Lone Star Breast Care

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the United States and, aside from lung cancer, kills more women in our country than any other cancerous disease. Breast cancer begins in the cells, which are the building blocks of tissue in the breast. Normally, these cells follow a routine life cycle - they grow, divide and die. However, when a cell becomes cancerous, it deviates and continues to grow and divide; creating even more abnormal cancerous cells that can invade healthy breast tissue. The cancer cells combine to form a tumor in the breast and can grow or spread to other parts of the body if left unaddressed.

Breast cancer is categorized in stages:

Stage 0 - Cancerous cells are present but have not spread outside of the ducts or lobules, the milk producing organs, into the surrounding breast tissue.

Stage I - A tumor that is no larger than two centimeters (approximately an inch) and has not spread.

Stage II - A tumor that is either between two and five centimeters and/or has spread to the lymph nodes under the armpit

Stage III - A tumor that is either between two and five centimeters and has spread to more lymph nodes under the arm, or the cancer has spread to tissue surrounding the breast, such as the skin, muscle, chest wall and lymph nodes above the collarbone.

Stage IV - The cancer has spread to other cells, tissues or organs in the body.

The direct cause of breast cancer is unknown, but certain risk factors, such as age, genetics and family history, can increase your chance of developing the disease. High risk breast screening and genetic testing can be done to assess your personal risk of developing cancer.

With advancements in research, being diagnosed with breast cancer is not an end. For many it's the beginning of fighting the disease and restoring hope.

Source: American Cancer Society

Breast Cancer