GENERAL INFORMATION

Why it’s important to get a mammogram:
1. Finding breast cancer early can save your life.
2. As you get older, your risk for breast cancer increases.
3. Three-fourths of all breast cancers occur in women over 50.
4. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no history
of it in their family.
5. Early detection often means less surgery.
6. Getting a mammogram is easier then you think.
7. Having a mammogram once a year helps give you peace of mind.

What is Cancer?
Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases. Cancer occurs when, for unknown reasons, cells become abnormal and divide without control or order. All parts of the body are made up of cells that normally divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. When cancer occurs, cells keep dividing even when new cells are not needed.

The change from normal to cancerous cells requires several separate, different gene alterations. Eventually, altered genes and uncontrolled growth may produce a tumor that can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Malignant tumors can invade, damage, and destroy nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor won't spread to other parts of the body, but local tissue may be damaged and the growth may need to be removed.

Types of Breast Cancer:
There are several types of breast cancer. The most common is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts of the breast. Another type, lobular carcinoma, begins in the lobules where breast milk is produced. If a malignant tumor invades nearby tissue, it is known as infiltrating or invasive cancer.

What is the cause of Breast Cancer?
Medical researchers are learning about what happens inside cells that may cause cancer. They have identified changes in certain genes within breast cells that can be linked to a higher risk for breast cancer. Breast cells contain a variety of genes that normally work cooperatively with a woman's natural hormones, diet, and environment to keep her breasts healthy. Certain genes routinely keep breast cells from dividing and growing out of control and forming tumors. When these genes become altered, changes occur and a cell no longer can grow correctly.
Genetic changes may be inherited from a parent or may accumulate throughout a person's lifetime. Breast cancer usually begins in a single cell that changes from normal to malignant over a period of time. Presently, no one can predict exactly when cancer will occur or how it will progress. When breast cancer is diagnosed - even if detected at the earliest stage - it is not yet possible to predict which cancer cells will be treated successfully and which will continue to grow and spread quickly to other parts of the body.

What is known
1. Breast Cancer is not contagious. You can’t catch breast cancer from anybody else.

2. An injury to the breast or stress cannot be the cause of breast cancer.

3. Most women who develop breast cancer do not have any known risk factors or a history of the disease in their families.

4. Don’t feel guilty. You haven't done anything wrong during your life that caused breast cancer