Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Volume 4 Issue 1
November 6, 2023
Image Provided by UAB News
October represents Breast Cancer Awareness month, which tragically affects about 240,000 women in the United States along with 2,100 men annually. Of those 240,000 women, 42,000 pass away and 500 men pass away each year. It is important to take a month to spread awareness of this cancer and dedicate it to those who have passed.
Breast cancer is a disease in which the cells in a breast grow out of control. The type of breast cancer you get is dependent on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. In most cases, breast cancer begins in what is called the “ducts” or “lobules.” The breast is split into three main parts: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. As the cancer grows, it spreads through blood and lymph vessels. When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is said to have “metastasized.” Now, there are two common types of breast cancer. Invasive ductal carcinoma is when the cancer cells start forming inside the ducts and then grow outside the ducts into other parts of the tissue. These invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body. The next most common breast cancer is called Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. This is similar to Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, but it originates within the lobules instead of the ducts. This dangerous cancer can also spread to other parts of the body. Some of the less common types are Paget’s disease, medullary, mucinous, and inflammatory breast cancer.
There are many ways to prevent breast cancer, but in some cases, there is nothing you can do to control it. Maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can be effective in preventing breast cancer. If you are someone who takes hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives, it is best to talk to your doctor and see what may be safer for you. As healthy as you may be, breast cancer is occasionally inherited through family genes or changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 can also be inherited. With all of this in mind, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
Are there ways to notice breast cancer before it becomes a deadly issue? Screening is a way to check women for breast cancer before symptoms and signs are noticeable. A mammogram is an x-ray taken of the breast. Mammograms provide the benefit of noticing breast cancer early on, making it easier to treat. It is important to regularly get mammograms, to benefit both your health and be able to catch such a deadly cancer early on. It is significant to note though, mammograms do not help cure breast cancer, they only help recognize it to ensure the cancer gets taken care of early on.
Thanks to the advancement in technology and the medical field, there are many ways to treat breast cancer. Depending on how far the cancer has spread the type of treatment you will receive can be determined. Surgery is one of the most common options. The doctor will simply cut out the cancer if it has not spread too far. Chemotherapy is a medicine that is used to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The medicine can either be given in shots or pills, although in some cases it may even be both. Hormonal therapy blocks cancer cells from receiving the hormones they need to grow. There are many other medical procedures that help treat breast cancer. It is extremely important to discuss what medical procedure may be best for you.
There are many ways to support people struggling with breast cancer. You can donate to breast cancer foundations and even start fundraisers to donate the money. Wearing pink can also help bring awareness to this tragic disease. It is important to spread awareness to help those who need it and partake in actions that can lead people to live and brighter and healthier life.