What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is one of the most commonly seen cancers among women and also the second leading cause of death among women. It is also seen rarely among men. Some of the early symptoms of breast cancer include bloody discharge from the nipple, a lump in the breast, any change in the shape of the breast, the formation of a dimple on the breast, and so on. The success rate of the treatment of breast cancer depends on the stage of cancer.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Different breast cancer types present different signs and symptoms. Some of the commonly seen signs of breast cancer include:
- Swelling or thickening of any part of the breast
- New lump in the armpit or the breast
- Dimpling or irritation of the breast skin
- Pain in the nipple region
- Breast lump pain
- Flaky skin or redness in the nipple region or on the breast
- Any discharge from the nipples
- Pain in the breast or around it
- Sudden weight loss
- Visible veins on the breast
- Vaginal pain
- Orange peel texture of the skin
While the presence of these symptoms or breast pain might not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, it is crucial to have it checked out by a doctor immediately. In case it turns out to be breast cancer, you will be glad to have caught it early on.
Who Is At Risk?
Some risk factors for breast cancer are:
- Age: Most breast cancers are diagnosed after the women have crossed 50 years of age.
- Genetic Mutations: Women who inherit genetic changes to certain genes tend to be at a higher risk than other women.
- Reproductive history: Women who start their menstrual periods before the age of 12 and start menopause after 55 are exposed to hormones for a longer period of time. This makes them more vulnerable to breast cancer.
- Dense Breasts: Dense breasts consist of more connective tissue. Studies have shown that women with dense breasts and cystic breasts have a higher chance of getting breast cancer.
- Personal History: Women who have already recovered from breast cancer have a high chance of developing breast cancer a second time.
- Family History: You are at risk of getting breast cancer if your mother, sister, daughter, or several family members on your paternal and maternal side have had breast cancer. The presence of a first-degree male relative who had breast cancer also raises our risk factors drastically.
Breast cancer Causes
Once a woman or a girl hits puberty, she develops breasts that are made of connective tissues, fat, and thousands of lobules. These lobules are responsible for producing milk once the woman gives birth to a baby. The ducts or the tiny tubes carry the milk towards the nipple to replenish the child’s body. Breast cancer causes the cells to multiply continuously. Since the new cells are generated before the older ones die, excessive cell growth uses up the nutrients and energy in that region. Breast cancer often starts within the inner lining of the lobules or the milk ducts and then spreads to other parts of the body if it is not treated quickly.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
Doctors rely on several tests to make a breast cancer diagnosis. A mammogram involves taking an x-ray of the breast for a closer examination. If a suspicious site is observed during the mammogram, the doctor will request for an ultrasound of the breast tissue. Once the diagnosis has been finalized, the next step is determining which stage the cancer has progressed to. The staging process is essential in determining which breast cancer treatment will give you the best result.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
Breast cancer treatment mainly revolves around the stage of cancer, the size of cancer, the growth rate of cancer, your age, current health situation, and so on. In some cases, doctors advise surgery in order to remove the cancer cells. Radiation is another form of treatment that involves using high radiation waves to kill cancer cells. Radiation is often recommended if cancer has spread considerably. Chemotherapy is another form of treatment that involves pumping your body with drugs to kill the cancer cells. Hormone therapy involves blocking estrogen and progesterone in order to prevent the cancer cells from growing further Depending on the stage of the cancer doctors usually advise a combination of these treatment options to give you the best fighting chance. In case you experience any signs or symptoms like sore nipples or sore breasts, it is essential to contact a doctor as soon as possible. cult.fit offers you access to the top doctors in the country through its video consultation services.
How can Breast Cancer be prevented?
You can reduce your risk of getting breast cancer by switching to a healthier lifestyle that involves a healthy and balanced diet along with plenty of physical activities. It is also a good idea to limit your alcohol intake, stop smoking, and avoid exposure to any form of radiation or environmental pollution. When you start treating your body right, you will be able to reduce your chances of ever developing breast cancer.
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