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Breast cancer - what we need to know

The other day I went for a regular mammogram screening. And I was good to go. Thank goodness

So today I'd like to talk about "Breast Cancer" and what we need to know.

Did you know that this year an estimated 276,480 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with "invasive" breast cancer and 48,530 with "situ" breast cancer?

And that there are 4 types of breast cancer . . .

Metastatic breast cancer is also classified as Stage 4 breast cancer

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Now . . . Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells most often begin in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). And cells may spread (metastasize) through the breast to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

We also know . . . Often a lump in the breast or underarm that doesn't go away is the first symptom of breast cancer. These lumps are usually painless, although some may cause a prickly sensation.

But the most devastating part . . . is that breast cancer cells have to divide "30 times" before they can be felt. And up to the 28th cell division, neither you nor your doctor can detect it by hand. And each cell division takes 1 to 2 months, so by the time you can feel a cancerous lump . . . the cancer has been in the body for 2 to 5 years.

How unbelievably devastating is that information?

So here are some warning signs to be on the look out for:

A new lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)

Thickening or swelling of part of the breast

Irritation or dimpling of breast skin

Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast