Breast cancer is a potentially fatal disease that still affects millions of people every year.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a public education campaign that seeks to spread awareness for the disease that affects millions each year. Because early detection can increase your chances of beating cancer, this month stresses the important of learning about breast cancer and making sure you get regular cancer screenings.
What is Breast Cancer?
Healthy cells grow, do their job, divide into two identical versions of itself, and repeat the process. Slight errors in DNA replication are normally corrected during this process. However, when they can’t be, the cell will grow and divide uncontrollably to form a tumor. If left untreated, these cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body and eventually lead to death. Breast cancer occurs when these cancerous cells develop in the breast tissue.
Early detection is crucial as it provides the best chance at survival. You should perform a sel-breast exam at least once a month to make sure there aren’t any changes within your breast. A new lump, nipple inversion, severe redness, thickening of the breast skin, and continuous breast pain are all reasons to seek immediate medical treatment.
The best way to detect breast cancer is with a regularly scheduled mammogram. During a mammogram, the breast is flattened and X-rayed to expose any dense clumps of cells. Most tumors are benign (harmless), but some are malignant (harmful) which is why breast exams are so important.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit nationalbreastcancer.org for more information.
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