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Diagnosing Breast Cancer

As the number one cancer affecting women in the United States, breast cancer is getting a lot of attention. Studies show that the earlier breast cancer is detected the better chance a woman has of beating it. Learning the warning signs and symptoms may help a women to get an early diagnosis.

Cancer is a disease that starts in the cells. Cancer is formed when cells keep dividing even though they are supposed to stop. They then form extra cells that lump together and form a tumor. Symptoms of breast cancer vary depending on the stage it is in. In the early stages of breast cancer there may be no symptoms. There is usually no pain or any other sign that breast caner is present. However, as the cancer grows symptoms may start to appear. There may be a lump either on or around the breast or under the arm. The breast may change in looks and size. There may be discharge or change in the nipples. If a women experiences any of these symptoms a visit to the doctor is recommended.

A common test to check for signs of breast cancer is called a mammogram. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that will show abnormal tissue growth. Another way to check for breast cancer is through an exam. A breast exam can be done by a woman or her doctor. It involves touching and feeling around the breast and under the arms for any lumps or abnormalities. Getting regular breast exams and mammograms are one of the best ways to detect breast cancer in the early stages.

Besides mammograms and physical exams there are some other ways to diagnosis breast cancer. An ultrasonography is where an ultrasound is used to look at the breast. Aspiration, also known as a needle biopsy is where a needle is used to remove fluid or tissue that is then looked at in a laboratory. Usually tests like these are done if a mammogram or exam show signs for concern.

Breast cancer is a very real threat for women of all ages. Every woman should be conscious of any changes in her breasts. A doctor will recommended when a women should start getting a mammogram, typically this in the later thirties or early forties. Knowing the symptoms and keeping diligent about exams is the best way to prevent breast cancer from spreading and growing.

Submitted by:

Stephen Kreutzer

Stephen Kreutzer is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides breast cancer resources on Breast Cancer Facts!




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