Breast Cancer Awareness

Essay by xirresistible86zHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2006

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Every 12 minutes a woman in America dies of breast cancer. This year alone 211,000 women will be diagnosed and 43,300 will die (National). It is a continuous disease with no exact cause, and prevention is stressed with early detection. Since its early years of detection, breast cancer awareness has been drastically changing. The fight for a cure is a never-ending challenge that will one day save the lives of many women and men.

Cases of breast cancer have been detected since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. (Breast cancer) From that point on the forms of detections, prevention, cures, and treatments have been improving dramatically. Even the way people view the disease has changed. The once dreaded, shameful condition is now a well-treated, common problem among today's society.

The first people to acknowledge breast cancer date back to 3000-2000 B.C. when cautery of the disease tissue was the most frequently used treatment.

Surgery would be performed, but without the use of anesthesia or antisepsis. (Breast) Then during the Middle Ages, things such as, diets, exorcisms, and topical applications were used. Breast cancer was viewed as a punishment from God for your sins. Women often felt ashamed and embarrassed of their cancer, and kept it a secret.

The Renaissance showed great progress in the treatment of breast cancer. Doctors discovered that the cancer could spread to the lymph nodes under the arm and other surrounding body parts.(Shafer) After the removal of the diseased tissue doctors began performing sutures which reduced bleeding and pain. This was thanks to Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) who urged physicians to follow his lead. (Shafer)

The 1800's brought new development to the research of breast cancer. When anesthesia was created in 1846 it allowed doctors and scientist to learn more. (Majure, pg.108) Surgeons began keeping more detailed...