Research Paper On Breast Cancer

2090 words - 8 pages

Breast Cancer: The DiseaseIn 1997 my mother, who was only forty years old, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only in seventh grade at the time and didn't really understand the seriousness of the situation our whole family was being put through. Today, I do and I thank God everyday everything worked out for the best. This is why I chose to do my paper on breast cancer.Cancer is the name for a group of diseases that all have one thing in common; abnormal cells that grow and destroy body tissue. Normally, the healthy cells that make up your body's tissues grow, divide, and replace themselves in an orderly way. This process keeps your body in good repair. However, sometimes some cells lose the ability to control their growth. They grow too rapidly and without any order they make too much tissue and form tumors. These tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not cancer. They will not spread to other parts of your body and they are seldom a threat to life. Often, benign tumors can be taken out by surgery and they are not likely to return. Malignant tumors, on the other hand are cancer. They can spread and kill nearby healthy tissues and organs. Cancer cells also can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream and lymphatic system. This process of cancer spreading to other parts of your body is called metastasis. Even if a malignant cancer tumor is removed from your breast, the disease may return if the cancer cells have spread before the tumor was removed (Clinical Trails 1).Breast cancer is the most common form of malignant disease among women, affecting one in every ten women in the United States. It represents the second leading cause of death by a malignant disease in women after lung cancer, and claimed forty-thousand lives in the United States in 2002, according to the American Cancer Society (National Cancer Institute 1).The occurrence of breast cancer is very rare before age twenty and is rarely diagnosed in women younger than age twenty-five. Past that age, the incidence rises steadily to reach a peak around the age of menopause. The rate of increase is lessened after menopause, but older women are still at increasing risk over time. About one in eight women in the United States and Canada will develop breast cancer. This incidence is similar for many European countries. However, breast cancer is much less common in Asia. The incidence rate for breast cancer rose twenty-four percent in the United States between 1973 and 1991, while mortality from breast cancer did not increase. In addition, more localized cancers were diagnosed over time. These statistics indicate that screening for breast cancer, including mammography played a role in detecting more cancers at an earlier stage (National Cancer Institute 2).Doctors cannot explain why one woman gets breast cancer and another one doesn't. It is clear however, that breast cancer is not caused by bumping, bruising, or touching the breast. It is not contagious and...

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