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Breast Cancer Awareness Month


What is Breast Cancer
October is the month of breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer is when cells in the breast grow out of control, usually it begins in the ducts or the lobules. There are different kinds of cancer depending on which cells turn  cancerous: invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma. There are two different ways to classify breast cancer: staging or grading. Sometimes breast cancer can be caught due to the symptoms connected to breast cancer some being a new lump in the breast or underarm, thickening or swelling of part of the breast, irritation or dimpling of the breast, redness of flaky skin in the nipple area, or even pain in any area of the breast.


What Are Some of the Unavoidable and Avoidable Risks
When it comes to breast cancer there are some risk factors you can avoid but there are some you can’t. One of the risks you can’t avoid is getting older, when getting older the chance of getting breast cancer is increased. Most adults and many females get diagnosed around the age of 50. EVen though most diagnoses occur in patients around the age of 50 it doesn’t mean you couldn’t get diagnosed early, some may be diagnosed as early as 20 years old.

Another risk factor can be a family history. Your chances of getting cancer is higher when a family member such as a parent or grandparent suffered from either breast or ovarian cancer. Additionally, if you were born with a genetic mutation such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, you have an increased chance of having breast cancer. Although there are unavoidable risk factors there are also avoidable risk factors some being if you are physically active, if you don’t drink alcohol, or even if you take hormones.


Who Can Get Breast Cancer and What Are the Chances
Although most people who get breast cancer are women, men may get it as well even though for men the probabilities are a lot lower. About 1 in 833 could develop breast cancer, and the chances of men getting breast cancer are less than 1% of all the breast cancer diagnoses. For women, however, about 1 in 8 could develop breast cancer, and the chance of a woman getting breast cancer is about 13%.


Famous People who have had or has Breast Cancer 
Many famous people have had or have been diagnosed with cancer including Wanda Sykes, an American comedian and actress, Robin Roberts, an American broadcaster, Cynthia Nixon, an American actress, Amy Robac,h an American reporter, Martina Navratilov,a a Czech-American former tennis player, Gloria Steinem, an American journalist and social activist, and Diahann Carroll, an actress, singer, model, and activist. But it is not like only famous people get breast cancer anyone could end up with breast cancer.


How To Remove Breast Cancer
If you do get diagnosed with breast cancer there are some ways to remove it. Some of those ways being a lumpectomy or a mastectomy (Partial or segmental). A lumpectomy is when surgeons remove breast cancer or any other abnormal tissue from the breast along with some of the normal tissue around it as well, but they don’t remove the breast. During the surgery the surgeon may remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm for biopsy, the surgeon may even remove part of the chest wall lining if the breast cancer is near it. A mastectomy is when the surgeon removes part or all of the breast, there are different types of mastectomies meaning the amount of the tissue and lymph nodes removed may vary based on the type. However, if you don’t want to undergo surgery, there are non-surgical options such as Radiation therapy, Chemotherapy, and Hormone therapy,  you may even be able to participate in clinical trials.

If you get diagnosed with breast cancer some places you could go to in New Jersey that could help are RWJBarnabas Health, and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are the two best places to go if you need to have breast cancer removed.


How To Know Early
If you want to know if you have breast cancer early some ways are having imaging done such as Mammograms which is the most common way. Mammograms are when you get an X-ray of your breasts the mammogram is used to look for early signs of breast cancer, it is done by standing in front of the X-ray and the technologist places and presses your breast firmly onto a plate, the steps are repeated for both breasts and all the sides.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is especially important to discuss and educate people on Breast Cancer. Although breast cancer is decreasing in fatality (the chance of death in women is only 1 in 39) it is crucial to recognize and treat breast cancer early because it could be lethal if left untreated.

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