Breast Cancer – Educate Yourself and Create Awareness
The month of October celebrates National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, striving to educate individuals on one of the leading types of cancers among women.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer refers to a disease in which cancer cells grow within the breast tissue, forming masses or tumors. While some cases of breast cancer affect the breast tissue alone, other forms may metastasize and invade other areas of the body. While studies show that approximately 1 in 8 women will suffer from breast cancer, men can also be diagnosed with the disease.
The direct cause of breast cancer is unknown—however there are many factors that may increase the risk of developing the disease, including:
- Personal or family history of breast cancer
- Gene mutations
- Changes in the breast tissue including atypical ductal hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ, and radial scar formation
- Early onset of menstruation
- Late or lack of childbearing
- Increased breast density
- Taking hormone replacement therapy medications
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
Signs and Symptoms
Early stages of breast cancer may not present any symptoms, but as the cancer grows, the most common signs include:
- Changes in the skin of the breast, areola, or nipple
- Changes in the size or shape of the breasts
- Lump or thickening in the breast tissue, neck, or underarm
- Pitting of the breast skin
- Nipple tenderness and discharge
Diagnostic and Treatment Options
Individuals with suspected breast cancer have a number of diagnostic options, including clinical breast exams, mammography, ultrasonography, CT scan, PET scan, biopsy, and tissue evaluation. When breast cancer is diagnosed, patients may undergo lumpectomy, mastectomy, lymph node biopsy, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments.
The Breast Center at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center provides superior breast care services to both women and their families. We offer an enhanced level of care using a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team of breast imaging radiologists, pathologists, oncologists, geneticists, nurses, technicians, and breast surgeons. For more information on Southern Nevada’s only comprehensive breast center, contact us at (702) 731-8000.