What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and 1 in 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is incredibly important to raise breast cancer awareness, so that people know what to look out for.
Breast cancer is a disease where cancer cells form in the tissues of the breast. Cancer is the general term for a group of diseases whereby abnormal cells grow and take over the healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer starts in the breast cells, but can invade the surrounding tissues. If the cancer isn’t discovered earlier enough, it can travel to other areas of the body.
The breast is mainly made up of fat cells called adipose tissue. This tissue begins at the collarbone and extends to the underarm and the middle of the ribcage. A healthy female breast is made up of 12 to 20 sections, which are called lobes. The lobes are made up of smaller lobules, which produce milk. The lobes and lobules are connected to milk ducts, which carry milk to the nipple.
What are the stages of breast cancer?
Staging is the word used to describe how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Grading refers to how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope.
The stage and grade of a cancer will help doctors to decide what treatment is needed. There are multiple systems used to stage breast cancer, but the most common is the TNM system.
The TNM staging system stands for Tumour, Node, Metastasis. T describes the size of the tumour, N describes whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or not, and M describes whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
There is also a number staging system, which divides breast cancer into 4 stages. Stage 0 is used for ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS). This is a pre-invasive breast cancer, where the cells in the breast ducts haven’t spread into the surrounding tissue. Stage 1 breast cancer means that the cancer is small and only in the breast tissue. Stage 2 breast cancer means that the cancer is either in the breast or in the surrounding lymph nodes, or both. This is still considered an early stage.
Stage 3 breast cancer means that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the breast, or to the skin surrounding the breast. This stage is often referred to as locally advanced breast cancer. Stage 3 is also divided into groups, depending on where it has spread.
Stage 4 breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, liver, or the brain. This is referred to as advanced breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Screening:
Breast cancer screening can help to find cancer early, which will give people the best chances of being cured. Screening is available on the NHS for women, trans, or non-binary people aged between the ages of 50 and 70, unless you have a higher risk of breast cancer. The screening will involve a mammogram, to take x-rays of the breasts.
There are some inherited gene mutations that are known to increase the chances of developing breast cancer. The genes that increase the risks of breast cancer are BRCA1 and BRCA2.
If you have a strong family history of breast cancer, then you will be offered a gene test. This will test to see if you have inherited a faulty gene.
Can breast cancer be prevented?
If you have a faulty gene, you can get regular breast cancer screenings to detect cancer early, take medicines to reduce the risk of developing the cancer, and have risk reducing surgery.
There are other things that you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. For example, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and staying active, to name a few.
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so checking your breasts regularly is important.
Common signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest, or the armpit.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change to the texture of skin, such as puckering or dimpling of the skin.
- Changes to the colour of the breast, such as appearing inflamed or red.
- A rash, crusting or changes to the nipple.
- Discharge or unusual liquid from nipples.
How to check your breasts?
There are no set ways to check your breasts, and no training is required. Here are some simple steps you can do to check your breasts:
- Touch your breasts – see if you can feel anything new or unusual.
- Look for changes – does anything look different, or unusual, such as swelling, colouring, changes to the size of the breast.
- Check any new changes with a GP – The GP may decide there is no need for further investigation, ask to see you again after a short period of time, or refer you to a breast clinic.
A breast clinic appointment may include a breast examination, and then either a mammogram, ultrasound scan, core biopsy, or a fine needle aspiration (FNA).
What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign during October to raise awareness and show support for those that have been affected by breast cancer.
When is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Breast cancer awareness month takes place annually during October. It will begin on Sunday the 1st of October 2022, and end on Monday the 31st of October 2022. On the 21st of October, Wear It Pink Day will take place. Wear it Pink is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK, where thousands of people will wear pink clothing to raise money for breast cancer research.
You can find more information on breast cancer, and breast cancer awareness month at Breast Cancer Now. Take a look at the Wear It Pink campaign, too. There is information on how to set up your own fundraising event, and you can download resources and fundraising packs to use for your event.
What are Refine Group doing to raise awareness for breast cancer?
When you place an order with Refine Pharma, you will find a card with information on breast cancer and how to check your breasts. We will also be including a pink ribbon in each order.
Refine Group’s Pink Sale:
Refine Group will be holding a sale during the month of October, and all the products with pink packaging will be reduced in price. These products will include:
Jalupro HMW is an injectable dermal filler solution, which eradicates skin depressions caused by ageing wrinkles and scars. Jalupro HMW will be sold at the reduced price of £32 for the month.
Juvéderm Ultra Smile is specifically for your lips to create natural, smooth, and beautiful results. It contains biocompatible hyaluronic acid that provides instant, yet natural results. Juvéderm Ultra Smile will be sold at the reduced price of £90 for the month.
Restylane Kysse is a dermal lip filler, which creates perfect shaped lips, which are full of volume, plumpness, and beautifully defined contour. Restylane Kysse contains non-animal based Butanediol Diglycidyl Ether (BDDE). Restylane Kysse will be sold at the reduced price of £77 during the month.
Stylage Bi Soft Lips will enhance the lips by creating a subtle fullness and correcting lip contours. Stylage Bi Soft Lips will correct disproportionate upper or lower lip size, reduce perioral lines or smoker’s lines above the upper lip and restore lip hydration. Stylage Bi Soft Lips will be sold at the reduced price of £55 for the entire month.
Teosyal RHA Kiss is perfect for customers looking to achieve a natural-looking lip refreshment. Teosyal RHA Kiss is ideal for reducing perioral lines. Teosyal RHA Kiss will be sold at a reduced price of £100 during the month of October.
PDO Threads lifts are procedures that use dissolvable sutures to tighten and lift your skin. It’s less invasive than surgery and uses a biodegradable polyester suture. They are great for rejuvenating skin. We have a vast range of Minerva and Eloquence PDO cog threads, mono threads, and screw threads, which will all be sold at a 50% reduction during October.