Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. . It occurs almost entirely in women, but men can also have breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. (Only lung cancer kills more women each year.) Death rates from breast cancer dropped 40% from 1989 to 2016 and since then have remained steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women.
Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of breast health. Finding breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance of successful treatment. But knowing what to look for does not take the place of having regular mammograms and other screening tests. Screening tests can help find breast cancer in its early stages, even before any symptoms appear.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast lump or breast change checked by a health care provider experienced in diagnosing breast diseases. Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt. Swollen lymph nodes should also be checked by a health care provider. Because mammograms do not find every breast cancer, it is important for you to be aware of changes in your breasts.
For more information go to https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about.html.
On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.
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