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Improve Your Odds Against Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women and is characterized by the growth of malignant tumors in the glandular tissues of the breast. While no one knows why some women develop breast cancer and others do not, several variables have been identified as risk factors for breast cancer. Most cancers in female breasts form shortly before, during, or after menopause, with 75% of all cases being diagnosed after age 50. A major health problem in many parts of the world, it is especially prevalent in developed countries, and in North America and Western Europe, where life spans are longer, the incidence is highest. For instance, it is estimated that over 10 percent of all women in the United States will develop the disease at some point in their lives.

Although the diagnosis of cancer can be a devastating experience, most women cope successfully. Statistic show that, although breast cancer is an important cause of premature death, the number of deaths it causes is approximately equivalent to that of lung cancer (a predominantly preventable disease) and vastly smaller than that of cardiovascular disease. Today, more women are surviving breast cancer than ever before. Over two million women are breast cancer survivors. With early detection and prompt and appropriate treatment, the outlook for women with breast cancer can be positive.

A diagnosis of cancer has numerous psychological, emotional, relational, and sexual ramifications for the woman and her family. One major worry of women with breast is the fear of their partner potential response from possible disfiguring surgeries. Sexual dysfunction has also been frequently associated with breast cancer patients though other factors such as premature menopause, depression, the impact of medications and chemotherapies and pre-existing sexual problems may all contribute to sexual dysfunction after breast cancer diagnosis.

Breast cancer is not a single disease. There probably are at least 15 different kinds, each with a different rate of growth and different tendency to metastasise (spread to other parts of the body). It is local only briefly and can develop in many parts of the breast: in the milk ducts, between ducts, in fats, in lymph or blood vessels, in the nipple, and in the lobes where milk is manufactured.

Cancer cells, also called carcinomas, form by abnormal cell division. This happens when the processes that control normal tissue growth and repair breaks down leading to alterations in the proteins produced due to changes in DNA. This causes an excessive, uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, which invade and destroy other tissues. Cancerous cells, which tend to destroy an increasing proportion of normal breast tissue over time, may spread, or metastasise, to other parts of the body. Such genetic mutations in DNA can be present at birth, predisposing a woman to getting breast cancer earlier in life, or can be caused by exposure to hormones and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women and is characterized by the growth of malignant tumors in the glandular tissues of the breast. While no one knows why some women develop breast cancer and others do not, several variables have been identified as risk factors for breast cancer. Most cancers in female breasts form shortly before, during, or after menopause, with 75% of all cases being diagnosed after age 50. A major health problem in many parts of the world, it is especially prevalent in developed countries, and in North America and Western Europe, where life spans are longer, the incidence is highest. For instance, it is estimated that over 10 percent of all women in the United States will develop the disease at some point in their lives.

Although the diagnosis of cancer can be a devastating experience, most women cope successfully. Statistic show that, although breast cancer is an important cause of premature death, the number of deaths it causes is approximately equivalent to that of lung cancer (a predominantly preventable disease) and vastly smaller than that of cardiovascular disease. Today, more women are surviving breast cancer than ever before. Over two million women are breast cancer survivors. With early detection and prompt and appropriate treatment, the outlook for women with breast cancer can be positive.

A diagnosis of cancer has numerous psychological, emotional, relational, and sexual ramifications for the woman and her family. One major worry of women with breast is the fear of their partner potential response from possible disfiguring surgeries. Sexual dysfunction has also been frequently associated with breast cancer patients though other factors such as premature menopause, depression, the impact of medications and chemotherapies and pre-existing sexual problems may all contribute to sexual dysfunction after breast cancer diagnosis.

Breast cancer is not a single disease. There probably are at least 15 different kinds, each with a different rate of growth and different tendency to metastasise (spread to other parts of the body). It is local only briefly and can develop in many parts of the breast: in the milk ducts, between ducts, in fats, in lymph or blood vessels, in the nipple, and in the lobes where milk is manufactured.

Cancer cells, also called carcinomas, form by abnormal cell division. This happens when the processes that control normal tissue growth and repair breaks down leading to alterations in the proteins produced due to changes in DNA. This causes an excessive, uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, which invade and destroy other tissues. Cancerous cells, which tend to destroy an increasing proportion of normal breast tissue over time, may spread, or metastasise, to other parts of the body. Such genetic mutations in DNA can be present at birth, predisposing a woman to getting breast cancer earlier in life, or can be caused by exposure to hormones and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).

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