Breast Cancer Awareness – Part 3

Plastic Surgeon serving Lutherville Timonium, Baltimore & Columbia areas of Maryland

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, we have covered several areas on the subject. To understand breast cancer better, it helps to understand the anatomy of the breast. Knowing the the different functions and parts of the breast help to have a grasp and understand Breast Cancer and it's details.

When you know your body better, you can make better informed decisions, understand what your doctors are saying and be more aware of anything that doesn't seem right.

ADIPOSE TISSUE

Most of the female breast is consists of fat cells collected together called Adipose Tissue. This extends from your collarbone to your underarm and across the middle of your ribcage.

LOBES, LOBULES, AND MILK DUCTS

There are anywhere from 12 to 20 sections of Lobes in the healthy female breast. These each consist of smaller Lobules are where nursing women produce the milk. The lobes and Lobules are both connected by those milk ducts and perform like tubes that carry the milk to the nipple. This is where where Breast Cancer starts to form.

THE LYMPH SYSTEM

A network of blood vessels, fibrous connective tissues, ligaments, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and nerves are all within the Adipose Tissue.

The immune system partly consist of the lymph system. This network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes throughout the body is the distribution system for the blood circulatory system works. The lymph system carries disease-fighting cells and fluids.

Lymph nodes are bean shaped and cluster together then fix themselves throughout the lymph system, acting like filters by taking abnormal cells away from the tissue that is healthy.

Breast Cancer is usually dictated by where the growth of cancer cells originate. This is usually in the lobes, lobules, or ducts. For doctors, the lymph system is important in helping them set how far spread any breast cancer cells are by whether any are absent or present in the lymph fluid and nodes.

Do Scientists know what causes Breast Cancer?

It still unknown why when the DNA of a cell is damaged, cancer grows. While in most cases, it is a combination of environmental and genetic or it can be just one or the other. For most patients, they will never know for sure the cause of their cancer. What scientist have determined thought is that there are some established risks that have been associated with Breast Cancer.

GENETIC FACTORS

1). Women are 100 times more likely than men to have Breast Cancer.

2). After the age of 55 years old, two out of three women are diagnosed with invasive cancer.

3). White women are most likely to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer over any other race.

4). Family history of Breast or Ovarian Cancer make you a higher risk.

5). Once you have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, the risk of being diagnosed again are high.

6). Women who began menstruation before age 12 or are late in going into menopause, were older when they had their first child or never gave birth at all are at risk for Breast Cancer.

7). Mutations in certain genes increase your risk for Breast Cancer. Genetic testing can determine this possibility and is highly recommended for those who have a family history of Breast Cancer. Gene mutation among individuals may be passed onto their children.

8). The risk of Breast Cancer is high for those who have dense breast tissue. Lumps are harder to detect with dense tissues.

Your Lifestyle and Your Environment

1). The lack of physical activity increases the risk of Breast Cancer.

2). Unhealthy eating habits can increase the risk of Breast Cancer. More fresh fruits and vegetables and less saturated fats are recommended to lower your risk of Breast Cancer.

3). Keeping a healthy weight lessens your risk for Breast Cancer.

4). Alcohol increases your risk for Breast Cancer.

5). Before the age of 30, radiation therapy to the chest increases your risk for Breast Cancer.

6). Hormone replacement therapy, such as what is prescribed for menopause, increases your risk for Breast Cancer and most likely, if and when it is detected, it will be in advanced stages.

As we have said in this blog before, Dr. Adam Basner and the staff at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland, can not stress enough the importance in taking the time to do self-checks and get your annual mammogram. Revealing The Beauty In You from the inside out is our focus here at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland.