October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time where we focus on the importance of early detection and raising money for research to find a cure. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (after skin cancer). Each year, it is estimated that over 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States. The good news is that there are many surgical options available today to fight breast cancer. In this blog post, we will discuss those options and ways you can help those affected by this disease.
The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells lining the milk ducts. About 80% of all breast cancers are ductal carcinomas. The other types of breast cancer include lobular carcinoma, which begins in the milk-producing glands; invasive ductal carcinoma, which starts in the ducts and spreads to the surrounding tissue; and invasive lobular carcinoma, which starts in the lobules and spreads to other parts of the breast.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. Other symptoms include changes in size or shape of the breast, nipple discharge, nipple pain or tenderness, and/or a change in the texture of the skin on the breast. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor right away.
There are two surgical options available for treating breast cancer. A lumpectomy, which is the removal of the tumor and a small margin of surrounding tissue, and a mastectomy, which is the removal of the whole breast and may be recommended for larger tumors or if you have a strong family history of breast cancer. The type of surgery you have will depend on several factors – the stage of the cancer, your age and health, and your personal preferences.
After surgery, you may also need to undergo radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or a combination of different therapies. Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and is typically given after a lumpectomy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and can be given before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Hormone therapy is used to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones and can be given before or after surgery.
There are many ways you can help those affected by breast cancer. You can donate money to research organizations, such as the American Cancer Society or Susan G. Komen for the Cure. You can also volunteer your time at a local hospital or breast cancer center. And finally, you can raise awareness by talking to your friends and family about the importance of early detection.
Breast cancer is a devastating disease, but thanks to advances in medical care, there are now many ways to fight it. By increasing our knowledge and understanding of this disease, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by it.