What is Breast Cancer?

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Cancer is a disease involving the cells of our body when they grow out of control and multiply. As the name implies, breast cancer results from the uncontrolled and proliferative growth of cells in breast tissues.
When these cells grow rapidly and multiply, some of them form lumps or masses. These lumps or masses are referred to as tumours. There are two types of tumours, malignant and benign tumours.

Malignant tumours: malignant tumours are also called cancerous tumours. These malignant tumour usually spreads and destroy other body tissues, and most often, the entire organ from which it originated if it is not detected early and treated.

Benign tumours: benign tumours are also called non-cancerous tumours. Most of the times it does not spread to other tissues, unless it becomes malignant.
Some cells of tumours may break away and spread to other parts of the body. This process is known as metastasis.
The term breast cancer generally refers to malignant tumours that originate in the cells of the breast.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women who are 45 years and above. But the good news is that the death rate is reducing because there are so many programs that emphasize on early detection and treatment.
Breast cancer is common in women but is rare in men. The National Cancer Institute reported that in USA, 39,620 deaths are caused by breast cancer and 232,340 breast cancers are detected in women every year while 2,240 breast cancers are detected in men.
According to World Health Rankings, breast cancer death rate in Cameroon is 17.71 per 100,000 of the population.


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