Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States.

Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.

Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped improve the screening and diagnosis and advances in the treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths steadily has been declining, which is largely due to a number of factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease. (from Mayo Clinic)

Breast cancer does not always produce symptoms; women may have cancers that are so small they do not produce masses that can be felt or other recognizable changes in the breast. When symptoms do occur, a lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom.

Other possible symptoms include nipple discharge or redness,changes in the skin such as puckering or dimpling,and swelling of part of the breast. (from MedicineNet)

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • over 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed each year in women and over 2,300 in men;
  • approximately 40,000 women and 440 men died of breast cancer in 2015;
  • there are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States; although breast cancer awareness and survival has increased significantly in the United States for all races, several studies have cited a significantly worse survival rate for African-American women compared to white women;
  • guidelines for mammography differ depending on the organization making recommendations. Currently, the American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 45 for women at average risk for breast cancer.

The Mammography Assistance Program at Hancock Medical Center provides screening and diagnostic mammography testing for women who are uninsured and do not qualify for public assistance. Charlene Schneider and Linda Tucker developed an annual fundraiser, Pride With A Purpose, to provide funding for this program which has touched hundreds of local women. Employees of Beau Rivage Resort and Casino also support these efforts through the MGM Voice Foundation. (Hancock Medical Center)