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The diagnosis of cancer used to mean the patient would die; with the advances in medicine and technology cancer no longer equals guaranteed death. Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread to other parts of the body. There are many different types of cancer, that all used to mean the patient would die because there was not a proper form of treatment for the patient to take. It used to be doctors did not know what to look for when searching for cancer. When the doctors finally diagnosed a patient with cancer the diagnosis came to late.
Other than Lung and Colon cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in North America, where more than 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year. Breast cancer also affect more than 2,000 men each year. There is no pain or discomfort associated with the early stages of breast cancer, which may produce a lump or thickening in or near the breast ir ub the underarm area; a change in the size or shape of the breast; nipple discharge or tenderness; or swelling, redness, or scaling of the breast, areola, or nipple. There is more than one technique to diagnose breast cancer, a breast exam, a mammography, ultrasonography, and a biopsy. The exam is used to locate obvious lumps in the breast. It is also possible to tell if the lump is benign or malignant by the way it feels, how easily it moves, and its texture. Mammography uses x-rays to obtain a picture of the breast and any lumps that may be present.
Ultrasonography uses high frequency sound waves to determine if a lump is a fluid filled cyst which may not be cancer, or a solid mass which also might not be cancer. This exam is often used along with the Mammography. In some case, samples of a suspected tumor are obtained so the cells may be examined under a microscope this procedure is known as a biopsy, and the tissue sample that was collected from the lump in the breast was collected with a hypodermic needle. With breast cancer there are different stages of this form of cancer. Stage 0 is a noninvasive carcinoma. By stage 1 or 2, the cancer has spread beyond the lobe or duct and has invaded nearby tissue.
At stage 1 the tumor is no more than an inch across, and the cancer cells are still inside the breast. Cancer cells begin to spread to underarm lymph nodes by stage 2. If the tumor increases in size 2 inches but has not spread, it is till stage 2. Stage 3 is locally an advanced cancer. The tumor is more than 2 inches across and the cancer has spread to the axillary lymph nodes and other nearby tissues, by stage 4 the cancer has spread beyond the breast to many other parts of the body. Tamoxifen and raloxifene have been used for many years to prevent breast cancer. More recent studies with another class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors have shown that these drugs are also very effective in preventing breast cancer, After breast cancer surgery there will be scars, and changes in the shape of the breast, If a patient had a mastectomy they may have some numbness across their chest. They may also have had or plan to get a breast reconstruction surgery years after treatment.
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