Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women. Roughly a third of all newly diagnosed cancers in women are breast cancers. However, a lot of people are still somewhat misinformed when it comes to breast cancer and beating cancer in general. The following are some facts to know about beating cancer:
- The survival rate over the course of five years is close to 90 percent.
- Many of the women that are diagnosed with breast cancer do not need treatments that are either disfiguring or highly aggressive.
- Many women believe that a mastectomy, which involves removing the entire breast, improves long-term survival of breast cancer patients. This isn’t actually true – survival doesn’t depend on the removal of any additional healthy tissue. Because of this, a majority – between 60 and 75 percent – of breast cancer surgeries are lumpectomies, which involves the removal of only a small part of breast tissue.
- Although lumpectomies can be quite effective and result in the breasts still looking mostly the same after surgery, there is a drawback to the procedure. Around 25 percent of the women that undergo lumpectomies will have to have a second lumpectomy to remove cancer cells that weren’t successfully removed the first time around. There’s also a slightly greater chance of the cancer coming back than there is if a mastectomy is performed (less than five percent versus one to two percent).
- In some cases, chemotherapy may be considered before surgery instead of after. Chemotherapy is usually recommended after breast cancer surgery. However, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is sometimes recommended prior to surgery in order to shrink the tumor. By undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the patient may only need to undergo a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy.
- Because many newly diagnosed breast cancers are estrogen or progesterone-receptor positive, the exposure to hormones can increase the risk of recurrence. The use of drugs that block hormones can kill tumor cells that may have otherwise spread beyond the breast.
These are six things to know about breast cancer. For new information about beating cancer, be sure to visit The Benefits Store today.
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