Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect the women of the country. Reports suggest that every 1 in 8 American women (i.e., 12.4%) develops invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Though the deaths from breast cancer have now declined with time and more breast cancer information available out there, it continues to be the second leading cause of cancer death among women overall. Breast cancer is usually diagnosed during a physical exam, by self-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing and biopsy.
A pathology report will usually include information about the stage of breast cancer, which basically tells us whether the cancer is limited to one area in the breast, or it has spread to healthy tissues and to what extent. The stages of breast cancer are 0, I, II, III, IV, which are further divided into sub-categories depending on the kind of cancerous tumor or cancer cells.
The costs involved in the treatment of breast cancer are so high that it can quickly become a burden. Hence, one must not be afraid to ask for help during this time. There are a few things one can do to ease this burden. Firstly, one must talk to a financial counsellor at hospitals and treatment centers to get an estimate of the cost and fill insurance papers. On not being able to pay, the hospital may agree to reduce or waive some costs, if asked. For further assistance one can take the help of various breast cancer resource organisations or communities which have got together to provide financial assistance for these very purposes.
Some of the common breast cancer resources are:
- American Association for Cancer Research
- American Cancer Society
- Bringing Hope Home
- Cancers and Careers
- Cancer support community
- HealthWell Foundation
- My Hope Chest
- Sisters Network
- Triage Cancer
The main purpose of these organisations is to help the patients of breast cancer and their families in one or the other way. So, one must not hesitate to ask help from these breast cancer centers.