A breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A
malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may grow into (invade)
surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Breast
cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Many people do notrealize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer.
Every 3 minutes, a woman in the Unites States learns that she has breast
cancer. Every 12 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the
most common cause of cancer in women and the second most common cause
of cancer death in women in the U.S. While the majority of new breast cancers
are diagnosed asa result of an abnormality seen on a mammogram, a lump, or
change in consistency of the breast tissue can also be a warning sign of the
disease. In a national poll, 1 in every 10 surveyed considered herself at no risk
at all. Every woman is at risk for breast cancer simply because she's a female.
There are many factors that would contribute to women to have breast
cancer;these are: Age, at 25, a woman's chance of developing breat cancer is 1
in 19,608; by age 45, it has increased to 1 in 93; by 65, it is 1 in 17. This shows
that the older the woman gets the chances are that most likely she would get
breast cancer. The mean age at which women are diagnosed is 63. Another
factor is your family history. The majority of breast cancers 90-95% are not due
tostrong genetic factors; however, having a first-degree relative mother, sister,
or daughter with breast cancer does increase risk, and if the relative developed
breast cancer before menopause, the cancer is more likely to be hereditary.
Race is another factor to develop breast cancer. Breast cancer rates are lower in
Hispanic and Asian American populations than in whites and in AfricanAmerican
women. Caucasian women over 40 have the highest incidence rate for breast
cancer in this country, but African American women at every age have a greater
likelihood of dying from breast cancer. The occupation also is a risk factor for
developing breast cancer. Swedish researchers have developed a list of jobs
linked with a high risk of breast cancer. These include pharmacists,certain types
of teachers, schoolmasters, systems analysts and programmers, telephone
operators, telegraph and radio operators, metal platers and coaters, and
beauticians. Alcohol is another risk factor for developing breat cancer. Women's
risk of breat cancer increases with the amount of alcohol they drink. Those who
take two or more drinks per day are 40% more likely to develop breat cancerthan women who don't drink at all. For a nondrinking woman, the lifetime risk of
breast cancer by age 80 is 1 in 11. For heavy drinkers it's about 1 in 7,
regardless of race, education, family history, use of hormone therapy, or other
risk factors. Obesity. Excess weight, particularly after menopause, increases the
risk of getting breast cancer. Overweight women, both pre andpostmenopausal,
with breast cancer are more likely to die of their disease.
Doctors have long advised women to perform monthly breast self-exams
(BSE) after their periods. It recommends a breast exam by a trained practitioner
every three years for women in their 20's and 30's and every year for women 40
and over and a yearly mammogram for all women.
To Breast Self-exam:
Step 1: Lieflat on your back. Place pillow or towel under one shoulder, and raise
that arm over your head. With the opposite hand, you'll feel with the pads, not
the fingertips, of the three middle fingers, for lumps or any change in the texture
of the breast.
Step 2: The area you'll examine is from your collarbone to your bra line and from
your breatbone to the center of your armpit. Imagine the...