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Huynh1 Breast Cancer Essay With 271,270 new cases predicted to be diagnosed in 2019, breast cancer is the second most common cancer found in American women, after skin cancer (Common Cancer Types; Breast Cancer). However, women are not the only ones prone to breast cancer. In 2019, it is predicted that 2,670 new cases will be diagnosed in American men (Key Statistics for Breast Cancer in Men). Breast cancer occurs when breast cells begin to grow uncontrollably and form a tumor. This tumor can become malignant, which means it is cancerous, if the cells begin to spread into the areas surrounding it and to other areas of the body, in a process known as metastasis (What Is Breast Cancer?). There are different types of breast cancer and symptoms that are associated with them, with several risk factors that increase the chances of getting it. The disease can be both be treated and prevented using a variety of methods. Cancer cells are fast growing and divide endlessly, eventually forming a tumor that also keeps on growing. It ignores signals from other cells that tell them to stop growing and it also does not self destruct, which makes the cell even more difficult to get rid of (Cancer Cells). In terms of breast cancer, these cancer cells are located in the breast. It grows uncontrollably and begins to metastasize to other areas in the body. Metastasis occurs in the lymphatic system which is responsible for “producing and transporting white blood cells and other cancer-fighting immune system cells throughout the body” (Evert, Breast Cancer: Introduction). By using the lymphatic system, the cancer cells can spread through the lymphatic vessels and move to other parts of the body, which allows them to create more tumors (Evert, Breast Cancer: Introduction). When this occurs, the cancer becomes a metastatic cancer (Breast Tumors).
Huynh2 Cancer cells in the breast form one of two types of tumors. The tumor it forms is called a malignant tumor, which is “cancerous and aggressive because they invade and damage surrounding tissue” (Breast Tumors). The other type is called a benign tumor, which is “not generally aggressive toward surrounding tissue, [however] they may continue to grow, pressing on organs and causing pain or other problems” (Breast Tumors). These tumors are graded on a scale from 1 to 3. Grade 1 tumors grow slowly and look normal, blending in with the surrounding tissue. Grade 2 tumors are somewhat abnormal and grow faster than Grade 1 tumors. Grade 3 tumors grow the fastest and look abnormal, which makes it stand out from the surrounding tissue (Tumor Grade). Breast cancer is described using two different terms: in situ and invasive/infiltrating. In situ means that the cancer has not spread and remains in its original spot. Invasive (or infiltrating) means that it has spread into the surrounding areas or even to other parts of the body.