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Breast Cancer By Laura Boland

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It’s hard to find people these days who do not know someone who has struggled or suffered from breast cancer. Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts and develops in the tissue of the breast; there are two types: Ductal carcinoma, which is the most common, and Lobular carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma is within the actual tubes of the breast that move the milk from the breast to the nipple, whereas Lobular carcinoma is in parts of the breast that produce the milk. Breast cancer can be invasive, meaning that it can spread from the milk duct to other tissues throughout the breast. It may also be noninvasive meaning it has not yet spread to any other parts of the breast then from where it started. Estrogen makes many breast cancers very susceptible to growth. Breast cancer is very sensitive to this hormone.

Throughout a lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Some risk factors may put you at greater risk of getting breast cancer, some that you can not change, and others that have to do with a person’s lifestyle and the way they choose to live. Those that you can not change include age, gender, family history of breast cancer, genes, and menstrual cycle. Your risk of developing breast cancer increases with age and if you have a history of it within your family your chances grow about 20%-30% of likely getting it. Girls who get their period before the age of 12 and women who go through menopause after the age of 55 are also at a greater risk of this type of cancer. Some factors that you can monitor include alcohol use, childbirth, hormone replacement therapy, obesity, and radiation. Drinking 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day may increase your risk as well as having children after the age of 30. Although there is controversy about obesity and breast cancer being a direct link, there has been a theory that obese women produce more estrogen which may increase the development of breast cancer.

It is important to get regular breast exams with your doctor because early breast cancer does not show signs. Some signs, once the cancer begins to grow, may include lump in the breast or armpit that is hard, a change in appearance (size, shape, feel) of the breast, and fluids coming from the nipple. Early detection, like any cancer, is always better for treatment and survival purposes so it is important to make it a point to see your doctor regularly.

There are a few different treatment factors and the one the doctor chooses may be based on several factors such as the type and stage of the cancer. In general cancer treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove cancerous tissue. After treatment, some women will continue to take medications to make sure all of the cancer is removed and stays away.

In conclusion, make sure you stay regular with doctor exams even if you feel like everything is okay, eat a well-balanced diet, and avoid harmful toxins from your body. Limiting processed and red meat in your diet and eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day as well as limiting alcohol will improve your health and keep your body strong to fight off sicknesses and cut your risk of developing breast cancer.


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