Breast cancer has been a challenge for the global world for many decades now. Though, statistics show that breast cancer is more prevalent in woman than in men. But firstly, let’s get a holistic definition of breast cancer.
According to researchers from medicine net, breast cancer was defined as a Malignant Tumor or a collection of cancerous cells arising from the cells of the breast. Though, there has been a lot of advancement in the screening and treatment of breast cancer which has drastically improved the survival rates since 1989.
According to Medical news, there have been over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. This has reduced the chance of women dying from the disease to about 2.7% annually. This means that every 1 in 37 Women has the chance of losing their lives by the disease.
A key factor in reducing the risk over time is public awareness of the symptoms and screening.
There are some symptoms to watch out for, and if in any case, you find these symptoms, advance to the nearest medical center for screening.
Symptoms of breast cancer
The first and most prominent symptom of breast cancer is usually a thickened area of tissues in the breast. Other symptoms include:
A lump in the breast or armpit region.
- Pain in the breast or armpit that remains constant with the monthly cycle.
- Redness of the skin around the breast or in the breast.
- Rash on the nipple or around it.
- A discharge containing blood from the nipple.
- An inverted nipple.
- A drastic change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Flaking, peeling or scaling of the breast’s skin or nipple.
It is worthy of note that most lumps are not cancerous, so do not get scared at the first sight of a lump. The action to be taken on noticing a lump is to go for a health check from a professional.
Stages of breast cancer
The cancer disease is graded based on the size of the tumor and the extent of spread. These are called stages. The most common staging is from stage 0 to 4.
STAGE 0: also called the Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), the cancerous cells have not invaded surrounding tissues and are limited within a duct.
First Stage: At this stage, the tumor is up to 2cm across and has not yet affected any lymph nodes.
Second stage: At this stage, the tumor is still 2cm but has started to affect nodes that are nearby
Third Stage: At this stage, the tumor is about 5cm and has spread to some lymph nodes.
Fourth Stage: At this stage, the tumor has gone to distant organs in the body including the bones, liver, lungs, and even the brain.
Causes of breast cancer
There are basically 2 types of breast cancer, the ductal carcinoma; which begins in the milk duct, and the lobular carcinoma; which starts at the lobules.
Most women, after puberty, begin to experience some changes in their breast; an increase in the fat, connective tissues, and lobules. This increase and multiplicity might occur uncontrollably, and excessive cell growth tends to cause cancer. Usually starts within the inner lining of the ducts or lobules, which are responsible for supplying breast milk. This then spreads to other parts of the body.
Factors cause breast cancer
There are still uncertainties in the total cause of cancer, but there are some factors that can be related to causing it.
- The age; from 20 years the chances of getting the disease is 0.6%, while from 70 years it is 3.84%.
- Genetics; if a close relative has had it, the risk is high that you might have it.
- If you have a history of the cancerous cell before, there is a chance of having it again.
- Dense breast tissue.
- Estrogen exposure and breastfeeding.
- Obesity and overweight.
- Consumption of alcohol.
- Exposure to radiation.
- Use of Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and oral birth control are likely to cause breast cancer.
Treatment of breast cancer
The treatment of cancer depends on some certain factors:
- Type of breast cancer.
- Stage of breast cancer.
- Hormone sensitivity.
- Age of patient, preference, and overall health condition.
The available treatment options are:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy or biological therapy
- Hormonal therapy
Prevention of breast cancer
Prevented if certain actions are taken.
- Avoid consuming excess alcohol.
- Taking a healthy and balanced diet with enough vegetables and fruits.
- Enough exercise.
- Finally, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Eventually, if you are a breast cancer patient. Cheer up, because this is not the end of your life. Always be optimistic that there is a chance for you to find the proper treatment and live longer😊. And for all women, please watch yourself for any minor changes in your breast. And It is advisable to go for a checkup every 6 months to assure that you have the perfect health state😊.
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