Many women do not learn much about breast health unless they breastfeed or have a problem that needs medical attention. Becoming familiar with breast anatomy and physiology can help you understand the normal changes that occur during your lifetime. This knowledge is a good place to start learning about health problems and conditions that affect the breasts.
Breast development occurs in distinct stages throughout a woman's life, first before birth, and again at puberty and during the childbearing years. Changes also occur to the breasts during menstruation and when a woman reaches menopause.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, the most important thing for you to remember is that it is not a hopeless condition. Early detection and modern therapy with a combination of surgery, radiation, drugs or hormones can help many patients.
According to the National Cancer Institute, when breast cancer is found early and is still localized, the relative survival rate (when measured at five years) is 97 percent.
Although the incidence of breast cancer is increasing - one out of eight women will develop breast cancer - mortality rates have remained fairly stable over the past several years due to early detection and improved treatment. The directory below provides links to further educate you on your breast health.
- Basic Information About Breast Cancer
- The Five Steps of a Breast Self-Exam
- Breast Cancer Detection