It’s October, hence comes the national breast awareness month! According to the world health organization, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and is claiming lives of thousands of women every year. This is why we must always be aware of breast cancer and how we can look out for it. Here are a few key terms in which doctors usually speak of when talking about breast cancer. It’s very important to understand these terms in order for you to get the necessary help you may need.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Terms to Know
Adjuvant therapy: This is a treatment that is provided in addition to surgical treatment and is usually given when all detectable diseases have been removed, however, some still remained and may be a risk of relapse. Some examples of adjuvant therapy include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy.
Benign: This usually said when the doctors wish to tell you that the symptoms you may be experiencing are not cancer.
BRCA-1 and BRCA2: These are two types of breast cancer susceptibility genes that usually help protect you from getting cancer. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, When you have changes or mutations on one or both of your BRCA genes, cells are more likely to divide and change rapidly, which can lead to cancer.”
Carcinoma: According to the charity Cancer Research UK, this term signifies cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
Ductal Carcinoma in SITU (DCIS): Dr. Laura Spring from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston told Fox news that this is “Essentially a cell that looks like a breast cancer but it’s confined to the ducts.” However, it’s not yet able to spread distantly in the body, as she explained further.
Breast Cancer Awareness: Symptoms
Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 HER2/new: This is a type of protein that is involved in cell growth and survival. Some genes and proteins can influence how a breast cancer may behave and how it will respond to some treatments.
Invasive ductal carcinoma: This is a type of breast cancer that begins growing in the duct and has invaded the fatty tissue of the breast outside of the duct. This is the most common type of breast cancer which has affected 80 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses.
Lumpectomy: This is usually done when a lump of tissue has to be removed from the breast.
Malignant: When something in the tests proves to be close to being cancer.
Mammogram: This is a type of x-ray that allows radiologists to look for changes in the breast, this can also detect early signs of breast cancer even before a lump can be felt.
Mastectomy: This is a surgery done to remove a breast or part of it.
Metastasis: This describes cancer extending to other areas of the body, as said by the CDC.
Occult Cancer: This is where the cancer was first hidden or had an unknown location and then accidentally found.
There are plenty more terminologies to know but here the most common ones. If you do feel anything or even the slightest pain near or on your breast, always head to your local doctor for a checkup. Detecting breast cancer as early as possible is the best way to counter it.