Breast cancer affects one in every nine women in Britain, 45,000 women every year are diagnosed with it in some form or stage of development. Life style and cognitive interventions, i.e. counselling and psychotherapy can play an important part in how the patient deals with cancer in their lives and how they recover.
Our genes regulate cell growth and cancer occurs due to abnormal changes in these genes. Genes are in each cell's nucleus and control the cells growth in relation to our genetic make up. The cells grow and replace themselves in a natural formal replacement process.
Over time, mutations can occur within our genes, these mutated genes change the cell and how it grows, the mutated cells carry on the normal process but multiply and divide uncontrollably producing many mutated cells. The mutated cells form a cluster (tumour) which develops a means to nourish itself from the hosts blood supply.
There are two main types of tumour; benign and malignant, benign tumours are generally not seen as dangerous to health or life threatening and they grow very slowly with the cells being close to normal in behaviour and growth. On the other hand malignant tumours are cancerous and if left untreated can continue to multiply and spread to other parts of the body through blood circulation and the lymphatic system.
Cancer cells usually develop in the milk producing glands and ducts of the breasts, about 90% of all breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that are the result of ageing and normal wear and tear of life. If these cells are left unchecked they can spread to healthy surrounding tissue, and if they reach the under arm they can then attack the lymph nodes and through the lymphatic system reach other sites where the growth and multiplication of bad cells can begin again producing tumours in different