Understanding breast cancer
In order to gain a better knowledge of breast cancer, it is important to understand that it has become the most common type of cancer in the world. This type of cancer is initiated in the ducts or the lobules of the glandular tissue of the breasts. Initially, the tumor is confined and usually shows no symptoms; however, as time advances, this in situ cancer may spread to the surrounding tissue and then disseminate to the nearby lymphatic nodes or other organs. Then, it becomes metastatic breast cancer.
Breast cancer-specific causes remain unknown; however, it is not related to infectious processes like other types of cancer. Several risk factors may predispose to the onset of the disease, such as:
Age and gender (women over 40)
Breast cancer family background
Nonetheless, some behavioral modifications can reduce this risk of developing breast cancer: weight control, avoiding alcohol or cigar consumption, regular physical activity, or extended breastfeeding. Unfortunately, no action(s) that fully guarantees a breast cancer-free life.
Some symptoms of early-stage breast cancer are the appearance of nodules or thickness of the breast tissue, changes in shape or size, alterations of the skin such as cracks, dimples, or redness, and variance or discharge from the nipple. Women who experience some of these symptoms should seek help from their health professionals even if no pain is associated.
Breast cancer is treatable when detected early. This treatment often combines surgery, radiotherapy, and medication such as hormones or chemotherapy. The intention is to impede the increased development of cancer cells and thus save the patient’s life.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
We commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October to promote early detection and appropriate treatment. The main goal is to prevent, raise the survival rate, and reduce the effects of this cancer.
Here are some statistics about breast cancer in the United States:
13% of American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer
Just about 30% of diagnosed cancers will be breast cancers
Almost 85% of breast cancers attack women with no family background
Less than 1% of breast cancer diagnoses will be men
How can we take part in the movement?
Most industries swaddle their products with a pink ribbon to support breast cancer patients. This movement became an international symbol in the 90s when Evelyn Lauder created the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, whose main task is to raise funds for researching the disease.
Besides wearing a pink ribbon on your chest, you can always show your support for the cause by donating to some organization(s) focused on preventing or treating breast cancer. You can also be aware of public politics relating to the health of cancer patients and survivors. Also, many companies rocket special sales, encouraging the earnings to be donated to one of these foundations.
How can Ascend help breast cancer patients?
Hospice care is specialized medical care conducted for pain relief and reduction of the symptoms and stress of a terminal disease, such as breast cancer. Treatments often provoke side effects that diminish the patient’s quality of life, like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or depression. Hospice care helps the patients and their families to plan their options.
Ascend Hospice Care encourages you to:
Spread the word and promote awareness for early detection
Show appreciation to your local staff and volunteers
Get regular check-ups with physicians and other doctors
Honor patients and their families by having a reunion or gathering
This month is an opportunity for you, your family, and your local community to understand breast cancer and spread awareness about this disease.