Nearly 1 in 8 women will develop Breast
Cancer over the course of her life


What are Breast Cancers?

Breast Cancer is a disease in which a group of tumorous cells begins developing in the reigons associated with the breast. All Breast Cancers fall into two categories: Invasive or Non-Invasive. There do exist other ways of classifying this deadly disease, such as Recurrent and Metastatic Breast Cancers, and establishing a basic understanding of these is important in terms of fully appreciating the conditions that Breast Cancer patients must deal with everyday. We will delve into the specifics of each in a moment. First, we will take some time to address the problem in its current form.

Breast Cancer is one of the most widespread and life-threatening cancers currently around today. In fact, Breast Cancer death rates for women are second only to lung cancer in the United States. While popular belief dictates that it is only females who are at risk for this form of cancer, men do possess breast tissue and thus can contract this disease as well, albiet far less often than females. It is also important to know the two things that most significantly increase the risk of an individual contracting a form of Breast Cancer - being female and getting older.

Let us now delve into the specifics of each varient of Breast Cancer in an effort to better understand their significance. Below is a chart that specifies the estimated percentage of occurance between Breast Cancer in various age groups.

Less than 40 Less than 50 Between 50 and 60 Above 65


Determining whether the Breast Cancer is invasive or not is an essential step in terms of establishing a healthy, effective treatement plan on an individual level. The vast majority of Breast Cancers are invasive - about 79 percent, in fact - meaning that the cancer develops into areas that used to be composed of normal, healthy tissue.

Invasive Breast cancer is classified by the cancer cells spreading beyond the established membranes to invade surrounding tissues. Once the cancer has advanced to this stage, it then becomes much easier for it to spread around other parts of the body, thus compromising the health of the patient. Think of the membrane as a suit of armor - once this protective shell has been breached, the situation suddenly becomes a lot more dangerous. If the cancer is invasive, it can be classified as being between Stages I and Stage IV.

Non-invasive Breast Cancers are classified when the cancer has not spread beyond the membrane typically associated with milk ducts in the breast. These types of cancer are considered to be Stage 0 of the disease. Although the situation involving non-invasive Breast Cancers is far less dangerous, lack of immediate treatement can sometimes mean that the disease will spread into surrounding tissues.

Also worth noting is that it is possible for a Breast Cancer to be simutaniously invasive and non-invasive. This happens when part of the cancer has grown into healty tissue while the other part of the cancer remains behind in milk ducts or other related areas. Situations such as these warrant the same type of treatement as invasive Breast Cancer.

Recurrent Breast Cancer

At its most basic level, Recurrent Breast Cancer is Breast Cancer that returns after initial treatement. This is often very difficult to detect and eliminate because initial treatements are designed with the intent of eliminating all cancerous cells, meaning that some patients let their guard down after completion.

There are three primary forms of recurrence: local, regional, and distant. Local and regional recurrence both imply that the cancer has resurfaced at a similar location as the original cancer. The familiar nature of treatement at this point often means more effective and comfortable treatement for the patient. Distant recurrence happens when the cancer has traveled to unfamiliar parts of the body, meaning that treatement must adapt to better suit the new location.

In both cases, the symptoms of Recurrent Breast Cancer are often very visible, consisting of irritated or marble-like skin lumps centered around the upper chest. Such findings often prompt further investigations which can lead to the early identification of Recurrent Breast Cancer, something that is essential in terms of ensuring that aggressive treatement remains an option.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic Breast Cancer is classified when the cancer has spread to other organs in the body. It is sometimes also referred to as stage IV Breast Cancer. It is generally uncommon for Metastatic Breast Cancer to be declared upon an initial diagnosis, as it typically develops after completing treatment for an earlier stage of Breast Cancer.

Deaths resulting from Breast Cancer do not come from cancer that remains in the breast. The transportation of dangerous cancer cells to vital positions in the body such as the bones, liver, or brain is what actually threatens life. Thus, the approximately 40,000 annual deaths in the US that result from Breast Cancer all spawn from those who were suffering from Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Before one can begin to grasp what it is like to live with Metastatic Breast Cancer, it is essential to first understand that the disease is something that persistantly weights on those inflicted with it throughout the course of their entire lives. While gradual improvements have been seen in recent years, it is possible for the cancer to resurface decades after the completion of successful treatement, something which ensures that it is rare for the battle to be truly over for those that suffer from Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Advancements in Treatment

Recent years have brought with them tremendous technological advancements that have proven to be very effective in terms of better equipping us to research, prevent, and treat Breast Cancer. In fact, mortality rates from Breast Cancer have fallen by 34 percent since 1990 alone.

Deaths Per 100,000 People

Why the decrease?

The gears of technological advancement are relentless in their turning, something which regularly produces innovative new methods of treatement that are saving lives while also making the disease more comfortable to deal with in the first place. We will highlight a few examples of these boundary-pushing discoveries below in the hopes that it will drive up exposure for those sacrificing so much to make a positive change.

HER2 Protein Therapies

There exists within nearly 20 percent of Breast Cancer patients an abnormal strain of HER2 proteins. This protein essentially drives up the growth of cancerous cells. While in the past this was something that worsened survival rates, recent research has all but eliminated this additonal risk and in doing so has saved countless lives. As medical oncologist Dr. Wendy Chen puts it, "HER2-directed therapies have revolutionized the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer."

A 2014 study titled Trastuzumab Plus Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2–Positive Breast Cancer unveiled some of the improvements in treatment that have been made in the past few years. They found that by combining Herceptin with chemotherapy survival rates could be improved significantly. In fact, 10 year-survival improved from 75 percent to 84 percent when the treatment was utilized. As for side effects, the most prominent where cardiac-related. These occured in around 3 percent of patients, and most recovered completely from the initial effects.

Additionally, a Phase III clinical trial demonstrated the possibility for a combination of HER2-targeted therapies to effectively combat HER2-positive Breast Cancers. While avaliable research on these combinations is limited, their existence is proof enough of the progess that is being made in terms of combatting dangerous subsets of Breast Cancer.

Increased Lifestyle Understanding

The last decade of research has done much to emphesize the link between healthy lifestyle choices and a decrease in Breast Cancer occurance. For instance, recent discoveries have uncovered that being overweight increases the risk of contracting Breast Cancer after menopause.

This discovery is significant for two reasons: most women reach menopause around the age of 50, and the majority of Breast Cancer cases are seen in women above this age. Research such as this gives survivors and those looking to say healthy an active way to control their risk of contracting Breast Cancer in a very significant way. The impact of body weight, for instance, is tremendous: people who are overweight or obese have a 30 to 60 percent higher risk of contracting postmenopausal Breast Cancer when compared to those who maintain a healthier weight.

As further research continues to clarify this link, one can hope that additional attention will be drawn to importance of staying healthy in terms of combatting Breast Cancer. After all, the connection is all but certain. Consider the words of Dr. Jennifer Litton, who states, "Across the board weight loss and exercise have been shown to improve outcomes, and obesity has been shown to worsen outcomes". Discoveries such as this promote the idea that health initiatives can and should be applied as a valuable tool used to prevent the occurance of Breast Cancer.

How to Help

Fortunately, Breast Cancer awareness has gone up tremendously in recent years. Symbols such as the pink ribbon have done much to divert public attention and support to Breast Cancer research. While progress has certainly been made, additional research is required to ensure that this issue plauges people no longer. All of the options outlined below are teriffic resources for those looking to make a positive change for Breast Cancer patients.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation

Founded over 23 years ago by Breast Cancer survivor Janell Hail, The National Breast Cancer Foundation has cemented itself firmly among the top authorities in Breast Cancer Research. Their mission extends beyond the mechanical application of research, as they additionally hope to promote the widespread awareness, education, and early detection of various Breast Cancers.

They have been honored with a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, something which ensures that all funds are allocated in a responsible manner that is consistant with the goal of eliminating the threat of Breast Cancer. In fact, over 80 percent of their total revenue is directed to valuable programs that have saved countless lives.

The foundation has accomplished all of this while continuing to grow at an a tremendous rate. This means that a donation to them is not only a donation to further the research of Breast Cancer treatments, it is also an act of support for long-standing programs that will continue to give back to communities for years to come. You can join them in their fight by clicking on the donate button below.


Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has raised well over half a billion dollars for Breast Cancer research in their 21 years of operation. They allocated over 91 percent of their total funds to the advancement of medical research as well as Breast Cancer awareness in general. In 2014 - 2015 alone they awarded over 58 million dollars to scientists from top medical institutions around the world.

They have continuously proven themselves to be one of the most reputable authorities in Breast Cancer research. In fact, they are the only Breast Cancer organization to recieve an A+ ranking from CharityWatch. All of their financials can be viewed online, something which means that those who donate can rest assured that their money is being spent in a responsible way that is consistent with the intent of helping out those who suffer from Breast Cancer. You can assist them in their fight by clicking on the button below to donate.


Fight At No Cost

With recent advancements in online communications, it is now possible to join the fight against Breast Cancers without spending a single penny. This is the power of word of mouth, the power of sharing our thoughts and ideas to make a change. You can click on the buttons below to get started. Spread the word!

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