What is Breast Cancer? (Part 1 of 2) | HealthiNation

Uploaded by HealthiNation on 21.07.2011

Thank you for watching HealthiNation, I'm Dr.Isabel Blumberg.
In an appearance driven society, body image and the pressure to look good weigh heavily
on everyone, but arguably more for women than for men. So, it makes sense that the illness
many women fear the most is one that targets the most obvious sign of femininity, the breasts.
Breast cancer will affect more than 200 thousand American women this year. That means about
one out of every eight women will be told they have breast cancer at some point in their
life. But here's a statistic you might NOT know. Breast cancer doesn't just affect women.
This year, around 19 hundred men will also be diagnosed with the disease. And, while
a diagnosis can be startling, the options for treating breast cancer have never been
better. Thanks to earlier diagnosis and better treatment, there are more breast cancer survivors
today than ever before. In this segment, we'll discuss the signs and symptoms of the disease,
the preventative screening steps that you can take and the treatments that are available.
The first step in understanding breast cancer is knowing the anatomy of the breast. The
breast is made up of five main parts: the lobes, lobules, fat, milk ducts and stroma.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the lobules produce milk, which travels through the ducts
to the nipple. Inside those milk ducts is where most breast
cancers begin. This happens when cells turn cancerous and start to grow unchecked. As
with other cancers, these cells are abnormal and typically divide and grow rapidly. This
is why you may feel a lump. While the milk ducts are the most common site of breast cancer,
the disease can start anywhere in the tissue. Breast cancers can spread via the lymph vessels
in the breast. These carry a colorless fluid that supports the immune system and removes
waste from the cells. These vessels are connected to the lymph nodes -- a type of gland located
throughout the body. This is often the first place cancer will spread to beyond the breast.
Some women may experience some of the following symptoms but itís also important to know
that many women won’t experience any signs or symptoms of breast cancer. Now if you want
to take notes, hit pause, and write down the following information. This is important information
you'll need to share with your doctor. The signs and symptoms of breast cancer are:
Spontaneous clear or bloody discharge from the nipple
Retraction or indentation of the nipple A change in size or contours of the breast
Any Flattening or indentation of the skin covering the breast
Redness or pitting of the skin over the breast. Any one of these signs can show up, without
the presence of cancer. Only your doctor or an oncologist will be able to tell you if
you have breast cancer. So, if you think you may be at risk, and especially if you see
any of the warning signs, go see your doctor. By the way, if at any point in your diagnosis
or treatment you want to seek a second opinion, feel free to do so. This is your health we're
talking about.