Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Understanding Breast Cancer

Cancer is a broad term for a class of diseases characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade  healthy cells in the body.  Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

What Causes Cancer To Develop?

Cancer begins in the cells which are the basic building blocks that make up tissue. Tissue is found in the breast and other parts of the body.  Sometimes, the process of cell growth goes wrong and new cells form when the body doesn’t need them and old or damaged cells do not die as they should.  When this occurs, a build up of cells often forms a mass of tissue called a lump, growth, or tumor.

Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast.  These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis. 

Facts About Breast Cancer In The United States

· .  One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

·       Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.

·       Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

·       Each year it is estimated that over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die.

·       Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 460 will die each year.

·       On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.

·       Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today. 

Male Breast Cancer

All people, whether male or female, are born with some breast cells and tissue. Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissue can still develop cancer. Even so, male breast cancer is very rare. Less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men, and only one in a thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola. Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.  

Male breast cancer can exhibit the same symptoms as breast cancer in women, including a lump. Anyone who notices anything unusual about their breasts, whether male or female, should contact their physician immediately. Survival rates and treatment for men with breast cancer are very similar to those for women. Early detection of breast cancer increases treatment options and often reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer.

 Causes Of Breast Cancer: How Did This Happen?

When you’re told that you have breast cancer, it’s natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesn’t, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell's DNA.

Known Risk Factors

Women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting a disease. Some risk factors (such as drinking alcohol) can be avoided. But most risk factors (such as having a family history of breast cancer) can’t be avoided. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer. Many women who have risk factors never develop breast cancer.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please visit us at our Rexburg location.

Things to Know About Blood Cancers

This month is Blood cancer Awareness month. Blood cancers are cancers of the blood, bone marrow or lymph nodes that affect normal blood cell production or function. Today, nearly 1.3 million people in the United States are living with, or have a form of leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma. Blood cancer can affect anyone, at any time. There is no way to prevent or screen for most blood cancers, so we are focused on finding cures.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Blood cancers form in the bone marrow where blood is made and also in the lymphatic system which protects the body from infections.

 

Blood cancers account for roughly 10% of new cancer cases in the U.S each year.

 

The most common cancers found in children are leukemias and account for roughly 30% of all childhood cancers.

 

Around 58,300 people are expected to die as a result of blood cancer.

 

Cancer effects the lives on many individuals. It is important to understand the disease and what we can do to improve our chances of beating it.

 

Below we have compiled a list of important facts about blood cancers

 

1.     Every three minutes, one person is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

-Blood cancers will effect both adults and children. Around 172,910 people will be diagnosed with blood cancer this year. Of these cases, 36% will be diagnosed with leukemia, 48% with a lymphoma and 18% with myeloma.

 

2.     Survival rates have significantly improved in the last 20 years.

-       Research throughout the decades have led to improve outcomes for people with blood cancers. The National Institutes if Health stated that nearly 63% of people diagnosed with leukemia live five years or longer. The rate has climbed to 70% for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 85.9% for Hodgkin lymphoma.

 

3.     Every 9 minutes, someone in the U.S dies from a blood cancer.

-       Of the 601,000 people who are expected to die from cancer this year, 58,300 or roughly 9.7% will have been diagnosed with a blood cancer.

 

4.     There is no effective screening tests for the early detection of blood cancers

-       Screening tests such as mammograms for breast cancer or colonoscopies can help for early detection and prevention of these cancers. Scientists are still researching ways to prevent or detect all cancers at their earliest stages, but nothing exists for blood cancers at this time. As a result, many people don’t know something is wrong until they experience the symptoms.

 

5.     Warning signs

-       Common blood cancer symptoms include:

-       Fever, chills

-       Persistent fatigue, weakness

-       Loss of appetite, nausea

-       Unexplained weight loss

-       Night sweats

-       Bone/joint pain

-       Abdominal discomfort

-       Headaches

-       Shortness of breath

-       Frequent infections

-       Itchy skin or skin rash

-       Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarms or groin

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact a doctor right away.

 

6.     There are three main types of blood cancers

 

-       Leukemia is a type of cancer found in your blood and bone marrow that affects your white blood cells. The most common one found in children is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and the most common one found in adults is chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

 

-       Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell made in the bone marrow. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies which leads your body’s immune system weakened and susceptible to infection.