Breast Cancer Awareness
Best Protection is Early Detection!
Today, breast cancer is the most common disease among women. In every year, around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer occurs when cancer cells begin to grow out of control in the breast tissue. Breast cancer can spread in any part of the breast. Generally, breast cancer either begins in the cells of breast lobules, which are milk-producing glands or the ducts, the small tubes that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple. Usually, it is very hard to find without any help from medical experts because it shows no symptoms in the beginning stage.
Signs and Symptoms:
Generally, it is very hard to identify cancer without any medical expert help because it shows no symptoms in the beginning stage. Yet, there are some symptoms that can help people to identify breast cancer. A new lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. It can also be due to some hormonal changes in the body, so if you feel any new lump or mass in the breast it doesn’t mean that you have cancer. But it is important to consult with your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in the breast.
These are the early symptoms of breast cancer:
- Any kind of skin irritation or allergy.
- Swelling of all or part of the breast.
- Breast pain can be observed as a symptom of breast cancer.
- Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward.
- A lump in the underarm area.
- A nipple discharge other than breast milk.
- Ulcers or scaling on the nipple may be a symptom of breast cancer.
- Redness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin.
Late signs and symptoms occur as cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs. When cancer grows larger or spread to other parts of the body, then these late signs and symptoms occurs:
These are the later signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
- Unusual fullness in one breast.
- If you find visible veins on the breast that may be a symptom of breast cancer.
- Any kind of dimpling on the breast surface.
- Any kind of bone pain.
- Loss of appetite can also be the symptom of breast cancer.
- Continuous weight loss.
- Buildup of fluid around the lungs.
- Double vision can also be a symptom of breast cancer.
Causes of Breast Cancer:
Although there are several risk factors that cause breast cancer, most of them are unclear. Researchers have identified several factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer. But it’s not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do.
These are the main causes of breast cancer:
- Age – getting older is one of the reasons that may increase your risk of breast cancer because cancer doesn’t develop in early age.
- Family history- if you have a strong history of breast cancer, then it may increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Previous diagnosis of breast cancer.
- Previous benign breast lump.
- Breast density- if you have a low density of breast tissues then it can also be the reason of breast cancer.
- Exposure to estrogen.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Radiation- if any person received radiation treatment to their chest, then it also increases the risk of breast cancer.
- Hormone replacement therapy- women who take any kind of hormone therapy or medication to stop symptom of menopause, their chance of having cancer is increased.
Types of Breast Cancer:
Although there are several types of breast cancers, the most common types of breast cancers lie under these categories:
- Invasive cancer- Invasive breast cancer begins when cancer cells from inside the milk ducts or lobules break out into nearby breast tissue. These are categorized into different stages as 1,2,3 or 4.
- Noninvasive cancer- it is also referred to as stage 0 breast cancer, this type of breast cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
These are the most common type of breast cancer:
- Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancers that lie under the non-invasive category of breast cancer.
- Lobular carcinoma is another type of breast cancer that increases the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
- Sarcoma is the rare type of breast cancer that grows in the connective tissue of the breast.
Breast cancer can be treated if it is detected at an early stage. Breast cancer is the most common disease among women. The best prevention according to researchers is to be informed about the causes and symptoms of breast cancer. Today, most of the people don’t have enough knowledge about breast cancer that’s why their risk of breast cancer increases.
There are some preventive measures that can help women to protect themselves from breast cancer:
- If you found any unusual change in the breast, then consult with the doctor.
- Women can take a breast self-exam for breast awareness.
- If you drink alcohol in moderation then you can prevent yourself from breast cancer.
- A 30-minute regular exercise can also reduce your risk of breast cancer.
- If you are healthy, then you should maintain your weight, this will help you to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- A proper diet can also prevent you from breast cancer.
Treatment plans for breast cancer depend on several factors. The factors such as the type of breast cancer, its grade, size and stage, its sensitivity to certain hormones and overall health of the patient all these are taken into consideration before starting treatment. These are some common treatments that are used for breast cancer:
- Lumpectomy is referred as breast-sparing surgery in which doctors remove the tumor.
- Mastectomy is the surgery that is used to remove all of your breast tissue, such as the lobules, ducts, fatty tissue and some skin.
- Chemotherapy is the most common treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy is the treatment in which high-powered beams of energy is used to treat cancer such as X-rays.
- Hormone therapy is the treatment that is usually used to cure breast cancer that are sensitive to hormones.
- Sentinel node biopsy- it is the treatment in which doctors remove a limited number of lymph nodes to determine whether cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or not.
- Axillary lymph node dissection- if cancer is detected in the sentinel node then your doctor will suggest you this treatment. In this treatment, doctors remove several lymph nodes.
- Biological therapy such as Herceptin can also used to treat cancer for people with HER2-positive breast cancer.
- Breast conservative surgery very safest option for breast cancer patients.
Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors