Breast cancer is a serious condition that affects millions of women throughout the world. The cancer first manifests in the tissue of the breasts and then can spread to the rest of the body. If diagnosed early, breast cancer can possibly be treated effectively. Quite a number of those who were diagnosed with this serious disease were able to successfully fight it and become a cancer survivor.
Despite the increased and raised awareness about breast cancer, there are still many facts that are not so well known. To shed light more light on the disease, here are five lesser known facts to be aware of when it comes to breast cancer.
1. Men Can Also Suffer From Breast Cancer
This might be the most shocking lesser known fact of all so it bears mentioning first. Very few men realize they are at risk of breast cancer, and honestly, this is likely because only a small percentage of the male population may suffer from it. A small percentage does not mean zero percent so men should investigate options for breast cancer screenings during an annual physical. Recently, legendary KISS drummer, Peter Criss, publicly revealed how he overcame breast cancer and this has certainly raised awareness about the risks men face. Overall, men represent about 1% of the recorded cases of breast cancer.
2. Breast Cancer is More Common in the Developed World than the Developing World
Why is this the case? As is the case with many forms of cancers, specifics can be shrouded in scientific mystery. While significant proof is unavailable, speculation exists around the changes in diet and lifestyle of those in the developed world. What is known is the highest figures of breast cancers are found in the United States.
3. Hormone Replacement Therapy Creates a Risk for Breast Cancer
Sometimes, those things intended to help, may cause harm. There are many holistic benefits to undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A variety of problems may arise when natural levels of hormones decrease. Women may wish to undergo HRT when they are experiencing problems related to menopause. An unfortunate issue here is HRT can increase the risk for the onset of breast cancer. The risk is most severe when hormone replacement therapy has occurred for more than five years and the therapy includes a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
4. The Shape of a Tumor Can Determine How Serious the Condition May Be
The presence of a lump on the breasts is definitely something that should be examined by a physician. Generally though, smaller tumors that are round and firm are likely to be benign. Tumors that are large and irregularly shaped come with a far greater risk of being malignant. A malignant tumor can prove to be life threatening. Now, no one performing a self-examination is going to be sufficiently qualified to determine whether or not the tumor is benign or malignant. The tumor must be looked at by a doctor and, possibly, a biopsy may be suggested. The biopsy can reveal beyond any doubt whether the tumor is benign or malignant.
5. Working at Night Increases the Risk of Suffering from Breast Cancer
Research indicates that women who work night shifts are at risk for developing breast cancer. There have been reports of higher rates of breast cancer in women who work as nurses and flight attendants that require working late at night. Generally, it is believed night shifts are not healthy for humans since the body is designed to be awake during the day and asleep at night. Breast cancer would clearly reflect the most serious of risks inherent with night shift work.
These five points only reflect a few of the lesser known facts about breast cancer. We still have much to learn about the cause and total prevention of the devastating disease.