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Radiation Oncology Blog

A Blog for Radiation Oncology
Date: Oct 2015

Watch Andrea M. Abbott, M.D., MS, surgical oncologist at MUSC, discuss National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with News 2's Octavia Mitchell.  Dr. Abbott talks about breast cancer statistics, risk factors, and the importance of early detection. 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is recognized nationwide during the month of October.  It is an annual health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.  The national campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer and their loved ones. 

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that develops from cells in the breast.  More commonly breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple.  Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.  Over time, cancer cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes, small organs that filter out foreign substances in the body.  If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they then have a pathway into other parts of the body. 

According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer in the United States.  It can occur in both men and women, but it is very rare in men.  Each year there are about 2,300 new cases of breast cancer in men and about 230,000 new cases in women. 

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center's Comprehensive Breast Care Program is the only South Carolina breast center accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and also affiliated with a National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center.  Our multidisciplinary team works together to treat the physical and emotional needs of each breast cancer patient, providing guidance from diagnosis through treatment and evaluation.  We review individual cases during our regular Breast Tumor Board Meetings, make recommendations, and schedule appointments to accommodate the patient’s comfort and convenience. 

 

To learn more about the services offered at Hollings Cancer Center’s Comprehensive Breast Care Program, please click here.