Breast cancer is an extremely common type of cancer among women. If you would like to learn more about this sickness, continue reading this article. Throughout the article we will discuss different statistics regarding breast cancer, as well as discuss the different stages and the survival rates of this disease.
As said previously, cancer of the breast is extremely common among women. It is, in fact, the second most common illness of this kind among American women (coming in second to skin cancer). Statistics suggest that 1 in every 12 women will develop breast cancer throughout their lifetime. Men can also develop this disease, but the statistics are much smaller.
According to the American Cancer Society, if a woman is diagnosed with this disease, there is a 3% chance that it could be fatal, leading to death. Since 1990, the number of women dying from this disease has decreased, mostly due to increased awareness and screening. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with this dreaded illness, do not lose hope. There are presently over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.
There are several different stages of this type of cancer. The different stages of breast cancer are dependent upon 4 things; the size of the tumor, what type it is (invasive or non-invasive), whether or not lymph nodes are involved, and whether or not the illness has spread to other areas of the body. Let us take a brief look at the different stages of breast cancer.
The first stage which is considered stage 0, describes non-invasive breast cancers. In this stage, all cancerous cells remain in the breast and do not invade into neighboring tissues. Stage 1, on the other hand, describes invasive breast cancer. Invasive cancer means that the cancer cells are breaking out of the breast and heading into neighboring tissues. In stage 1, the tumor is up to 2 cm in length and no lymph nodes are involved.
Stage II if the disease is divided into 2 categories; IIA and IIB. Both stages involve invasive cancers. An individual is diagnosed with Stage IIA breast cancer when no tumor is found in the breast but cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes, when a tumor in the breast (measuring up to 2 cm) has spread into the lymph nodes, or when the tumor in the breast is between 2-5cm but has not spread to the lymph nodes. Stage IIB is diagnosed when the tumor is between 1-5cm and has spread to the lymph nodes, or when the tumor is larger than 5cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage III of this illness is also divided into subcategories (IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC). Stage IIIA cancer is diagnosed when cancer has spread into the lymph nodes and they are clumping together. Stage IIIB is diagnosed when the tumor has spread to the chest wall or skin of the breast. Finally, stage IIIC is diagnosed when the tumor has spread to the chest wall or breast, and has spread to the lymph nodes. The final stage of breast cancer, stave IV, occurs when the cancer has spread to other organs of the body.
This dreaded cancer is a very common type of cancer among women but with a healthy diet and exercise you can help fight this sickness. Be sure to have regular check ups done with your health care professional to ensure that you are breast cancer free! Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry!
by Joel Gray