Breast Cancer

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In the United States, up to 47,700 women are being diagnosed with breast cancer every year, which is equal to 130 women a day. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 women will die from breast cancer annually. About 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer annually, with about 450 deaths in the result of male breast cancer occurring each year. Breast cancer is a disease affecting the cells and tissues in the breast including milk ducts, lobules and the connective tissues in the area. Breast cancer occurs in women when cells within breast tissue mutate and begin to multiply uncontrollably. This leads to the development of tumors in the breast, which have the potential to spread through other parts of the body through the lymph nodes, spreading the cancer. Men can also get breast cancer, but it is rare. Cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of the abnormal cells of a particular breast tissue in men. Men have a small amount of breast tissue that does not produce milk that is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple on the chest wall.

Breast cancer is staged from zero to four, according to the size of the tumor, whether or not lymph nodes are affected by the cancerous cells and if the cancer has spread to other organs. The stages show the progression or how far the cancer has developed at the time of diagnosis. Each stage is based on four characteristics: the size of the cancer, whether the cancer is invasive or non- invasive, whether the cancer is in the lymph nodes, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the breast. Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) is another staging system researchers use to provide more details about how the cancer looks and behaves. Some information states that approximately five to ten percent of breast cancers are caused by genetic factors, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some others say it has much to do with how we take care of ourselves. Other risk factors for...
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