October has finally arrived! Black Girl Health Foundation is excited to partner with Genentech kick-off our I’m A Survivor campaign. This month we are introducing a series of articles about breast cancer to bring awareness to our community. The BGH community is excited to share our first article of the month, The In’s & Outs of Breast Cancer and, the General Statistics you Should Know. There are many common questions and concerns women have about breast cancer. This article will address the majority of those questions regarding breast cancer. What is breast cancer, and where is the tumor located? Cancer is a disease where cells of a particular organ develop abnormal cells that multiply uncontrollably to form a malignant tumor. Malignant cells are cancerous cells, and benign are noncancerous.
Breast cancer starts in the tissues by creating a mass, called a carcinoma. The carcinoma is composed of malignant cells. There are two main types of breast cancer that our audience should be aware of and those are called ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma, which is the most common form of breast cancer amongst women, it starts in the tubes (ducts) that carry milk from the breast to the nipple. Lobular carcinoma starts in the parts of the breast, called lobules, which produce milk. Breast Cancer affects one in eight women during their lifetime. There are quite of few risk factors that affect women when it comes to being diagnosed with breast cancer, but that will be discussed in next week’s article.
Understanding female anatomy will give women a better idea of how certain diseases can take form in the human body. For example, a women’s breast is made up of lobes and ducts, each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes. These lobes have smaller sections called lobules, that have smaller compartments that look like bulbs, those bulbs produce the milk. The lobe, lobules, and bulbs are all connected and linked to thin tubes called ducts. As women, we are all familiar with the outside anatomy of our breast (the appearance), the nipple, and areola. The other elements of our breast include the lymph nodes, lobes, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are components we should factor in when it comes to our overall health. What is always depicted on the outside, may not be true for what is going on inside. Each breast contains both blood vessels and lymph vessels. Your lymph vessels carry a near-colorless, watery fluid called lymph. These lymph vessels carry lymph between small lymph nodes bean-shaped structures found throughout the body. The structures of lymph nodes are very useful because they filter lymph and store white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections and diseases.
As a community, Black Girl Health believes that every woman of color should have the basic knowledge when it comes to navigating the health care system because health literacy is more important in today’s than it has ever been because our community is subjected to the wrongful doings of medical malpractice. Being literate in the health care system can go along when someone, especially women from our community want to live a long and healthy life.