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What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the breast begin to grow abnormally. These cells split and multiply throughout the breast or may even enter the blood stream and travel to other body parts. Most often breast cancer begins in the ducts that are used to carry milk.
What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Because early diagnosis is crucial to survival, knowing the signs of breast cancer is important. Some signs of breast cancer may include: lump or thickening in the breast; spontaneous clear or bloody discharge from the nipple; retraction or indentation of your nipple; change in the size or contours of your breast; flattening or indentation of the skin over your breast; and redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, similar to the skin of an orange.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
The causes of breast cancer is unknown.
What Increases My Risk of Developing Breast Cancer?
There are a variety of different factors that could increase a person’s likelihood of developing breast cancer. However, some people may have a few of these risk factors and never develop breast cancer, while other may have no risk factors, but will still be diagnosed with breast cancer. Things that increase the risk of developing breast cancer may include: previous cancer in one breast (not recurrence, but a second, unrelated case of cancer may occur); aging; family history; genetics; breast lesions; previous abnormal breast biopsy; age at childbirth; early menstruation; late menopause; weight (overweight); excessive radiation; other cancer in the family; heritage; alcohol; race; and hormone replacement theory.
How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
Screening for breast cancer is very important in order to catch it early. Women should regularly do self examinations. Other ways to detect breast cancer are through regular clinical breast exams and mammograms. If a mass is detected, tests will be done to check if the lump is cancerous or not. These tests may include an ultrasound or a biopsy. Generally the less-invasive ultrasound will be conducted first.
How Breast Cancer Treated?
Breast cancer can be treated through a variety of different methods. Some women choose medications, chemotherapy radiation, or from a variety of different surgeries. It all depends on how advanced and aggressive the cancer is and what must be done to save your life. Some of the surgeries are, lumpectomy, partial or segmental mastectomy, simple mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, and sentinel lymph node biopsy.
Medications for Breast Cancer
Avastin, Abraxane, Adrucil and Cytoxan are all examples of breast cancer medications.