Cancer can occur in individuals of any age but many cancers are directly related to age and have an increasing incidence as one ages.
Here are one cancers you stand a greater chance of getting as you age.
The incidence of breast cancer increases with age. For example, a woman aged 50 has a 2.29 percent chance of getting breast cancer over the next ten years, while a woman 60 years of age has a 3.48 percent chance of getting breast cancer over the next ten years. For women aged 70, they have a 3.88 percent chance of getting breast cancer in the next ten years and a 6.16 percent chance of getting breast cancer over the next 20 years.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer happens when cells that do not know how to shut off production of more cells begin to grow out of control in breast tissue. The cells eventually replace normal breast tissue, can travel to the lymph nodes through the lymph system, and can eventually spread throughout the body, including the liver, lungs, and brain. Breast cancer is a common disease, affecting one out of every 8 women in the course of their lifetime.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer has no symptoms when it is in its earliest stages. This is why having a regular mammogram is so important. With a mammogram, cancerous cells can be detected using a special kind of breast x-ray that can tell the difference between normal breast tissue and cancerous tissue.
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Symptoms you might have that indicate breast cancer include the following:
• Having a hard like marble beneath the skin of the breast.
• Feeling a lump in the breast, especially after menses.
• Armpit swelling
• Tenderness or pain in the breast
• The presence of a red breast that is painful and has an “orange-peel texture”
• An indentation of the nipple
• An indentation of breast tissue
• A change in the size, texture or temperature of the breast
• Itching of the breast
• Bloody, clear or other color of discharge from the breast
Types of Breast cancer
Not all breast cancers are of the same type. Breast cancer can be located in different parts of the breast and can have different types of receptors on them, making them more or less sensitive to increased growth under the presence of female hormones.
Breast cancer forming in the milk ducts is the most common type of breast cancer. It can stay within the ducts or can break away from the ducts and can become invasive. Lobular cancer of the breast is formed in the part of the breast where the milk is produced. Like ductal breast cancer, it can break out of the lobules and invade the rest of the breast tissue. Connective tissue breast cancer is more rare. It occurs in the part of the breast that is the fatty tissue, blood vessel tissue, or muscle of the breast. These types of breast cancers are called sarcomas.
Hormone Receptors and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can be classified according to the type of hormone receptors located on the breast cancer cells. The two main female hormones are estrogen and progesterone. Your breast cancer can be one of three main types. Doctors use these receptor types to tailor the treatment each type of breast cancer gets.
The hormone receptor status of a breast cancer can be one of these:
• Estrogen receptor positive. This might respond to anti-estrogen therapy.
• Progesterone receptor positive. This might respond to anti-progesterone therapy.
• Hormone receptor negative. This has no hormone receptors and is the most difficult to treat because it doesn’t slow in growth with medications that block estrogen and progesterone.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
The best thing you can do to detect cancer at its earliest stages is to have a regular mammogram. The American Cancer Society now recommends annual mammograms starting at the age of 45 years. Women with strong family histories of breast cancer can have their mammogram screening earlier in life.
Breast cancer is also strongly affected by obesity. Maintaining one’s weight through exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of breast cancer in many women, regardless of age.