Cancer » Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer occurring mainly in females. According to a study, just 1-2 % of the overall cases detected worldwide were concerned with this cancer in males. So, almost 98% of the victims are females. Undoubtedly, females are at an extremely high risk of getting the disease.
Maximum number of female deaths due to cancer has been because of this disease and it is the second highest cause of death due to cancer in females. Roughly, one out of every nine women is prone to the disease.
Understanding breast cancer
As the name denotes, breast cancer is a type of cancer originating primarily in the breasts. The breast consists of two main areas as the milk ducts and lobules. The function of the lobules is to supply milk to the ducts. These are the two prime areas where the cancer generally originates.
In the disease, a group of abnormal cells tries to conquer the healthy tissues and prevents them from functioning normally. This also leads to an obstruction in the supply of oxygen and blood to the areas infected by the malignant cells (also known as the tumor or cancerous cells) and also affects the normal and active cells nearby. This further leads to a formation of tumor (a group of malignant cells) and restricts the respective organ from functioning smoothly. The cells divide abnormally and spread rapidly thereby increasing the severity of the disease.
The inner lining of the breast's milk ducts and the lobules are most prone to the disease. Cancer originating in the lobules is generally known as lobular carcinomas and the one developing in the ducts is called as ductal carcinomas. Majority of the cases detected belong to ductal carcinomas. Lobular carcinomas cases do occur but the chances are rare. The tumor cells spread form one region to another normally through the lymph node or the bloodstream.
Mammography is recommended for women beyond forty years of age. A yearly mammography is a must for women above fifty years. This helps in an early detection and diagnosis of the disease and the treatment becomes easier.
The disease develops in various different stages. In the initial stage (also known as stage 0), the disease is into the precancerous mode and does not damage or kill tissues. If the cancer is detected in this stage, normal medical treatment can be sufficient to curb the abnormal cell-growth. The next three stages of this cancer play a vital role in developing tumors. In the next or the fourth stage, the tumors spread to different parts through the bloodstream or the lymph nodes and increases the severity of the disease considerably. If the patient is in the third of fourth stage of this cancer, urgent medical attention and prompt treatment is necessary.
Breast cancer awareness
As the disease mostly occurs in females, it is very important to understand the general causes and basic symptoms of the disease. This will help in early detection and proper diagnosis of the disease. The intensity and the line of treatment for the disease may vary from person to person. Lifestyle, environmental conditions or the genetic factors play an important role in the origin and development of the disease. Also, excess alcohol consumption may make you more prone to the cancer. Almost 75-80% of the cases detected worldwide have been among the females older than fifty years or the women in their postmenopausal period. Young females are relatively less prone to the disease. Having a family history of the disease may put you at a slightly higher risk. Females not having any child or giving birth to one in their later ages may also get infected by the disease easily. Early periods or late menopause may prove to be risky.
Strong immunity system is a must to prevent your body from infection and other diseases. Normally, women tend to pay less attention to their health and physique after getting married and giving birth to babies .This can be very risky in your later ages and may affect your immunity system considerably. Regular exercise along with maintaining appropriate body weight is necessary to keep yourself fit. Also, your lifestyle and dietary habits must be good enough to ensure a healthy life. Including vegetables, salads and fruits in your daily diet can be highly beneficial to prevent yourself from being infected by the disease. Iodine deficiency and high hormone levels may also lead to the disease and must be taken seriously.
You must also have a basic knowledge about detecting abnormalities in your breast and the knowing right time to consult a doctor. In almost eighty percent of the cancer cases, the victim felt it necessary to consult a physician after she felt a lump in her breast. Mammography is the most commonly used technique to detect the lump and can help in detecting the disease right in its early stages. You must also consult a physician if lumps are detected in the lymph nodes. Pain in the breast is another important indication of breast health issue though not a clear symptom of the presence of tumor.
Unusual and unexpected changes in the shape of the breasts, skin irritations, nipple inversion, breast pain, redness or swelling on the breast are some of the common symptoms. Also, paget's disease may occur in the breast and increase the breast pain.
Breast cancer is one of the most researched cancers and is 100% curable if detected in the early stages. Biopsy, CT (Computed Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), X-rays and mammography are some of the most important techniques used to examine the body internally and find out the severity of the disease. Lumpectomy (small part of the breast is removed), Quadrantectomy (quarter part of the breast is removed) and Mastectomy (the whole breast is removed) are some of important types of surgeries to treat the cancer. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also be beneficial to cure the disease.