The month of October is breast cancer awareness, shedding light on an estimated 252,710 women annually diagnosed with various types of breast cancer.
The Impact Of Breast Cancer
Yearly, more than 40,500 women die from breast cancer and while rare, affect 2,470 men with 460 of those diagnosed result in death. Generally, one in eight women will have a breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide among women, according to reports by W.H.O. (World Health Organization.):
“Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting over 1.5 million women each year, and also causes the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women.”
What Is Breast Cancer?
Cancer of the breast is a malignant tumor, which can metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Ordinarily, the tumor turns into a lump however some types of breast cancers do not. Two most common types of breast cancer are ductal (nipple) and lobular cancers, which start in the milk glands. While lumps can be breast cancer, not all lumps turn out to be malignant.
A Positive Trend For Women Over 50
On a hopeful note, the trend for breast cancer for women over 50 is on a decline. This is partly due to a reduction in hormone replacement therapy for menopause. Since 1990, the rates of death due to breast cancer have dropped for women over 50. Still, early detection is imperative for women of any age. Early detection can be life-saving, here are more types of breast cancer.
6 Types Of Breast Cancer That Are Common
Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
This type of breast cancer is one that is mentioned above, it is formed in the lining of the milk duct. Though, DCIS is considered a non-invasive cancer and considered highly treatable with early detection.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
IDC is more invasive than DCIS, as what first began in the milk ducts spread to other parts of the breast. IDC is the most common breast cancer and makes up 70% to 80% of breast cancer cases.
This type of breast cancer relies on three receptors that spark breast cancer: progesterone, HER-2, and estrogen. When progesterone, HER-2, and estrogen are not present in the cancer tumor, it is difficult to treat triple negative breast cancer with hormones. However, triple-negative can be treated with chemotherapy, but it is one of the more aggressive cancers and hard to treat.
This type of breast cancer is not common and yet can be aggressive because abnormal cells infiltrate the lymph vessels of the skin. Therefore, this type of breast cancer does not leave a lump.
This type of breast cancer is the most severe; as it is stage 4 cancer, which means that, the cancer has spread to the lungs, liver, bones, and or brain.
Breast cancer can take place during pregnancy, but it is not because of pregnancy. Being diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy can be very stressful, mainly due to concerns over the unborn child.
Other Types Of Breast Cancer That Are Less Common
- Medullary Carcinoma: An invasive soft and fleshy type of cancer that is prevalent in women in their 40s-50s.
- Tubular Carcinoma: A slow growing invasive cancer that affects less than 2% of those diagnosed and it grows from the milk ducts.
- Mucinous Carcinoma (Colloid): A type of cancer of the breast that floats in mucus and affects women mostly in their 60s-70s.
- Paget Disease of the Breast or Nipple: This is a rare type of cancer that forms on the nipple or areola.
Ways To Get Diagnosed
There are four ways to get diagnosed: mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy. Self-examinations is imperative, there are simple ways to do them in the privacy of your home. Self-massages may not be enough because not all breast cancers reveal itself as lumps. Breast cancer is not prejudiced, as it can attack anyone even celebrities such as Julia Dreyfus who just announced that she has breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Survivors & Exercise
Any woman surviving cancer of the breast should get plenty of exercises. Fitness is key to a smooth and quicker recovery. Even if it means exercising for 15 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes is all you really need. Women who survive cancer in the breast are 1.5 times more likely to develop other various types of cancer. So, maintaining health through regular exercise is one way to reduce further complications. Exercise, in general, reduces chances of developing cancer in the breast and also helps women recovering from the disease.