Health


What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is considered a heterogeneous disease—differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves. Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words “breast cancer” doesn’t always mean an end. It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts, and finding hope.

Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except for skin cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.

Each year it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year. The evaluation of men with breast masses is similar to that in women, including mammography.
 
Risk factors for breast cancer include:

    Age: Half of all women diagnosed are over age 65.
    Weight: Being obese or overweight.
    Diet & Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity, a diet high in saturated fat, and alcoholic intake of more than two drinks per day.
    Menstrual & Reproductive History: Early menstruation or late menopause, having your first child at an older age or not having given birth, or taking birth control pills for more than ten years if you are under 35.
    Family & Personal History: A family history of breast cancer—particularly a mother, sister. or a personal history of breast cancer of benign (non-cancer) breast disease.
    Medical & Other Factors: Dense breast tissue (often identified by a mammogram), past radiation therapy to the breast or chest area. A history of hormone treatments—such as estrogen and progesterone, or gene changes— including BRCA1, BRCA2, and others.

 
 
 
Hypertension

The Silent Killer

  • High blood pressure (hypertension) killed 49,707 Americans in 2002. Because the consequences associated with high blood pressure are so serious, early detection, treatment, and control are important.
  • High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, both leading causes of death in the United States. About 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects about 2 in 5 African Americans, 1 in 5 Hispanics and Native Americans, and 1 in 6 Asians.
  • What do blood pressure numbers indicate? Blood pressure is often written as two numbers. The top (systolic) number represents the pressure while the heart is beating. The bottom (diastolic) number represents the pressure when the heart is resting between beats. 
  •  High blood pressure for adults is defined as a systolic pressure of 140 mmHg or higher, or a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or higher.
  •  Normal blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure less than 120 and a diastolic blood pressure less than 80.

 

  • Among people with high blood pressure, 31.6% don't even know they have it. .

 

  •   High blood pressure is easily detectable and usually controllable with lifestyle modifications such as increasing physical activity or reducing dietary salt intake, with or without medications.