Cancer is a term used to define a class of various diseases that entail irregular cell growth resulting in some forms of malignant tumors. When the malignant cells form in one part of the body, they affect the neighboring cells although the diseases can affect tissues far from the place that the cancerous tumor has developed. Recently, cases of cancers have been on the rise, and the reasons behind this could be pollution of the environments, lack of exercises, poor dietary habits, and consumption of carcinogenic substances. Cancer comes in various forms, and if detected early enough most of them are controllable. Breast cancer is a concern to the society, as it is the second collective form of cancer with several stages involved, but the disease is treated or controlled depending on the stage it has reached.
Breast cancer in human beings is a form of cancer affecting breast tissues, and the diseases commonly affect inner linings of breast ducts or lobules that deliver milk to the ducts. The rate of survival of the cancer patients depends on the stage of the diseases, as the rate decreases as the diseases advances. The disease is more common dozens of times in women than in men with several thousands of women succumbing from the disease annually in the world. Despite the low infection of the disease in men, they display poor results because it is mostly detected at the advanced stages and the probability of the diagnosis to be successful is low. The initial system of the disease is a lump on the breasts that have a different feel from other parts of the breast tissues. The disease results from many factors such as age, hormonal imbalance, poor dietary iodine intake, poor breast feeding habits to mention but a few. Therefore, breast cancer attacks mammary glands and can occur in both men and women, and there are several ways than an individual can detect the disease (Tim par. 1-14).
On the other hand, breast cancer is described in various stages depending on its level of advancement. To understand the stage of the cancer, doctors carry out an operation and various blood tests if need be. “Cancer stages are based on four characteristics,” said Breastcancer.Org (par. 2). Some of the characteristics describing the stages are area affected by the disease and the form of the disease, which could be invasive or non-invasive. The stages of the cancer run from 0-IV, with stage 0 being non invasive type because it has not spread to the normal cells of the body, and stage IV being the invasive type since the disease has spread to the normal cells. Stage 0 is the initial cancer level where the cancerous cells are hard to detect because they have not encroached in the other normal breast cells. In stage I, there is microscopic invasion of the lobules and the duct linings with the lump measuring up to two centimeters (Breastcancer.Org par. 1-10).
Additionally, stage II is an advancement of the previous stage whereby the malignant cells have attacked at most four lymph nodes and the tumor though not visible is 2-5 centimeters in size. If the disease is not diagnosed at this stage, it advances to stage III where the tumor could be more than 5 centimeters. The lymph nodes affected could add up to nine and the lymph nodes near the breastbone are also infected. If there is a tumor, it may spread to the chest; the affected breast turns reddish, and the feel of warmth is experienced on it. In the stage IV, the cancer has spread from the breast to the nearby lymph nodes of the neighboring organs. Sometimes the doctors use the terms such as “advanced and metastatic to describe stage IV breast cancer” as stated by Breastcancer.Org (paragraph. 23). This is the final stage of the breast cancer and the treatment in such a stage is hard and expensive (Breastcancer.Org par. 11-24).
However, breast cancer has treatment as there several forms of treatment that doctors recommend depending on the condition of the infection. The first method of treatment is surgery whereby only the cancer cells and small portions of the nearby normal cells are removed or the completely affected breast is removed. The other method of treatment is a radiation therapy whereby high-energy radiation waves are applied to kill the cancer cells and stop them from developing. The radiations are projected into the cancerous cells either externally from radiation generating machines or internally through introduction of radioactive substances directly into the cancerous cells. Additionally, chemotherapy method is used to treat the cancer by using drugs injected into the body or orally delivered to reach the cancerous cells all over the body. The drugs stop the growth of malignant cells in the lymph nodes and other infected areas or kill them completely. The ways the above techniques are applied depend on the stage of the disease, but there are other forms of treatment not discussed above (National Cancer Institute).
In conclusion, cancer entails various forms of irregular developments of malignant cells in the human body. Several factors have contributed to the increase in the cases of cancers in the recent past. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that attacks breast tissues with women experiencing a higher preference of the disease than men do. The disease occurs in a series of stages ranging from stage 0 commonly known to be non-invasive type to stage IV that is invasive type of the cancer. However, the breast cancer is treatable with several techniques of diagnosis being available. To control the disease, the health experts should alert people about various causes of the disease, and the ways they could detect it as early as possible to reduce loss of lives.
Breastcancer.Org. “Stages of Breast Cancer.” 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. <http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/staging>.
National Cancer Institute. “Treatment Option Overview.” 18 Oct. 2013. Web. < http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/breast/Patient/page5 >.
Tim, Kenny. “Breast Cancer.” 12 June 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. < http://www.patient.co.uk/health/breast-cancer-leaflet >.