Thousands of males and females of all ages are diagnosed with all types of cancers. The most occurring cancer is breast cancer. One in eight women are diagnosed, and then, one in one thousand men are diagnosed (“U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics”). It forms in the cell, milk-producing ducts, and glands of the breast. Most commonly noticed symptoms are swelling, redness, increase of size, discharge other than breast milk, and lumps or nodes of the breast (“Breast Cancer- for Patients”). See someone immediately if you find something out of the ordinary.
If you find something out of the ordinary, you should think of these risk factors. Some risk factors include women over sixty more than likely to be diagnosed, weight gain during adulthood, and early menstrual cycle due to long lifetime exposure of hormone change. Other unexpected factors include constant alcohol consumption, taking birth control, and radiation exposure. However, many people are unaware of the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) gene, which triggers the growth of cancer cells (“HER2 Status”).
To reduce the chances of growth in cancer cells, one should exercise regularly four to seven hours a week, change life style or eating habits, avoid known cancer-causing agents, and take medications to treat precancerous conditions to keep cancer from forming. There is no certainty that you will not obtain cancerous cells, but these precautions will lower the risk (“Causes and Prevention Research”).
If one has breast cancer, it can include four main stages. Stage zero is identification of cancer cells, and they have not left where they have started. Stage one is where the tumor measures up to two centimeters. Stage two (invasive) includes a two-to-five centimeter tumor which has spread to the lymph nodes. Stage three (locally advanced) is a tumor more than two inches in length and has spread to more than one lymph node. Stage four (metastatic) is when the tumor has spread beyond the breast, underarm, and internal mammary lymph nodes. If one identifies the cancer in one of the last two stages, it can be deadly from not receiving treatments. If someone goes into remission and then is diagnosed later on in life, it is a possibility that it will reoccur as a different type of cancer (“Stages of Breast Cancer”).
For those people diagnosed with breast cancer, here are a few websites and phone numbers that you can visit/call to learn more information: cancercenter.com/breast-cancer (888-847-7403), cancer.gov (1-800-4-Cancer), and the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345).
(Note: This article was provided through the Students Assistance Program at Canton High School and was written by two CHS students.)