Breast cancer has become a big concern for women as numbers keep rising. As a matter of fact, current statistics show that nearly one in eight women is likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Although most us of us have heard about breast cancer or have had the unfortunate experience of witnessing an acquaintance battle the disease, we may not fully understand what it entails.

With that in mind, we briefly discuss breast cancer, its stages and treatments below.

Mammary Glands of a WomenHow it begins

Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast seem to grow out of control, forming a mass of abnormal tissue, or as is commonly known, a tumor.  In order for it to be considered cancerous the tumor must be malignant, meaning the cells invade surrounding tissue or spread to different parts of the body.

How many types of tumors are there?

According to experts from cancer hospitals in France, there are several types of tumors, each requiring a specific treatment. The most common type is called invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which makes up about 80% of breast cancer diagnosis.

In IDC the abnormal cancer cells begin forming in the milk ducts and spread onto other parts of the breast tissue, eventually making its way to other parts of the body.

Which are the different stages of breast cancer?

There are four stages of breast cancer, most commonly defined by a system called TNM which stands for tumor size, lymph node status (the number and location of lymph nodes with cancer) and metastases (whether it has spread to other parts of the body). The highest stage is stage IV which refers to any cancer with metastases, no matter the size of the tumor or the status of the lymph node.

How can breast cancer be treated?

Specialists in breast cancer care in France consider treatment dependent on the extent of the cancer. Commonly the tumor or breast is removed as well as the nearby lymph nodes.

Treatments can also include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, ovarian removals, and numerous other types. The decision is only made upon close examination of the cancer cells, tumors and extent to which the cancer has spread and is likely to continue spreading.

Can I help reduce the risk of breast cancer?

Although there is no sure way to prevent this type of cancer, there are a few ways you can help reduce the risk. You can start by making lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, exercising and diminishing any substance intake . You could also try reducing toxins around by eating organic food and limiting the pollution caused by Wi-Fi and cellphones. Most importantly, be sure to get yearly mammograms (particularly after age 40) and talk to your specialist about any concerns you may have.