With Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean noticing a drastic increase in breast cancer-related deaths among its female population, the US National Breast Cancer Foundation among others are reminding us that an average of one in every 8 women would become victims of breast cancer.
The foundation which spends millions of dollars on breast cancer research, has said that Guyana and a host of other Latin American countries has one of the highest per capita breast cancer rates in the world.
It suggested that though the universal ratio is now placed at one in every eight, there is a slight chance that the breast cancer rate for Guyana might even be slightly above that global average.
Their indications were supported by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer which reported that breast cancer is the leading cause of the more than 40,000 cancer-related deaths among women in the Caribbean and Latin American region, each year.
The global health body had also indicated that while there has been a decrease in cervical cancer cases in women, incidents of breast cancer continues to rise.
The trouble is, while certain lifestyle changes are recommended, scientists remain uncertain about what are the trigger causes of breast cancer.
Except for an understanding that it may be as a result of the increased prevalence of hormonally-linked factors such as delayed childbearing and lower parity, as well as lifestyle risk factors, there are no clear scientific explanations as to what actually triggers the onset of breast cancer.
By definition, the American Cancer Society explains that Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. They further explained that these cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor can become malignant or cancerous if the cells begin to invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
But while a large number of breast cancer patients succumbs, more of them are now surviving and are able to subsequently lead a normal life, as a result of improved screening, and new treatment methods, that are constantly being developed.