Things to know about Breast Cancer
After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second most prominent cause of deaths in women as breast cancer is one of the most common forms of invasive cancers found in women. Advancements in treatment have enhanced the survival rates drastically since 1989. Alone in the United States, there are 3.1 million survivors, it is estimated that 1 out of 37 women are vulnerable to dying from this.
Enhancing the awareness of the symptoms by different modes of medical animation, debates, and medical conferences are some of the most important ways which play a massive role in reducing the risk.
Factual Info about Breast Cancer
- Breast Cancer is the second most common invasive cancer
- There are many factors, but Genetics remains the most prominent followed by lifestyle such as an increase in consumption of alcohol.
- Symptoms include thickening of the breast, formation of lump or changes within the skin or nipple.
- Most breast lumps are non – cancerous but must see a doctor if observed any.
- Treatments available are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The most noticed symptom of breast cancer is the thickening of the tissue area near the breast or the lump formation in the armpit or breast.
Other Symptoms are as follows:
- Pinching pain in the breast or armpit
- Inverted or Sunken nipple
- Discharge observed from the nipple, probably contains blood
- A drastic change in the shape and size of the breast
- Flaking, scaling or peeling of skin near the breast or the nipple
Though lumps are most non- cancerous, women must seek advice from a medical professional, if noticed any.
A breast is made up of fat, thousands of lobules, connective tissues and other tiny glands which help in the production of milk during breastfeeding. Other is ducts, tiny tubs which help in carrying milk towards the nipple.
In the case of cancer, the body’s cells get multiplied, which is indeed the cause of cancer. The cancer cells start inside the inner lining of the lobules or milk duct; from there it gets spread to other parts of the body as well.
Though the main reason behind breast cancer still remains unclear, there are numbers of risk factors that make the symptoms most likely to appear.
- Family history of Breast Cancer
- Dense breast tissue
- Exposure to estrogen and other radiations
- Obesity after menopause
- High consumption of alcohol
- Hormonal treatments such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and birth control pills
Routine screening or after observing the symptoms help in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Discussed below are some of the other diagnostic tests which help in the confirmation.
- Breast Examination
Treatment depends upon various factors such as
- Type of Breast Cancer
- Stage of Breast Cancer
- Demographic of the patient such as age, preferences, health, etc.
- Sensitivity to hormones
Some of the main treatments include:
Surgery depends upon the type of breast cancer patient is dealing with, which includes
- Sentinel node biopsy
- Axillary lymph node dissection
- Radiation Therapy
A certain amount of radiations are targeted specifically at the tumor cells which help in destroying the cancer cells. This therapy is mostly bundled up with chemotherapy which helps in destroying remaining cancer cells.
- Biological therapy
A targeted drug helps in destroying the specific type of cancer cells, for instance, trastuzumab (Herceptin), bevacizumab (Avastin) and lapatinib (Tykerb).
- Hormone therapy
This therapy is used to prevent reoccurrence of hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Such hormones are called as ER-positive (Estrogen receptive) and PR-positive (Progesterone receptors) cancers.
Chemotherapy helps to treat the cancer cells which have spread to other body parts as well, which indeed helps in the reduction of symptoms as well. This therapy works well in the later stages.
No doubt that prevention is still not much clear, but while making certain changes in the lifestyle significantly helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer. This includes
- Avoid excess consumption of alcohol
- By inculcating enough exercises in daily routine
- Having plenty of fruits and vegetables and following a healthy diet
- Keeping a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index)