The official phrase for breast cancer is ‘malignant breast neoplasm’. Breast cancer starts most often in the inner lining of the milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. The general term for cancers that originate in ducts is ‘ ductal carcinomas’ and the term for cancers originating from the lobules is ‘lobular carcinomas’.

Successful treatment depends greatly on the kind of cancer, staging and the age of the patient, however the figures vary from 10% to 98%. Worldwide, breast malignant breast neoplasm for just more than 10% of all cancers in women, which makes it the second most common form of cancer in women after skin cancer.

In 2004 (the latest figures available at the moment), breast cancer caused almost 520,000 deaths worldwide, which is 7% of all deaths by cancer and 1% of all deaths. One more interesting statistic is that women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men, but women have a far higher likelihood of recovery (usually due to more frequent screening).

October has been nominated as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ and the symbol used (not only in October) is the ‘Pink Ribbon’. It has become a global symbol of breast cancer awareness.

However, some firms have been criticized for putting the pink ribbon on the labels of their products (see Kentucky Fried Chicken and some alcoholic drinks). The lesson to be learned is to check out how much that firm really donates to malignant breast neoplasm awareness and research.

If Breast Cancer Awareness month is to do any use, the one thing it should concentrate on is making women aware that this form of cancer is not a death sentence, because if it can be treated early the survival rate is very high. Even cancers that have been caught ‘a little late’ can be treated successfully although the treatment will almost certainly be much more severe.

All women ought to go for frequent screening by a professional – at least once a year – but they ought to also learn how to test their breasts themselves and get into the habit of doing the self-test every day whilst washing in the shower. You could also get a friend to lend a hand by incorporating it into foreplay.

The information necessary for self-testing is widely available all year round (not merely in October) at your doctor’s surgery or at your gynecologist’s. It is also available in libraries, clinics, some schools and on Internet. One of the foremost factors that you should take in to account when deciding on your strategy for counteracting the threat of cancer is whether any other members of your family have had breast cancer or any other form of cancer for that matter.

One anxiety that many people in the know have is that breast cancer research is getting too high a proportion of the whole amount available for funding for cancer research. This means that more patients are dying of other kinds of cancer than should be.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on quite a few topics, but is now involved with the stages of ovarian cancer. If you would like to know more, please visit our web site at Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

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