Breast Cancer Disease
The disease itself is classified as C50: Malignant neoplasm of the breast by the WHO (2006) and it has caused serious concerns in the public as well as private areas.Being the most common form of cancer in the UK, a lot of research and study has been done into the risk factors and causes of breast cancer. With more than 40,000 cases being reported each year, scientists are continually trying to find what links these individuals together in terms of diet, lifestyle, environment, and genetics. While cancer can come up in men, it is still relatively rare with only 300 reported cases in a year (Macnair and Hicks, 2005). Clearly, women are more at risk than any other segment of the population. Despite all the information that we have, the exact causes and influences on the disease remain largely unknown to us (Madigan et. al. 1995).We do know that the risk of breast cancer increase as a woman gets older (ACS, 2007). The majority of women are diagnosed with it when they are over fifty years old and half of the reported cases are from women who are sixty years or older (Macnair and Hicks, 2005). For younger women, the risk is lower because the cancer is very uncommon for women who have not crossed 35 years of age. It is further suggested by Lee (2007) that Caucasian women may have a greater incidence of breast cancer than women of African or Asian origins.A woman who has had a personal history of breast cancer in one breast faces an increased risk of getting breast cancer in their other and if any other member of her family has had breast cancer then her own risks are also increased. These women also have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer and may have an increased risk of developing other cancers. Certain other diseases of the breast such as atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ can also increase a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer.