Breast cancer is a malignant tumor of ferriferous tissue of the mammary gland. It is the most frequent form of cancer in women, which affects 1:13 to 1:9 women aged 13 to 90. It is also the second most common oncological disease after lung cancer. The number of breast cancer cases in the developed countries sharply increased after the 1990s.
“Breast cancer, too, is not just one disease, but several. It can be found in a precancerous state (which might go on to develop into invasive cancer if it is not treated), as a cancer which has not yet spread, or after it has spread to other organs. It can grow very fast or very slowly or somewhere in between. Breast lumps are common in women of all ages, but in younger women, particularly, they are usually non-malignant. Though it is rare, men can and do also get breast cancer”.
Breast cancer is one of the most researched forms of cancer. The most ancient of the known descriptions of breast cancer was found in Egypt and is dated approximately 1600 BC. The so-called «Edwin Smith's Papyrus» describes 8 cases of tumors of the mammary gland that were treated by cauterization. The text says, “There is no treatment of this illness, as it always leads to death”.
Cases of fatal breast cancer reached their peak in 1989. Breast cancer death rate decreased by almost 30 % from then and onward to 2006. Thus, timely and effective treatment allowed to save lives of 130 thousand women all over the world.
Inadequate attitude to breast cancer is a problem of the entire society. Both exaggerated assessment of its harmful affect and underestimation of the disease can lead to a sad outcome.
The diagnosis “breast cancer” becomes the hardest psycho-emotional test for a woman and her relatives. Despite different levels of manifestation, such a “check of durability” testifies to the inadequate reaction to a new situation and ignorant attitude to it.
It is necessary to realize that breast cancer is an illness of the whole family, and not just a woman. Each member of the family takes part in the adaptation to the new circumstances of life.