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Oncology Esthetics: Breast Cancer Awareness

By: Morag Currin
Posted: October 2, 2013, from the October 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

In 2013, breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer diagnosis—except for skin cancers—for women in America, Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Approximately 1 in 8 or 9 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetimes.

Fewer women are dying from breast cancer today than in the past. Breast cancer deaths have decreased due to earlier detection and breast cancer awareness. This awareness is imperative, and all skin care professionals need to be educated about the signs and symptoms that may be recognized during spa treatments, such as underarm waxing, body wraps or other skin care services. By being aware, you can help save a life!

Because a large percentage of women of all ages—and more and more men—visit spas, skin care professionals cannot shy away from breast cancer statistics. This article focuses on breast cancer education to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raise the awareness of skin care professionals, addressing the different types of breast cancer—including noninvasive, invasive, recurrent and metastatic breast cancers—as well as breast cancer in men.


Both women and men have breasts; women just have more breast tissue. Each breast lies over the pectoral muscle. The female breast extends from just below the clavicle, to the axilla and across to the sternum. (See The Breast and Surrounding Structures.)

The breast is a mass of glandular, fatty and connective tissue made up of:

  • Lobules—glands that produce milk;
  • Ducts—tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple;
  • Fatty and connective tissue—surrounds and protects the ducts and lobules, and gives shape to the breast;
  • Areola—the pink or brown circular area around the nipple; and
  • Nipple—the area at the center of the areola that dispenses milk. (See The Breast.)
Be a force of healing and wellness in cancer patients' lives! Purchase the Oncology Esthetics online video from Skin Inc. Video Education! In this lesson you will discover how Oncology Estheticians impacts the lives of cancer patients with compassion and healing. Armed with the right knowledge and understanding, estheticians can help resolve oncology-related skin issues and provide a soothing touch and relaxation during a difficult time in a person's life.