Cancer encompasses many diseases in which the body’s cells stop behaving normally. Instead of growing and dividing while healthy and dying when they become damaged, abnormal cells start to proliferate, often forming malignant tumors. Breast cancer refers to the type that originates in the breasts; however, it can spread to other parts of the body, so it’s important to understand crucial elements of the disease.
5 Important Facts About Breast Cancer
It’s the Most Common Cancer in Women
Of all cancers affecting American women, breast cancer is the most prevalent. One in eight women will get breast cancer, with over 246,660 diagnosed every year.
It Affects Women & Men
While commonly associated with women, breast cancer can affect anyone. The symptoms are almost identical in men and women, though the disease is usually harder to discover in men — not because lumps are more difficult to find but due to the fact that many men do not consult a doctor. By the time the cancer is diagnosed in men, it often has spread.
It’s the Second-Most Deadly Cancer for Women
Of all cancers, breast cancer is the second-leading killer of American women. Lung cancer causes 35.4% of all cancer deaths for U.S. women, with breast cancer responsible for 20.7%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There Are Many Types
Ductal carcinoma is the most prevalent type of breast cancer, affecting the milk glands and duct system. If it spreads past these tissues, it’s called invasive breast cancer. When the breast becomes inflamed and unusually warm, it’s referred to as inflammatory cancer.
Early Mammograms Are the Key to Detection
If breast cancer runs in your family or you’re worried about other risk factors, talk with your doctor about getting a mammogram, the most common screening for it. Mammograms generally are recommended for women over age 40. You also should perform self-exams weekly and schedule a clinical exam if you notice lumps or other changes in your breasts.
Main Street Radiology is Queens’ leading authority on health care screenings for breast cancer. To schedule an appointment at one of their accredited radiology facilities, call (718) 428-1500. Visit their website for information about their locations and other services, including lung screenings and colonoscopies.