October Means Halloween/Breast Cancer Awareness

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Fall is in the air.  You can feel a slight chill when walking the kids to the bus stop in the morning.  The leaves are falling from the trees and are even starting to change colors.  Everywhere you look, you see pumpkins, goblins and ghouls.  It must be October.  October brings football, lots of leaves and the promise of cooler weather.  It has also become an important time in the United States to promote breast cancer awareness and breast health.  For this reason, you may be seeing a lot of pink in addition to the orange and black for Halloween.

Breast Cancer is a serious disease affecting women both young and old in the United States.  Chances are, you know someone who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  However, not all cases of breast cancer are alike.  There are certain categories of breast cancer and these categories help determine the course of treatment as well as the prognosis.

Different types of breast cancer can be separated into different groups according to the location in the breast where the cancer first occurs and whether or not it has spread to other tissues in the breast. Non-invasive breast cancer refers to cases where the cancer is found only in its original location in the breast and has not invaded or spread to other breast tissues.  Invasive breast cancer refers to cases where the cancer has spread to other tissues from its original location in the breast.  Obviously, the goal would be to find the cancer before it has had the opportunity to spread to other tissues.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer.  This type starts in the milk ducts but invades or spreads to the surrounding breast tissues.  According to the American Cancer Society, more than 180,000 women in the United States find out that they have invasive breast cancer each year.  Most of these cases are Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

The best defense we have against IDC as well as other forms of breast cancer is early detection.  Regular breast self-examinations as well as breast examinations from a physician or other health care provider are an important component of early detection.  Mammograms are also an important tool in the early detection of breast cancer.

Talk to your doctor today about how you can decrease your chances of developing breast cancer and to make sure you are getting the care you need to help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.  Happy October!

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.