Abnormal cell-growth in some part of the body that has the potential to invade and destroy other parts of the body is known as “cancer.” Today, it is a leading cause of death in many countries but research and development into therapies and drugs has made many forms of cancer manageable and treatable.
The disease has been known since almost the dawn of human history and some papyri dated 3000 BC record the existence of different types of tumors and deems them “untreatable.”
Malignant tumors of the breast or “breast cancer” has the potential to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body and ultimately cause death.
1: Reassuring Outlook
Though breast cancer is one of the most common forms in women, especially in the US, in recent years, death rates have been declining since 1989, and have stabilized over the past five years. These rates are attributed to greater awareness, early detection and improved and more targeted treatment parameters.
Survival rates depend on the stage at which cancer is detected and they determine the medical approach and prognosis given by doctors.
Do you feel greater awareness and early detection are important in cancer survival?
2: What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor beginning in the male or female breast. Currently, it is one of the most widely-researched forms, with good prognosis and management.
There are two main types: Ductal (arising in the milk-duct linings) and Lobular (occurring in the milk-glands). These may be invasive and spread beyond their original site, or in situ which confine themselves to the original site.
There are other rare forms of breast cancer which are much less common, like Paget’s disease, triple-negative, basal, rare tumors etc.
3: Rare Types of Breast Cancer- Inflammatory
This uncommon type of breast cancer accounts for 1-4% and refers to the appearance of the breast when it occurs. The symptoms mimic mastitis or breast infection which is treated with antibiotics.
However, when the symptoms do not disappear even after medication, testing for cancer is required. This is a very fast-growing type of cancer, aggressive and often diagnosed only in the later stages. The prognosis is less favorable as compared to other forms.
Reading about different forms increases awareness.