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Charlotte Home Inspection Company Supports Breast Cancer Research

September 30th, 2010 · No Comments

 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Home Inspection Carolina in Charlotte NC inspectors will be wearing pink for the month of October.  We will also be giving 25 % of our net for that month to Breast Cancer Research.  You have no idea how hard it was to get these "good ole boys" to wear pink.

 What is breast cancer?

Collections of cells that are growing abnormally or without control are called tumors. Tumors that do not have the ability to spread throughout the body may be referred to as "benign" and are not thought of as cancerous. Tumors that have the ability to grow into other tissues or spread to distant parts of the body are referred to as "malignant." Malignant tumors within the breast are called "breast cancer". Theoretically, any of the types of tissue in the breast can form a cancer, cancer cells are most likely to develop from either the ducts or the glands. These tumors may be referred to as "invasive ductal carcinoma" (cancer cells developing from ducts), or "invasive lobular carcinoma" (cancer cells developing from lobes).

Sometimes, precancerous cells may be found within breast tissue, and are referred to as ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS) or lobular carcinoma in-situ (LCIS). DCIS and LCIS are diseases in which cancerous cells are present within breast tissue, but are not able to spread or invade other tissues. DCIS represents about 20% of all breast cancers. Because DCIS cells may become capable of invading breast tissue, treatment for DCIS is usually recommended. In contrast, treatment is usually not needed for LCIS.

Am I at risk for breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women in North America and Europe. Close to 200,000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2001. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women behind lung cancer. The lifetime risk of any particular woman getting breast cancer is about 1 in 8 although the lifetime risk of dying from breast cancer is much lower at 1 in 28. Men are also at risk for development of breast cancer, although this risk is much lower than it is for women.

The most important risk factor for development of breast cancer is increasing age. As any woman ages, her risk of breast cancer increases. Risk is also affected by the age when a woman begins menstruating (younger age may increase risk), and her age at her first pregnancy(older age may increase risk). Use of exogenous estrogens, sometimes in the form of hormone replacement treatment (HRT) may increase breast cancer risk, but use of oral contraceptives most likely does not increase risk. Family history is very important in determining breast cancer risk. Any woman with a family history of breast cancer will be at increased risk for developing breast cancer herself. Furthermore, known genetic mutations that increase risk of breast cancer are present in some families; these include mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Between 3% to 10% of breast cancers may be related to changes in one of the BRCA genes. Women can inherit these mutations from their parents.. Genetic testing for mutations should be considered for any woman with a strong family history of breast cancer, especially breast cancers in family members less than 50 years, or strong family history of prostate or ovarian cancer. If a woman is found to carry either mutation, she has a 50% chance of getting breast cancer before she is 70. Family members may elect to get tested to see if they carry the mutation as well. If a woman does have the mutation, she may choose to undergo more rigorous screening or even undergo preventive (prophylactic) mastectomies to decrease her chances of contracting cancer. The decision to undergo genetic testing is a highly personal one that should be discussed with a doctor who is trained in counseling patients about genetic testing. For more information on genetic testing, see Let the Patient Beware: Implications of Genetic Breast-Cancer Testing, Psychological Issues in Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer, and To Test or Not to Test? Genetic Counseling Is the Key.

Some factors associated with breast cancer risk can be controlled by a woman herself. Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), drinking more than 5 alcoholic drinks/ week, being overweight, and being inactive may all contribute to breast cancer risk. These are called modifiable risk factors.It is important to remember that even someone without any risk factors can still get breast cancer. Proper screening and early detection are our best weapons in reducing the mortality associated with this disease. For further information about breast cancer risk factors, see Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool,and Risk Factors and Breast Cancer

If you need home inspection information or you are in need of a great home inspector in the Charlotte, Huntersville, Concord, Fort Mill or Rock Hill areas contact Home Inspection Carolina.  They have performed over 23,432 home inspection and will not let you buy the money pit.  We have over 100 years of combined home inspection and construction experience.  Please give us a call (704) 542-6575

 

Preston Sandlin

Home Inspection Carolina

Ask the Charlotte Inspector

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