Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for women in Canada. It can affect any woman and occurs when breast cells cannot divide properly or do not die off. Early detection can help prevent this type of cancer from developing into more advanced stages. The symptoms of breast cancer may be mistaken for other health conditions, and it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. In our world today, breast cancer is still the most common cancer to affect women and the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55. The good news is that there are effective ways to help prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer.
If you’ve had a mammogram recently, you may have noticed some new additions to your routine. These breast screening tools include a digital mammography machine, which captures pictures of the breast tissue, and an ultrasound machine, which helps doctors diagnose any lumps or bumps. After a breast cancer diagnosis, many women feel lost and confused. There is so much information about treatment, lifestyle changes, and support that it can seem like you’re walking around in a fog, not knowing what’s next. The most important thing is to ask for help and to seek support from your friends and family. This booklet will help you understand your options and make the right decisions.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women. It’s estimated that more than a million women are diagnosed with the disease each year. And in the U.S., breast cancer is the most common cancer for women and the second leading cause of cancer-related death. Breast cancer is an umbrella term for several types of tumors. The most common type of breast cancer is called invasive ductal carcinoma. These are tumors that grow from the milk-producing glands of the breast. They tend to be large and hard. In addition to spreading to the lymph nodes and other organs, they can leak into the bloodstream and other body parts.
What are the types of breast cancer?
Breast cancer is divided into different types based on the specific cells involved and the characteristics of the tumors. Some breast cancers are more aggressive than others, and some treatments are more effective against certain types. Here are the most common types of breast cancer:
• In situ (pre-cancerous) breast cancer: These are non-invasive forms of breast cancer that don’t spread outside the breast. They’re often associated with pre-menopausal breast cancer.
• Invasive breast cancer: These cancers start inside the breast tissue and then spread to other body parts. They’re typically associated with older women and can develop in the left or right breast.
• Lobular carcinoma in situ: These are non-invasive forms of breast cancer that don’t spread outside the breast. They’re associated with pre-menopausal breast cancer and are found mostly in the upper outer quadrant of the breast.
• Infiltrating ductal carcinoma: These invasive forms of breast cancer start inside the breast and spread to other parts of the body. They’re associated with post-menopausal breast cancer in the middle and lower outer quadrants of the breast.
• Medullary carcinoma: These invasive forms of breast cancer start inside the breast and spread to other parts of the body. They’re associated with post-menopausal breast cancer and are found in the central area of the breast.
• Ductal carcinoma in situ: These are non-invasive forms of breast cancer that don’t spread outside the breast. They’re associated with pre-menopausal breast cancer and are found mostly in the lower inner quadrant of the breast.
• Invasive lobular carcinoma: These invasive forms of breast cancer start inside the breast and spread to other parts of the body. They’re associated with older women and are found mostly in the upper inner quadrant of the breast. While there are many types of breast cancer, the treatment options are similar for all.
What are Breast Cancer Symptoms?
While most women get breast cancer during their reproductive years, it can occur at any age, and the risk is greater for women over 40. There are also specific risk factors for developing breast cancer, including being overweight or obese, having a family history of breast cancer, being a woman with black or African American heritage, having a personal history of breast cancer, or using hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or thickening in your breast, a change in the size or shape of your breast, pain or tenderness in your breast, nipple discharge, or bleeding from the nipples.
Treatment options for breast cancer
While a mammogram alone isn’t enough to catch all breast cancers, it can often spot lumps and other abnormalities early. In addition, an ultrasound can be used to determine whether a lump is benign or malignant. Breast cancer treatment options can be broken down into two categories: surgery and radiation. While surgery is the traditional treatment for breast cancer, many patients choose radiation instead. Radiation is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment that uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. The good news is that the more advanced treatment options mean more women are surviving breast cancer than ever.
What is the Role of Mammography in Breast Cancer Detection?
Mammography is a technique that uses a combination of X-ray and magnetic fields to produce images of the breasts. It’s important to know that mammograms only detect cancerous lesions that are larger than 10 millimeters, and it has a sensitivity of about 90 percent. Breast cancers caught before they become large enough to be seen on a mammogram are called microcalcifications. A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer increases with a family history. Certain lifestyle factors also increase the risk of developing the disease, including smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and a diet high in red meat and low in fruit and vegetables.
Frequently asked questions about Breast Cancer.
Q: What’s the biggest misconception about breast cancer?
Q: What’s the best thing about breast cancer?
Q: What’s the worst thing about breast cancer?
A: The worst thing about breast cancer is being unable to feel or touch your breasts.
Myths about Breast Cancer
1. The majority of women who get breast cancer are over 50.
2. Men are not affected by breast cancer.
3. The majority of breast cancer patients are over 40.
4. The majority of breast cancers occur after menopause.
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women today. Around 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point. It’s important to know that while many treatments exist for breast cancer, some types are more effective than others. Therefore, if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you must talk to your doctor about the best options.