No matter how absurd or crazy some medical inventions may seem, they only show the desperate side of human beings, who are looking for eternity and health. In a world where process foods and Cancer are two related words, we became afraid of losing our youth and with that our health. However, we can never predict anything. And we eventually get sick. As women, we fear one particular malady: Breast Cancer. But how much do we know about this sickness?
We live to live longer.
Here are 18 facts about Breast Cancer
1- The discovery of Breast Cancer is actually way before the 20th century.
A very interesting fact about Breast Cancer is that it was first discovered in Ancient Egypt around 3,000–2,500 B.C.E. The Edwin Smith Papyrus is a medical text found in 1862 by Edwin Smith that describes symptoms that will, later on, during the 20th century, be related to this disease. There are also Ancient Greek writings that describe Women’s anatomy and certain lumps that appeared on women’s breast back then. So yeah, Breast Cancer isn’t really a “new” 20th-century thing. Stop blaming MacDonald’s!
2- Doesn’t really go with gender equality.
The most commonly diagnosed Cancer in women is Breast Cancer.
1 / 8 Woman in the US will be diagnosed every year. Approximately 41,760 will die from it.
4- This sickness has a specific cause
The mutation of breast cells during their multiplication is the main cause of this sickness. A mutation means that a cell is not developing properly or naturally. The cell might die and in this case, it’s good because your body will get rid of it. If not, this cell becomes abnormal and might lead to other mutated cells after its multiplication leading to infections and tumours.
5- Your family might make you sick
A very interesting fact about this type of cancer is that it can be genetic. You see, if your family has a history with Cancer ( either blood, skin, prostate, etc…) you might develop a tumour ( for women it will be more likely breast or ovarian) later on. Due to mutated genes that came from your ancestors.
Also, A recent study showed that Ashkenazi Jewish Women are at higher risk of having BRCA mutation (BRCA is one of the inherited genes you may get from your family). That leads to Breast Cancer. I know…
6- If you are getting old, be careful.
You may not have a mutated gene coming from your family. But you still can develop Breast Cancer because you’re ageing. When you get old, your cells get old as well and this can leads to potential mutations.
7-It stays silent for some time
Breast Cancer doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort until they affect nearby tissues.
8- It uses a T-N-M classification
T: Primary tumour size N: Lymph node involvement M: Cancer spread to other parts of the body
And with that comes the description of the 4 stages of Breast Cancer
9- Check for it yourself
You can detect Breast Cancer. When the tumour becomes big enough to spread in the breast, a lump will appear in the nipple area which can be felt if you touch it.
10- The Holy disease
Weirdly, most of the women diagnosed with this tumour are nuns. Hence the nickname “ the nuns’ disease”.
12- It gets political
Breast Cancer is usually found in the left breast rather than the right one.
13- It is curable but…
Women in developed countries have higher chances to survive from this malady, whereas those in remote areas of the world will probably die from it. This is due to lack of knowledge and proper equipment in those places.
14- Surgery, one of the main exit
When the tumour spreads in the breast and gets bigger. A Mastectomy is needed. It is a surgical intervention where the surgeon removes the tumour by removing a part or the whole affected breast. ( the other breast might develop the same tumour after the Mastectomy). I know it’s scary, but sometimes you have to do extreme things to stay healthy. And let me tell you, once you get well, you will be a huge inspiration for others!
15- Many factors cause it.
Obesity, Breast density, Menstrual history, Heavy drinking can increase the chances to get Breast Cancer. For example, If you got your periods early (before age 12) or hit menopause pretty late, you might have higher risks to develop Breast Cancer.
16- Seven Deadly sins
There are more than 7 types of Breast Cancer. Here are some :
- Type 1: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
I know it sounds scary but don’t you worry. This is a non-invasive type of cancer, which means that the mutated cells do not spread in your body. They only stay within the walls of the breast milk duct.
- Type 2: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Another weird name I know. This type of cancer is more serious than the previous one. Unlike the DCIS, the abnormal cells actually spread into other breast parts.
- Type 3: Triple-negative Breast Cancer
This particular type of tumour is characterized by the cells negative for progesterone, estrogen and HER2 which means that the cancer you might be developing will not only give you a hard time with your cells and immune system but also with your hormones. In these cases, hormone therapy is an advised treatment.
- Type 4: Inflammatory Breast Cancer
This is not a very common type of Breast Cancer. It actually irritates the skin and does not look like a tumour. Some might think it is some form of allergy when in fact it’s not.
- Type 5: Metastatic Breast Cancer
Unlike the previous types mentioned above, that pretty much remains in the breast, this one actually spreads to other parts of your body. Such as the throat, lungs, blood, etc…
- Type 6: Breast Cancer during pregnancy
Having a baby is the best gift the universe could ever give you. However, when getting pregnant, your body faces radical changes which can turn to dangerous changes when being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Not only will your life be in danger, but your unborn baby’s life won’t probably survive it.
17- Some treatments
Chemotherapy, Hormone therapy are the most common treatments for this sickness. However, the results are different from a patient to another.
18- The Pink Ribbon
Last but not least, the Pink Ribbon is the symbol of Breast Cancer awareness. First used in 1982, it was inspired by previous forms of protest in the world and also the Aids awareness that uses a red ribbon. And for years now, the Pink Ribbon has been used as a symbol of strength and courage as well as Hope! It also represents Breast Cancer awareness month ( October).
Breast Cancer is a big threat to Women’s health but still has its own treatment and can be fully cured. Unlike Endometriosis, a Chronic sickness that involves the development of endometrial tissues outside the Uterus.
And don’t forget,
You are not alone.