Typically, breast cancer has been referred to as a female disease; however, in recent years, more and more men are finding themselves dealing with this condition. And, for the most part, the age bracket that is most likely affected by breast cancer are women over 50. Annually, the victims of breast cancer continue to climb and some, unfortunately, succumb to this dreaded disease.
Science is yet to discover what causes breast cancer, but daily, researchers and scientists continue making progress in their fight against this serious disease. And, this research has created a number of viable and successful treatment options that patients can select according to which stage they are in.
Various Breast Cancer Stages
Breast cancer can be discovered in a number of stages, and each stage has its own set of symptoms. One determining factor regarding how far along the disease has progressed is the size of the tumor.
Following are the three most common stages:
Early breast cancer
This stage is also broken down into three different categories:
1. Stage 0 – This is the initial stage and normal tissue has no indication of cancer cells.
2. Stage I – Normal and surrounding tissue has evidence of cancerous cells and tumors may be as large as two cm.
3. Stage II – Cancerous cells have been found under the arm in the lymph node. This is typically on the same side of the body and tumors range between two to five cm.
This stage is also comprised of several sub-categories:
Stage III A – Tumors during Stage III A have grown to over five cm. The cancer has also spread into the lymph nodes which are subsequently adhering themselves to the neighboring tissues.
Stage III B – Tumors vary in size but cancerous cells have moved into the lymph nodes and breast tissue. Inflammatory breast cancer is also common during this stage.
Stage IV or Advanced Stage – Cancerous cells have moved beyond the upper region, underarm, breast and mammary lymph nodes, and have gone into the liver, bones, brain or lungs. The stage of cancer is often fatal.
Signs and Diagnosis
The signs of breast cancer are numerous and varied. Any of the following conditions should be checked by your attending physician.
– Discharge from the nipple
– Rash on and around the nipple
– Inverted nipple
– Pain in the breast
If you have one or more of the symptoms noted above you should contact your physician immediately to discuss the condition and treatment. Your best course of action is detecting cancer as early as possible.
The options for fighting breast cancer are numerous and effective and treatment may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or tomoxifen. With early detection and prompt treatment breast cancer is one disease that can be beat and it’s highly possible there will be no further future occurrences.
Useful video – How To Do A Breast Self check
Here is a list of useful resources on breast cancer:
10 Ways to Help a Friend with Cancer
Talking with Children About a Loved One’s Cancer
Thriving as a Caregiver: Tools for Coping When a Loved One Has Cancer
A to Z List of Cancer Drugs
Addiction Prevention for Cancer Patients: The Guide to Safe Pain Management
5 Ways Service Dogs Help People with Cancer
The Things I Wish I were Told When I was Diagnosed with Cancer
The Guide to Top Cancer Fighting Foods
Navigating Cancer Care: How Cancer is Treated
6 Cheap, Natural, and Quick Chronic Pain Remedies