Breast Cancer Awareness month is an international health campaign. October is the month of Breast Cancer Awareness. It is an annual awareness campaign to educate the people for better impact of breast cancer. Breast Cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer. This disease has become a major problem all across the world including India. Breast Cancer is prevalent in every country. However, breast cancer can occur at any age but this disease develops mostly in middle-aged women above 40 years.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. It accounts for 25 % -31% of all incident cases of female cancers. Despite the improvements in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer it is increasing day by day and leads to death. October is celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness month to highlight the awareness program who have battled with the disease and introduce the public to medical and other fields.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 focuses on buddying up with one another because no one should fight alone. This month we are here to introduce breast cancer and its risk factors.
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer is a disease in which cells grow in the breast out of control. Breast cancer can occur in different parts of the breast. A breast is made up of three parts – 1) Lobule 2) Ducts 3) Connective Tissue
Lobule- The lobule is the gland that produces milk.
Ducts- Ducts carry milk to the nipple.
Connective Tissue ( Consists of fibrous and fatty tissue)- It surrounds and holds everything together.
Most breast cancer occurs in the ducts and lobule.
Kinds Of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer is of two types-
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma- The cancer cells begins in the ducts and then grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma- Cancer cells begin in the lobule and then spread from the lobule to the breast tissues that are close by. These invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body.
How Does Breast Cancer Start
Breast cancer occurs by changes or mutations in DNA. Due to changes or mutations in DNA normal cells become breast cancer. Mutation disables the specific function that controls cell growth and cell division. In many cases, these mutated cells die or are attacked by the immune system. Certain DNA changes are passed from parents and can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer. Our lifestyles are also responsible for breast cancer e.g. What we eat, How much exercise we do.
Life Habit Risk Factor You Can Change
- Alcohol Use- Research suggests that women who have alcoholic beverages a day have a 7-10 % increased risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers.
- Over Weight & Obesity- Older women who are overweight or obese have a high risk of getting breast cancer.
- Getting Older age- The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancer is found after 50.
- Taking Hormones- Hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can increase the risk of breast cancer. Oral contraceptives can also increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Reproductive History- Having the first pregnancy after the age of 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer.
Risk Factors That You Cannot Change
- Getting Older- Most breast cancer can occur after the age of 50.
- Genetic Mutation- Inherited genes ( mutated genes) to certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA 2. Women who have inherited genes are at high risk of breast cancer.
- Reproductive History- The early menstrual period before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose women to hormones longer and raises the risk of breast cancer.
- Having Dense Breast- Dense breasts have more connective tissue than fatty acids and it can sometimes make it hard to see tumours on a mammogram.
- Personal History of Breast Cancer- Women who have had breast cancer are more likely to have second-time breast cancer.
- Family History- A woman has a higher risk of breast cancer if any family member has had breast cancer.
- Previous Treatment using radiation therapy.
As people celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month worldwide, it is imperative to continue public health awareness programs and fundraisers. These awareness programs increase to improve the breast cancer screening and detection process and support those who have battled this disease.
Disclaimer: All the content of this article is for information purposes only.
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