Breast Cancer : The Second Most Common Cancer

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In the United States, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. Although it can occur in both men and women, it is very rare in men. An individual’s breast has many components. It contains glands, ducts and breast tissue that contains fat, connective tissue, lymph nodes and blood vessels. The most common type of breast cancer in the U.S. is ducts carcinoma. This type of cancer begins within the cells of the ducts, but it can also begin in the cells of the lobules and other tissues of the breast. There are five stages of breast cancer. The stages are dependent on the tumor size, lymph node status and metastases. The progression of the cancer tends to be consistent and predictable. When cancer is left untreated, it will …show more content…

Typically, individuals at this stage are about 52 years old. Stage two breast cancer has many subcategories. The tumor is typical 2 cm in diameter or less, but the cancer cells have already metaswized to the lymph nodes. A breast tumor that is larger than 5 cm, and had not spread to the lymph nodes is also considered stage 2 breast cancer. Stage three breast cancer is often referred to as a “locally advanced” breast cancer. At this stage, the primary tumor is greater than 5 cm in diameter, and has no apparent metastasis, or the tumor is is between 2-5 cm, with evidence of rather significant metastasis. Another way that stage three breast cancer can be looked at is that an individual with either have a large but operable breast cancer, or a medium sized tumor that is difficult to treat with surgery alone. Many times, the cancer will invade a muscles, or attach to major arteries, nerve trunks or veins in an individual’s body, which therefore makes them impossible to surgically remove completely from the body. Stage four or “advanced stage” breast cancers “indicate the presence of distant metastasis to other parts of the body, such as the liver or bones” (Halls 2015). The prognosis for stage four breast cancers is very low, often being 16-20%. These breast cancers may be recurrences following an individual’s initial treatment. "Bone scans, chest Xrays, CAT scans, MRIs, and blood tests may be used to check for metastasis” (Halls 2015). Often times

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