Gambia Breast Cancer Charity
Breast Cancer is increasingly recognised as a critical public health problem in Africa. Survival after a diagnosis of cancer is much poorer in Africa than in the developed world for most cancer types, especially those affected by screening and improved treat- ment. For example, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is less than 50% in Gambia, Uganda, and Algeria, compared to nearly 90% in the United States. In addition to being diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease, which limits treatment options, cancer patients in most parts of Africa have limited access to timely standard treatment. Breast cancer in women have now become the most commonly diagnosed cancers in some parts of Africa. Gambia Breast Cancer Charity
What is Breast Cancer?
Put simply, breast cancer describes the uncontrollable growth of cells in the breast. Before we are able to understand the specifics of breast cancer, it is useful to know about cancer in general. The cells in our bodies have with in their nucleus genes. These genes control the normal orderly way new healthy cells are created when the old cells die out. However, it is when mutations occur in this process the changed cells can begin dividing with out control and cause a
tumor. Gambia Breast Cancer Charity
There are 2 types of tumor. Benign and malignant. Benign tumors are considered as non-dangerous and visibly appear similar to normal cells, they grow slowly, do not invade neighbouring tissue or cells. However, malignant tumors have the potential to become harmful in future. It is these malignant tumors that need to be treated, identified at the earliest stage possible and dealt with accordingly by an expert.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor. It originates often with in the cells located in the lobules which are the milk-producing glands of the breast. However, they can also originate from the ducts which is the passage way between the lobules in the nipples where the milk is drained. In other comparatively rair cases cancerous cells have also been found to originate in the stromal tissue which include the fatty and fibrous tissues of the breast.
Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality: “mistake,” in the breast tissue. The breast cancer begins as a tumor that can spread in to the underarms and then in to the lymph nodes which are responsible for getting rid of foreign cells in the body. Once the cancerous cells reach the lymph nodes this is where the cancer could spread to other parts of the body. Whilst genetic abnormalities are the causes of breast cancer, it is important to note only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are due to hereditary reasons i.e. passed on from your Mother and Father. 85-90 % of cases are due to the general: “wear and tear of life.” Gambia Breast Cancer Charity
You must always remember breast cancer is no one’s fault and whilst eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking, limiting alcohol can reduce your chances of getting breast cancer, they do not by any means make any of us immune from it. Breast Cancer Support is here for you to give you all the information you need, guidance to access the medical and support services you require.
Gambia Breast Cancer Charity