to either destroy cancer cells or slow down their growth. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells; it affects the nearby skin or cells only in the part of the body that is treated with the radiation. Some individuals choose to do both treatments to take the most aggressive approach. With chemotherapy and radiations the effects and or symptoms people encounter can be very difficult to deal with. Most if not all lose their hair, become very ill and become extremely weak.
It is very important for you to take very good care of yourself before, during, and even after the breast cancer treatment. Knowing the facts and going with the treatment option that best suits is imperative. Never be ashamed to look at your body, feel around and make sure nothing feels out of the ordinary. But if something is out of the norm do not hesitate to have a physician check it out; early detection is a key factor. Some of the main signs or symptoms would be a change in size, contour, texture, or the temperature of the breast. A reddish, pitted surface like the skin of an orange on the breast or a lump in the breast or underarm that persists after your menstrual cycle could be a type of breast cancer. Lumps that are associated with breast cancer are usually painless, although some may cause a prickly sensation which needs to be cared for. A change in the nipple, such as a nipple retraction, dimpling, itching, a burning sensation, or ulceration needs to be seen by your doctor and treated as soon as possible.
Having breast cancer or any type of cancer does not just effect that person being diagnosed it effects everyone that loves and cares for that person. Family and friends take…