Breast Cancer Awareness
For the University of Arkansas System, health plan expenditures for the treatment of breast cancers are consistently in the top two diagnostic groups by claims cost, but only 64 percent of women over the age of 40 are being screened each year. Call a network facility today and schedule your screening mammogram. It will be at no cost to you and it may save your life.
What is Breast Cancer?
Itís normal for the bodyís cells to divide, grow, and die; itís when they abnormally grow out of control that they form a mass or lump called a tumor. There are two types of tumors: benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. The majority of breast tumors are benign or abnormal growths.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Unfortunately, no one knows what specifically triggers breast cells to grow abnormally. Medical experts attribute the development of breast cancer to a combination of both unknown and known factors including genetics, lifestyle choices, and reproductive factors.
Who is at Risk?
While the disease occurs mostly in women, men have a slight risk of developing the disease too. The American Cancer Society estimates that men will account for 1 percent of new cases in 2004.
While all women are at risk for developing breast cancer, risk factors (anything that increases your chance of getting the disease) include:
What are the Symptoms?
The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges. But, symptoms of breast cancer vary from person to person and may include the following:
Early detection saves lives. The American Cancer Society reports that the 5-year survival rate for all women diagnosed with breast cancer is 87 percent. With early detection (when the tumor is confined to the breast) the 5-year survival rate jumps to over 95 percent.
Early detection methods include:
Is it Preventable?
Since the exact cause of breast cancer cannot be pinpointed, the disease is not considered to be preventable. While it wonít eliminate a womanís chances, doctors do recommend a healthy, low-fat diet, regular exercise, and limiting alcohol consumption to help reduce breast cancer risks.
What can you do?
The American Cancer Societyís Recommendations
Did you know... Following lung cancer, breast cancer is the