What if it’s cancer? One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time. It is the second leading cause of death among women. Cancer is the result of mutation of genes responsible for the growth and health of cells in the body. This abnormal proliferation may occur to the breast cells which are called breast cancer. Breast cancer cells may continue dividing without any halt resulting in a tumour. Breast cancer is common to women, but men are also susceptible to breast cancer. People suffering from breast cancer may not show symptoms especially in its early stages. A new lump or mass in the breast can be an indicative of breast cancer. Any change in the breast appearance, texture or pain is a warning sign of breast cancer. Breast cancer has better prognosis once treated in its early stages. Women are advised to undergo the routine screening procedures to detect breast cancer earlier.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- Nipple discharge or redness.
- Breast or nipple pain.
- Dimpling or swelling of the breast.
Risk factors of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer development can be associated with
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Early onset of menstruation.
- Late menopause i.e. after the age of 55.
- Dense breast tissue.
- Exposure to carcinogens.
- By using contraceptive pills.
- Taking hormone replacement therapy.
- Drinking excessive alcohol.
- Lack of physical activity.
Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
- Monthly self breast examination.
- Clinical breast examination.
These are the recommended routine screening test for breast cancer to detect breast cancer even without obvious symptoms. Mammography uses the low dose X- ray to look for early asymptomatic breast cancers.
Breast cancer has various types some types are ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, mixed tumours and inflammatory breast cancer.
Treatment of Breast Cancer
Treatment of breast cancer is dependent on type of cancer and its stage. The basic treatment options available to treat breast cancer patients are
- Surgery – It involves the removal of cancerous tissue.
- Radiation therapy – This aims to destroy cancer cells by the use of high energy rays.
- Chemotherapy – This treats breast cancer with medications.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
- Having a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a normal body weight. A daily exercise of 30 minutes is suggested.
- Stay away or limit the intake of alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Include more fruits and vegetables and make sure to restrict energy dense food.
Consult your medical practitioner whenever you notice any changes in your breast. To stay healthy we simply need to pay attention.