Breast cancer is a very common disease among women or even men and can happen regardless of age. It is the leading cause of death among women and can be very problematic. Over the years the treatment has become much easier, but it is important to recognize cancer at the earliest stage possible. It is very important that the awareness about cancer is spread among the people and a lot more people can use basic methods to check breast cancer, at home itself.
Symptoms of breast cancer can be such as recognition of an unknown lump in the breast or even some sort of thickening in the breast as well as a change of the colour of the nipple or the skin on the breast.
A lot of things can be the reason why someone might experience breast cancer. It can be because of a lifestyle choice or even because it runs in the family and is not integrated into your genes. There are many ways to treat breast cancer such as various surgeries, radiation therapy or even chemotherapy.
Here are some ways of recognizing a lump or even breast cancer:
1. Thickening of tissue in the breast or spotting an unusual lump in the breast. This can also be spotted in the armpit as these lumps generally tend to expand to the breast.
2. Pain in the breast or armpit
3. Reddening of the skin of the breast
4. Inverted nipple
5. Sunken nipple
6. Rashes around nipple
7. Discharge coming out of nipple along with blood.
8. Major shape change of the breast
9. Flaking of skin around the breast and nipples
It is important to note that not all the lumps that we might notice on the breasts on in the armpits are cancerous, but these lumps are a huge symptom of possible breast cancer. These lumps can generally be treated with medication, but it is important to bet the lump checked for any possible cancer development.
Breast cancer has different stages and according to the growth of the cancer cells. The different stages can be from number zero to four. DCIS. This is the earliest stage of cancer. The growth is limited within a duct. In this stage, the cells have not started spreading across the tissue.
1. The tumour in this stage grows around 2 cm but there is not spreading and growth around other tissues yet.
2. The tumour in this stage grows around 2 cm, but there is now spreading.
3. At this stage, the tumour has just started increasing in size and has grown around 5 cm and has started spreading across tissues.
4. Cancer at this stage starts to spread to important organs and has started affecting the basic functioning.
What are the possible causes for breast cancer?
1. When a woman undergoes puberty, the changes in her body leads to swelling of the chest and a developed breast consists of fat, connective tissue and lobule glands that are huge in number and are the reason we are able to produce milk for breastfeeding. Breast cancer, in this case, would start from milk ducts. From the inner lining, it starts spreading to rest of the body.
2. With age, the chances of developing breast cancer increases.
3. Genetics plays a very important role in the spread of any time of cancer. If your family has had a history of breast cancer, the risk increases. People who have had relatives suffering from cancer need to keep checking properly.
4. People who have themselves suffered from breast cancer might develop it again.
5. If the density of tissues in your breast is higher the chances of developing breast cancer increases.
6. Due to very high levels of estrogen, the risk again increases. This might occur when a person is going through menopause or else just starting their menstruation. In such conditions, the estrogen levels are higher than normal.
7. Overweight or obese women might have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. One of the factors may be a higher intake of sugar.
8. Alcohol consumption can be a factor as a female consuming a high amount of alcohol regularly is more likely to develop breast cancer. Consuming more than three drinks daily increases the risk to 1.5 times more.
9. Undergoing any kind of radiation exposure increases the risk even if it means being exposed to it due to treatment for something else.
10. Increased estrogen levels due to birth control pills, as well as HRT that is hormone replacement therapy, increases the risk.
Precautions Against Breast Cancer
It is best to try and take some precautions when it comes to breast cancer. It is not something that we can avoid, but certain changes in your daily routine might help curb the cells. Some of the ways are:
- Minimizing alcohol consumption
- Increase stamina and immunity through regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet
- Reconsider options when it comes to breastfeeding
- Reconsider the use of HRT treatment
If you are at high risk when it comes to breast cancer, preventive surgery is also an option.
Ways to treat breast cancer
If you are suffering from breast cancer even if it is on the earliest of the stage or if you know someone who is, here are some treatments that are possible.
1. Surgery: Whether or not to carry out surgery, solely depends on the condition of the tumor and these are the types of surgeries that are done to treat the tumor. We are just giving information about what these surgeries consist of the final decision has to be of the specialist that you are going to.
2. Lumpectomy: This surgery includes the removal of the tumor. The tumor is removed along with some healthy tissue around the tumor to avoid the possibility of spread. This is generally carried out in case of the tumor being small where the removal is comparatively easy and separating tumor from tissues is not problematic.
3. Mastectomy: In this surgery, fatty tissue, lobules, areola, ducts, nipple and some amount of skin is removed.
4. Sentinel node biopsy: Here, one lymph node is removed to avoid the spread of this cancer from the lymph node to the entire lymphatic system along with other parts of the body.
5. Reconstruction: Some surgeries, while removing parts which are required, the structure of the breast can look very different from what it originally was. Hence a reconstruction surgery is done to make it look normal again.
6. Radiation therapy: Radiation at a fixed amount is targeted directly at the tumor so that the cells spreading cancer can be destroyed.
7. Chemotherapy: Cytotoxic drugs are prescribed to eradicate cancer cells.
8. HTR: HTR stands for Hormone-blocking therapy and is used to prevent the recurrence of cancer.
This is used for hormone-sensitive cancers.
There are many other methods of treatment of breast cancer, and it is very important to visit a doctor if there are any signs of occurrence of these cancer cells and lumps. Multiple methods can also be clubbed together to treat a patient.
Breast cancer is a very common disease and is experienced by a lot of women and even men, and hence it is very important to spread awareness about cancer as well as how we can keep checking at home for safety. With regular check-ups and medication, a lot of people have fought against this disease, and it is better not to lose hope and stay strong.