What is Breast Cancer?

breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting American women. About 1 in 8 people assigned female at birth will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. While less common, males may also develop breast cancer.

Despite the seriousness of this disease, many still do not know much about it. It is crucial to spread awareness through words and actions. Hopefully, doing so will increase early detection and help find new treatments or a cure.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Cancer, in general, is composed of cells that have begun to divide uncontrollably. When enough of these cells pile up together, they form tumors. As the name suggests, breast cancer is distinct from other cancers because it begins in the breast tissue. Different types of breast cancers are distinguishable from one another based on precisely which area of breast tissue cancer cells have invaded first.

Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage 0

  • Non-invasive
  • Localized to the breast only
  • Highly Treatable

Stage 1

  • Cancer cells invade healthy breast tissue
  • Cancer is below 2cm and localized to the breast
  • Or small group of cells is in nearby lymph nodes
  • Highly treatable

Stage 2

  • Limited to breast or nearby lymph nodes
  • Between 2-5cm and has spread to lymph nodes
  • Or >5cm but not spread
  • Treatable

Stage 3

  • Cancer cells have invaded close-by tissues
  • Considered an advanced stage
  • May be operable or inoperable
  • Treatable

Stage 4

  • Cancer has spread to other organs
  • Most severe stage
  • Considered not curable but may be treatable

Causes of Breast Cancer

Genetics is one factor that can influence whether or not someone gets breast cancer. Specific gene mutations are associated with the disease. So, if you are related to someone who has had it, you could be more at risk.

Being AFAB decidedly increases one’s chance of developing breast cancer. Beyond that, several other factors can play a role, including:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Radiation exposure
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Not having children
  • Having your first child after 30 years of age

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Much of the time, breast cancer is detectable by changes in the feeling of one’s breast. Noticing unusual lumps, hardness, or thickness can point to cancer. The same is true for other breast skin issues like peeling, dimpling, redness, or scaling. You should also look out for any noticeable change to the general shape and appearance of the breast. Inverted nipples, for example, are one manifestation associated with breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Treatment Options

  • Surgery
  • Mastectomy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

To schedule a consultation with Rowe Plastic Surgery in New Jersey, contact our convenient Red Bank office at 732-639-5661 or use our secure online form.

Posted in: Body, Latest News