Dealing with breast cancer (or any other form of cancer for that matter) is probably one of the most agonizing things anyone could ever face in this life. But what exactly is breast cancer? How does having it affected the lives of millions of people all over the planet? Can you ever beat breast cancer and blast it away to oblivion? Read on to know more about this disease.
Breast cancer: The Definition
After skin cancer, breast cancer is probably the most common form of cancer diagnosed for majority of women in the United States. Though breast cancer may target both genders, its occurrence is far more common in females. A lot of support for research funding and generating awareness about breast cancer has helped improve the processes being done to screen, diagnose and treat the said disease. Survival rates from breast cancer has drastically increased over the years and its mortality rates
consistently declining, all thanks to a number of factors like early detection—a new and personalized approach to understanding the disease itself and the course of treatment that may follow.
Breast Cancer: The Symptoms
Early cancer detection was proven to effective in saving millions of lives, a lot of those lives were spared because the persons involved was vigilant enough to look for the signs and symptoms of the disease.
1. Presence of a lump on the breast or any thickening of the skin that feels different from the surrounding tissues.
2. There’s a bloody discharge coming out of the nipple.
3. Any changes in the appearance (dimpling, darkening of the nipple/areola, etc), shape or size of the breast.
4. A newly inverted nipple
5. Flaking, scaling or peeling of the pigmented parts of the skin surrounding the areola and the nipple.
6. Redness or any pitting (like that of an orange peel) over the breast.
Breast Cancer: When Should You See your Doctor?
In the event that you discover any lumps or any other changes in your breast, or if you are positive with any of the symptoms mentioned above, then it’s definitely high-time for you to visit your doctor.
Breast Cancer: The Causes
There isn’t any clear and definite answer as to why people get cancer. Physicians often explain that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells began to grow rapidly and reproduce at a largely abnormal rate. These cells divide a lot faster than those healthy cells and continue to accumulate, thus the presence of the lumps. The abnormal cells may start spreading (metastasize) to
the other parts of the body and that’s never ever a good thing.
Oftentimes, breast cancer starts with the cells located at the milk-producing ducts (also known as: invasive ductal carcinoma). Other forms of breast cancer may start forming within the lobules (also known as: invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other tissue or cells located inside the breast.
Breast Cancer: The Risk Factors
Risk factors are things that make someone more prone to developing a certain disease. But remember that having one or a few other risk factors does not necessarily mean that you’ll have the disease. In breast cancer, a lot of women who have developed breast cancer do not have any risk factors apart from just being, well, a woman. Below is a list of the risk factors associated with breast cancer.
1.Being a woman
3.A personal/family history of breast cancer
4.Genes that predisposes them to greater cancer risks.
5.Exposure to radiation
7.Women who first had their menstrual period at a young age (age less than 12 years).
8.Women who began menopausing at an older age
9.Conceiving your first child at an older age (age 35
years and up)
10.Women who have not been pregnant before
12.Women who are undergoing or have undergone post-menopausal hormone therapy.
Breast cancer: Tests and Diagnostics
Any one of the following can help in diagnosing the
1.Self breast exam
3.Ultrasound of the breast
Breast Cancer: Treatments and Medications
The course of treatment you’ll need to go through should be diagnosed with breast cancer will depend on the type of your breast cancer, its stage, grade, size and whether the cancer cells are sensitive to some hormones. Your physician will also take your overall health status and your own preferences when deciding on the course of treatment.