It's Cancer!

What do you mean I have cancer! Are you crazy? I don't get sick. I have always been healthy; eat well, exercise every day at the gym, take vitamins, and have no vices except for a glass of wine each night to chill out. My family has no history of cancer. What do you mean I have cancer?

Well, it's cancer!

What is breast cancer and where does it come from?

When you’re told that you have breast cancer, it’s natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesn’t, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause.  What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell's DNA.

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Breast cancer always involves a tumor. A tumor is a mass of abnormal tissue.  Malignant tumors are cancerous and aggressive because they invade and damage surrounding tissue. When a tumor metastasizes its cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph system. This is why when the doctor does a mastectomy they usually remove several lymph nodes at the same time. This determines if the cancer has spread to other body parts. When cancer is found in the nearby lymph nodes, it helps doctors identify just how far the cancer has spread. If the nearest nodes contain cancer, additional nodes are usually examined for the presence or absence of cancer cells to understand how far the disease has progressed. 

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization.

My doctor's answer to my dismay of her diagnosis, "We are living longer; reaching ages not possible in the past. As we live longer our chances of disease increase." Makes sense.