What is breast cancer? How can one identify its early warning signs?
A malignant tumor in the breast is what causes breast cancer. The malignant tumor consists a group of cancer cells that can grow and spread (metastasize) to the surrounding tissues. The disease occurs mostly to women, but men can also have them but not that commonly like women can.
Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in the cells of the ducts, until it spreads. Breast cancer can also begin in the cells of the lobules and in other tissues in the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer which spreads from where it began in the ducts of lobules to surrounding tissue.
The Philippines is still at battle with the said condition. Several reports prove that the Philippines has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer prevalence in Asia. In addition, the country belongs to the top 10 countries with the most cases of breast cancer. The disease is so common that one of every 13 Filipino women are expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
According to the 2010 Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates data, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Cancer Society, Inc. (PCS) confirmed the high prevalence of breast cancer in the country resulting to at least 16 percent of the 50,000 cases diagnosed with cancer. In addition, the study stated that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the Philippines.
To date, breast cancer is still the leading cause of cancer among women, accounting for 28 percent of the total cases. One out of four who are diagnosed with breast cancer die within the first five years, and no less than 40 percent die within 10 years.
According to the Philippine Breast Cancer Network, here are eight facts you need to know about breast cancer.
- All women are at risk. Approximately 70% of breast cancers occur in women with none of the known risk factors.
- Only about 5% of breast cancers are inherited. About 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will be the first to be victims in their families.
- Early detection does not prevent breast cancer. Avoiding and eliminating known causes will prevent breast cancer.
- Mammography fails to detect as much as 20% of all breast cancer and as much as 40% in women under the age of 50.
- One out of four who are diagnosed with breast cancer die within the first five years. No less than 40% die within ten years.
- Risk factors are not necessarily causes of breast cancer. Enough evidence exist linking environmental pollution and contamination to cause breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the leading killer of women ages 35 to 54 worldwide. More than a million women develop breast cancer without knowing it and almost 500,000 die from it every year.
- 1 out of 13 Filipino women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The province of Pampanga has the highest incidence rate in the entire country.
The Philippine Star. (2013, February 26). The ABCs of Breast Cancer. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/health-and-family/2013/02/26/913052/abcs-breast-cancer
Philippine Breast Cancer Network. Retrieved from http://www.pbcn.org/