Essay on Breast Cancer
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Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, it accounts for one of every three diagnoses in the United States. Breast cancers are malignancies, life threatening tumors that develops in one or both breasts.
A female breast consists of fatty and fibrous connective tissues. The interior of the breast is divided into about twenty different sections called lobes. Each of the lobes is further divided in to lobules, which are structures that contain small milk-producing glands. These glands place the milk into tiny ducts. These ducts take the milk through out the breast and store in a chamber located below the nipple.
Breast cancer can either be invasive (spreading) or noninvasive (non-spreading). An invasive cancer penetrates…show more content…
Chemicals are also suspected to cause breast cancer. Xenoestrogens are chemicals with estrogen-like effects, they are found in pesticides and other common industrial products. Other estrogen-like chemicals that have a stronger association with breast cancer include dieldrin and beta-hexachloraocyclohexane. Although these chemicals are very weak estrogens, one study showed that exposure to single weak-estrogen compounds isn’t a big risk but a combination of two or more chemicals result in extremely high estrogenic
chemicals. Many women, who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriages, increased the risk for breat cancer in their children.
There are lost of ways to prevent cancer or try to prevent it. One of these is reducing your fat intake. One study shows that the result of this is that the level of estrodiol, the potent form of estrogen decreases. Another way to fight breast cancer is to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables contain chemicals that may be cancer fighters. A concentrated form of limonene, a substance found in citrus skins, has been found to shrink breast cancer in animals. Some studies have shown that if you breast-fed for more than four months it lowers your risk of the cancer. In a recent study women who have underwent breast reduction have a low risk of getting breast cancer by forty percent.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.
But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.
My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.
Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.
Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.
I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
I am fortunate to have a partner, , who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has.
For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.
I acknowledge that there are many wonderful holistic doctors working on alternatives to surgery. My own regimen will be posted in due course on the Web site of the Pink Lotus Breast Center. I hope that this will be helpful to other women.
alone kills some 458,000 people each year, according to the , mainly in low- and middle-income countries. It has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment, whatever their means and background, wherever they live. The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, at more than $3,000 in the United States, remains an obstacle for many women.
I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.
Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.Continue reading the main story