Over two hundred different forms of cancer exist in modern-day medicine, with some being very rare and some more common. There is no way to prevent the development of cancer with complete certainty, but eliminating risk factors for carcinogenesis can improve an individual's odds of avoiding cancer significantly. Some of the most prevalent forms of cancer are avoidable, considering they are caused by excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, excess body weight, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excessive exposure to the sun. Some cancers can be avoided by having the proper screening exams and receiving recommended vaccinations. Screening methods can identify precancerous tissues that can be mediated before they cause cancer. The most common forms of cancer that occur in the population have been recognized, and extensive research has been conducted to determine the best ways to prevent them and the best means of early-stage detection.
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One of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the population is breast cancer or malignancy that develops in an individual's breast tissue. An estimated 270,000 individuals will receive the diagnosis of invasive breast cancer in the United States yearly. The number of deaths attributed to breast cancer is an estimated forty-three thousand annually. Most breast cancers are first detected through a screening procedure referred to as a mammogram, mainly because no symptoms tend to manifest in early-stage breast cancers. When symptoms do manifest in an affected individual's breast tissue, they include a mass or lump, tissue thickening, tenderness, redness, nipple abnormalities, swelling, distortion, skin irritation, scaliness and spontaneous discharge from the nipple. Diagnosis of an individual's breast cancer is made with the use of a mammogram, MRI scans, and tissue biopsy. Treatment involves removing the cancerous tumor while conserving as much breast tissue as possible or breast-conserving surgery. Some individuals may require a mastectomy to ensure the removal of all malignant cells. Excision of an individual's breast cancer tumor is usually followed by treatment with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
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