Botsford HealthSource Magazine
You may be aware of this key breast cancer statistic: About one in eight women will develop the disease in their lifetime. This may sound like a lot, but there is another number that is more encouraging: About 2.5 million women living now have survived the disease.
In fact, fewer women in the U. S. die of breast cancer as each year goes by. This improvement is likely due to the increased screenings and advances in treatment. Let’s take a look at the basics of breast cancer, including some notable numbers.
CALCULATING YOUR RISK
Breast cancer occurs when there is abnormal growth of cells in the breast. The most common type of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma, begins in the ducts through which milk flows. Cancer can also develop in the glands that produce milk. Eventually cancer cells may spread to other parts of the body. It is not known why one woman develops breast cancer and another does not. Research has shown that certain factors may increase your risk of developing the disease. Some factors, such as drinking alcohol, can be charged; other factors that may raise your risk are not as easily altered.
ADDING UP YOUR SCREENING AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
Cancer stages are numbered from 0 to 4, with the higher numbers indicating more advanced disease. Finding cancer early, at stage 0 or 1, improves the chances that treatment will be effective.
Most expert groups, including the American Cancer Society, recommend getting yearly mammograms beginning at age 40. It is best to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors. Together, you can choose a screening schedule that is right for you.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, treatment depends on the stage of your cancer and your general state of health. Your options include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy and others. A combination of several treatments is often used.
IMPROVING YOUR ODDS
Despite recent gains, breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women, excluding skin cancer. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death. Making the following changes may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer:
Botsford now offers a genetic breast cancer risk assessment to you during your next screening mammogram. Call to schedule your mammogram at (248) 471-8622.