preview

close to the heart

Satisfactory Essays
In today’s society, one of the main diseases affecting women is breast cancer. Cancer is defined as disease in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues (“What is Cancer?”). Breast cancer is most often caused by either a woman’s genetics or through the influence of lifestyle choices. Breast cancer remains one of the major concerns in the medical field, mainly because it has many forms and happens to strike a large number of women. However, over the last few decades, diagnosing and treating breast cancer has rapidly evolved and improved. As of 2013, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States (“What Are the Key…”).
Breast cancer can be caused by a variety of factors. Up until recently, many doctors believed breast cancer was strictly related to heredities. Research has shown that a woman whose mother, sister, or daughter has had breast cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease (“Breast Cancer Causes…”). Inherited genes mutations can be passed from parents to children, but they don’t make cancer inevitable. The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history (Mayo Clinic Staff). Researchers have found a link between breast cancer and a woman’s amount of exposure to estrogen and progesterone over her lifetime. Women who began their period before age 12 or started menopause at an older age are more likely to develop breast cancer (Mayo Clinic Staff). Women who have never had children or had children after age thirty-five are also at greater risk (Mayo Clinic Staff). Any of these situations will alter the hormone levels of a woman’s body. In relation to this risk factor, doctors believe that growing older is one fac...

... middle of paper ...

...ave had discussions where we determined that, as a family, we should be proactive in preventing or, if need be, treating breast cancer. My mom is even considering genome mapping. She would rather know and take action, than wait for it to happen. From my grandma’s experience, we’ve learned how hard it is to watch someone deteriorate quickly while knowing how treatable her disease would have been had she sought care sooner.
One of the most frustrating things about my grandma’s death was that she waited so long to visit a doctor. Learning that breast cancer is one of the most curable cancers makes me so selfishly upset. If she had been less resistant about getting regular check-ups and taking care of her body, I believe she would still be alive. It’s not effective to think about “what ifs” because I can’t change what happened; however, I wish she were still here.