Everyone has a cause close to their hearts. The artworks featured in this editorial are not reflective of the cause, so throw them some favourites.. but while you're looking theres some information that could save your life - or someone elses.
How can you help? Its simple. On the next deviation you post, why not put a little about your favourite cause in the artists comments. Awareness CAN and has saved lives...
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DID YOU KNOW...</u>
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women and affects approximately one million women worldwide.
Men DO occasionally develop breast cancer, but this is quite rare compared to the disease in women, and only 0.6 per cent of these tumours occur in males around 250 men are diagnosed every year in the UK.
THE CHANCES ARE...</u>
Approximately 1 in 9 women in the UK will get breast cancer sometime during their life.
The incidence of breast cancer increases with age and doubles every 10 years until the menopause when the rate of increase slows.
Approximately 6 in every 1000 women between the ages of 50 and 64 who attend for screening will be found to have breast cancer the first time they attend screening.
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Up to 10 per cent of breast cancer in Western countries is due to an inherited factor. This factor can be passed on from either parent and some family members pass on the abnormal gene without developing cancer themselves.
Women with certain benign (non-cancerous) changes in their breasts are at increased risk of breast cancer.
Women who take the contraceptive pill are at a slight increased risk while they take the Pill and they remain at risk for 10 years after coming of the Pill.
The increased risk is, however, very small and cancers diagnosed in women taking the oral contraceptive Pill are less likely to have spread than those cancers diagnosed in women who have never used the oral contraceptive.
Among current users of hormone replacement therapy and those who have stopped using it one to four years previously, there is an increased risk of breast cancer.
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Although there is a close correlation between the incidence of breast cancer in a country and the dietary fat intake of that country, more detailed studies have shown that there does not appear to be a particularly strong or consistent relationship between fat intake in any individual and their risk of developing breast cancer.
Intake of alcohol and smoking also has no proven link to breast cancer.
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Generally, breast cancers are not painful and women do not feel unwell with them.
A lump in the breast. In many cases, the woman herself will first suspect the disease because she notices a lump or an area of lumpiness or irregularity in her breast tissue. This may happen when she is examining her breasts or while washing or applying lotion to her breasts, or the lump may be visible.
a change in the skin: there is often dimpling or indentation of the skin with the formation of wrinkles. The nipple might be pulled in or there may be a discharge from the nipple.
occasionally the nipple itself changes. A rash can affect the nipple or the nipple may weep.
the breast may swell and become red and inflamed or the skin may change and become like the skin of an orange. In some breast cancers this is due to a blockage of the drainage of fluid from the breast.
patients sometimes present with a lump under the arm which is a sign that the cancer has spread to the lymph glands.
THINGS TO CONSIDER</u>
Does the lump vary in relation to her menstrual cycle?
What previous breast problems has she had?
Is there any breast cancer in her family?
How many children has she had?
Mammograms are a good way of identifying abnormalities in the breast, but they don't always tell whether they are benign or malignant.
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THE TOUCHY FEELY BIT</u>
Physical examinations can be terrifying - but necessary! Heres an idea of what to expect in an examination...
The doctor will look at her breasts, first with her arms by her sides, then above her head and, finally, with her arms pressing on her hips.
By looking carefully at the outline of the breast in various positions, the doctor can often see changes in the outline of the breast, which will help identify the site and cause of any problems.
Next, her breasts are examined while she is lying flat with her arms folded under her head.
If, during this examination, the doctor finds a lump, he or she will concentrate on this area examining with the fingertips and measuring the lump.
After checking her breasts, the doctor usually carefully examines the lymph glands under the patient's arm pit and those in the lower part of her neck.
Should the patient need any further investigations, the breast specialist in the breast clinic will organise any tests that are necessary.
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The treatment of the disease depends on the tumour type and the stage of disease - how far it has spread to involve either lymph glands or other organs in the body. There are various ways a cancer can be staged and classified.
A simple way of staging or classifying breast cancer is to divide it into three groups.
Early or operable breast cancer
This describes cancer that is confined to the breast and/or the lymph glands in the axilla (arm pit) on the same side of the body.
Locally advanced breast cancer
This has not apparently spread beyond the breast and axillary lymph glands but involves the skin or the chest wall of the breast.
These cancers tend to have a worse outlook than early breast cancer and are usually best initially treated by drug therapy or radiotherapy rather than surgery.
In locally advanced breast cancer the skin of the breast can either be directly involved by cancer or it is swollen or red. These changes occur because cancer cells get into the fluid channels that drain the breast (lymphatics) and block them, which causes the skin of the breast to be swollen and look like the skin of an orange (peau d'orange).
Locally advanced breast cancers were initially treated with surgery but this treatment was successful in only about 30 per cent of patients.
In the remainder, the cancer recurred in the areas immediately next to where the surgery was performed.
Advanced breast cancer
This is where the cancer has spread beyond the breast and arm pit to other parts or organs of the body such as lymph glands in the neck, bone, lungs, liver and brain.
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Surgery can be an excision of the tumour with surrounding normal breast tissue (breast conservation) or removal of the whole breast (mastectomy). Clinical trials comparing mastectomy and breast conservation have shown that the two produce identical results.
A mastectomy (removal of the whole breast) may be necessary if:
the cancer is too large to remove and leave a reasonable looking breast after surgery.
there is more than one lump in the breast.
the cancer is directly underneath the nipple.
the patient has previously had a lumpectomy or wide excision and the tissue round the cancer is abnormal.
Studies have shown that all patients treated by breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy or wide excision), should receive radiotherapy to the breast following surgery. This is given every day, Monday to Friday, over three to five weeks.
After mastectomy, radiotherapy is given to patients who are considered to be at risk of recurrence. Radiotherapy kills cells that are growing and has greater effects on cancer than on surrounding tissue.
After a few days of radiotherapy, the patient's skin may look red and feel a bit sore, rather like they have spent too long in the sun.
Towards the end of treatment, there may also be some blistering of the skin. The radiotherapy staff will give all the necessary advice about how to look after the treated skin.
Most breast cancer is sensitive to the female hormone oestrogen. Sensitive cancer cells need oestrogen to stay alive and removal of oestrogen from the body or stopping any circulating oestrogen getting to the cancer cells is very effective at controlling or killing hormone-sensitive breast cancers. It is possible to determine whether a tumour is sensitive to hormones by performing a chemical test on the tumour.
Chemotherapy involves being given a combination of anti-cancer medicines, often up to three at a time.
The prime target for such medicines is cancer cells that are actively growing and dividing. Unfortunately, anticancer medicines are not able to recognise cancer cells specifically and they also kill normally dividing cells such as the blood and hair cells. Cancer chemotherapy is usually given through an intravenous drip in the hand or arm on an outpatient basis. Treatments vary but each session usually lasts between one and two hours and is repeated every three weeks.
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Breast Cancer Careline 0808 800 6000
I hope you found this editorial both pretty and informative. I'd like to thank ALL the artists whos work I featured. There will be more features coming up - in different colours.
Remember, share your chosen cause with your DA friends, you could so easily save a life by a few minutes of your time.
Think pink. Self examination could save your life. Get familiar.Pink it was love at first sight
Pink when I turn out the light
Pink it´s like red but not quite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight - Aerosmith
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