In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month, let us take this chance to learn and understand more about it.
According to the World Health Organization, as of 2021, breast cancer became the most globally common cancer, accounting for 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide. And according to another study, done by a group of 7 doctors from the Faculty of Medicine, Baheya Foundation and other organizations, It constitutes 33% of the total of female cancer cases in Egypt.
Breast cancer typically forms in the Lobules - the glands that produce milk -, and ducts which are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple. It also has the capacity to invade healthy tissues of the breast, traveling to the lymph nodes under the arms, which often leads to the spreading of cancer cells throughout the whole body!
In its early stages, it’s rare to physically feel the tumor. If it can however be felt, it’s usually in the form of a lump that was not there before. But not all lumps are cancerous.
Each type of breast cancer can cause either similar or different symptoms. Some of the most common ones are:
- Pain in the breast
- Swelling in all or parts of the breast
- Unfamiliar or bloody nipple discharge
- A swelling under-arm lump
- Discolored pitted skin on the breast
- Inverted nipple
- Sudden and unexplained changes to the shape and size of the breast
Types of breast cancer
The types break into two categories; invasive, as in cells that spread from the breast ducts or glands to other parts of the breast, and noninvasive cancer that has not spread from the original tissue.
The most common types are:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ, AKA DCIS, is a noninvasive condition, where the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in your breast and haven’t invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ, LCIS, is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast. And it is also noninvasive.
- Invasive ductal carcinoma, IDC, is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breast’s milk ducts and then invades nearby tissue in the breast. Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milk ducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
- Invasive lobular carcinoma, ILC, first develops in your breast’s lobules and then invades nearby tissues.
Another important thing about breast cancer is that it occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer, too. It is, however, rare because the male breast cells are not as developed as female breast cells. As for the symptoms, they are basically the same as female breast cancer in terms of changing to the breast area.
We are here for you! ♥️
It’s not uncommon for women who suffer from breast cancer to feel as though they are losing their femininity because of losing their breast(s) and/or hair, and weight after treatment. We are here to tell you that all your feelings are validated and respected. We know that you miss your pretty hair and body, but the people who love you still do nonetheless. We love your strength and willpower and we’ll always have your back!