Breast Cancer Awareness


13% of women develop breast cancer. That’s 1 in 8 women.  Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast. It is the most common type of cancer besides skin cancer. It is so common that every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed. However, breast cancer not only affects women. It affects men too; it is extremely rare. Less than 1% of breast cancer cases develop in men, and only 1 in a thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. 


When looking for signs and symptoms, people have to be aware of the warning signs: swelling of all parts of the breast, skin irritation or dimpling, breast/nipple pain, and redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple of the breast skin. These are all symptoms of breast cancer that should be addressed with a doctor. 


There are a few types of doctors that can be seen when you get to this point. First, you should go to your annual checkup. If an issue is seen with the breast tissue, there are doctors that you can see, such as breast surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, plastic surgeons, and many more. These doctors can help in many different ways. 


Yet doctors find breast cancer in the tissue after a certain point in a woman’s life. Usually, breast cancer appears after puberty or having a child. A woman’s breast consists of fat and thousands of lobules, which are tiny glands that produce milk. If these glands get clogged, a mass in the breast forms. However, most women don’t think much of it. But, cancer cells multiply uncontrollably. With the excessive amounts of milk being made and staying in a mass, that is the perfect spot for cancer to take home. Breast cancer starts in the lobules/glands and soon moves through the rest of the body, and there are different stages at which doctors identify it.

There are 4 main stages of breast cancer. Stage 0 is the starting stage and is when the cancer cells are limited within the ducts and have not invade  surrounding tissues. That is the general definition of the beginning stages of breast cancer. Stage 1 is when the tumor starts to grow and it is 2 centimeters across. At this point it really hasn’t affected anything; it might have touched the lymph nodes but has not affected them yet. Stage 2 is a bit more severe. The tumor is growing in size from 2-5 centimeters and has now spread to the nearby lymph nodes. At stage 3, the tumor is at 5 centimeters or more, and it has 100% spread to the nodes now. And finally, stage 4 is when the cancer has affected many organs such as the liver, brain, and lungs. It could also potentially spread to the bones. 

Breast cancer affects so many powerful and amazing people. Yet with this tragedy in their lives, October is a month for awareness and the campaign to increase recognition of the disease. The goal of this month is to get as many people involved in raising support and funds to help those that are affected by breast cancer. In this month, we wear pink to show our love to those affected.