Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers to effect women. It is also one of the most treated cancers and has many survivors. Unfortunately, cancer has such a broad spectrum that even if the gene does not seem to have been inherited by many family members, it doesn’t matter, it can still occur. Cancer has no prejudice and aims at any person, young or old, male or female, and it chooses any race and ethnicity to pray on.
Breast cancer can be extremely aggressive, and can certainly be genetically passed on. However genetics and heritability are not the only causes for it. There are many risk factors that can cause any type of cancer, but according to the American Cancer Society (2013), some breast cancer factors include, “gender, aging, genetics, family history of cancer, dense breast tissue, (and) lifestyle related behaviors.” There are also environmental factors at play. The double edged sword in cancer is the fact that all the symptoms involved in locating breast cancer, are also the signs for locating other types of cancer. The biggest risk factors are the human behaviors that people constantly do on a daily basis themselves, such as smoke or drink too much. The symptoms of breast cancer can easily be mistaken for another type of illness. Just as regular cancer can be mistaken for the flu or the common cold. These symptoms are eerily scary because they stay hidden so well.
As the National Breast Cancer Foundation (2012) confirms “Most people who have breast cancer symptoms and signs will initially notice only one or two.” This can be very frightening to hear, although when the signs do appear, they should be taken seriously. These signs include finding any type of lump in the breast tissue, a change in how the breast and nipple feel and look, and discharge from the nipple itself. These signs and symptoms should be looked at immediately by a doctor if they are occurring to ensure that the correct medical treatment is being seemed. The treatments for breast cancer depend on what stage the cancer is at. Depending on the stage of the cancer the doctor will be able to confirm how rigorous and aggressive the treatment has to be. According to The National Cancer Institute(2013),“Different types of treatment are available for patients with breast cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials.” It is important to note that clinical trials are often used when there are no more options left for the patient. Although this may sound morbid, in many cases the trial drug does work very well and gets rid of the cancer completely or prolongs the life of the patient significantly. Some major treatments include outpatient surgery, biopsies, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. Though many people survive this awful disease, it is a statistically shocking amount of women that will suffer from it. It is estimated that over 220,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed and more than 40,000 will die. This is a terribly high price to pay to such an evil disease.
To conclude, breast cancer is an extremely serious disease to come across and the right treatments for it must be taken into consideration and used as aggressively as necessary. It is suggested that women give themselves breast exams as well as annual check-ups to confirm that they do not have breast cancer and that they are in good health. Cancer can be one of the scariest traumas to ever be faced, not only by the person who has the disease, but by the family and friends of the victim as well. It is sometimes said that the caregiver to a person with patient suffers almost more than the person with the cancer. Not only does the caregiver take care of the one suffering, but they must attend to other daily activities while the person going through cancer has to “just be” sick. However every person affected by cancer knows that the fight is long and that the suffering is almost unbearable. It is imperative to eat well and exercise and encourage healthy behavior for others.
American Cancer Society. (2013). What are the risk factors for breast cancer? What are the risk factors for breast cancer? Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-risk-factors
National Breast Cancer Foundation. (n.d.). Symptoms and signs. Retrieved from http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-symptoms-and-signs
National Cancer Institute. (2013, October 18). Breast cancer treatment (PDQ®). Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment