What You Need To Know About Breast Cancer

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Carolina Cuartas - October 15, 2019

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want to inform you about the risks and signs about breast cancer. It’s important to note that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer overall. It most commonly affects women, but men can also get breast cancer too.

The first signs of breast cancer typically occur as a lump under the armpit or as an area with thickened tissue in the chest. It is caused by a rapid division of breast cancer cells. Cancer cells can spread from the breast to the lymph nodes to other parts of the body. 

The signs and symptoms may include:
  • A lump in your breast
  • Bloody discharge from your nipples
  • Changes in the size, shape, or appearance of your breast
  • Changes in the color or texture of skin on your breast (Source).
If cancer cells have spread to your lymph nodes, there is a higher chance that the cells could have traveled through the lymph system and spread to other parts of your body. The more lymph nodes with breast cancer cells, the more likely it is that the cancer may be found in other organs. Because of this, finding cancer in one or more lymph nodes often affects your treatment plan.  (Source) 

Ways to prevent: 
  • Breast Screening
  • Regular Self-Examination
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Restrict postmenopausal hormone therapy
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you belong to a higher risk group, consider risk reduction options such as preventive medications or surgery.

Stages of breast cancer:
  • Stage 0: There is a pathological proliferation of cells located only in the glands of the breast, which has not yet affected the surrounding tissue.
  • Stage 1: The size of the tumor at this stage can be up to 2 centimeters (cm) at this stage. No lymph nodes are affected, or only small groups of cancer cells are present.
  • Stage 2: At this stage, the tumor is 2 cm wide and has begun to spread to     surrounding nodes, or it is 2-5 cm wide and has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3: Now the tumor has spread to several lymph nodes and is up to 5 cm wide or it is larger and has spread less.
  • Stage 4: In the last phase, cancer has spread to more distant organs, usually the liver, bones, lungs or brain. (Source)

Where to donate: 
Of the three charities highly recommended by Charity Watch, the Breast Cancer Foundation received Charity Navigator's highest rating of four stars. The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund and the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners both received three stars. 

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