Breast Cancer

20 October, 2022

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. Every year, almost 10,000 women under the age of 40 are diagnosed to be suffering from this cancer, which is around 5-percent of all cases of breast cancer. This shows that most women are at high risk of developing this kind of cancer and the probability increases with age.

Irrespective of what your age is, as a woman, it is important that you stay aware of the risk factors, symptoms, prevent strategies, treatment and other key things about breast cancer. Continue reading to gain more awareness about this fatal disease and get the right breast cancer treatment

if you or your loved one has been diagnosed with it.


Be Aware of the Warning Signs

If you are aware of the symptoms of breast cancer, you will be in a better position to understand whether you need to consult your doctor for diagnosis. The common warning signs of breast cancer include:

  • A painless mass or lump near or in the breast that may or may not be tender or hard
  • A change in the firmness and size of the breast 
  • Changes in breast skin, such as a rash, a sore, or a dimpling
  • Nipple burning, itching, discharge (rust-coloured or bloody), rash or turning inward (or becoming inverted)
  • A warm region in the breast
  • Breast pain
  • Swelling of the arm or under the armpit

Pay attention to your breasts and check if there is anything that feels or looks different. If you notice something different, consult your doctor and go for a screening.

Know the Risk Factors

Young women are at a high risk of getting breast cancer if they have the below risk factors:

  • A family history of breast cancer (diagnosed in first-degree relatives (daughter, sister or mother) at an early age)
  • Onset of menstruation before the age of 12
  • Specific inherited breast cancer genetic mutations (BRCA1 or BRCA2)
  • Dense breasts
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High-dose chest radiation
  • First pregnancy over the age of 30
  • Poor diet or high red meat consumption
  • Obesity
  • Recent use of oral contraceptives
  • Heavy consumption of alcohol
  • Personal history of colon, ovary or endometrium cancer

Regular Screenings Are Important

It is important for women above 40 years to undergo regular screening for breast cancer. If you have a family history of the disease, then you should start the annual screening after the age of 35. Mammogram is the test that is advised for breast cancer screening. This diagnostic test uses 2D or 3D imaging technology to detect the disease early. Most women, who are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, find it during such annual screenings. 
The annual mammogram tests lets breast health professionals find and track small breast tissue changes from one year to the next. This gives them the best chance to detect and treat breast cancer before it becomes severe.

Breast Cancer Prevention Tips

Here are a few tips that can help you prevent breast cancer:

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Maintain a moderate weight
  • Breast-feed
  • Go for regular annual screenings

Breast Cancer Treatment Depends on the Type and Stage of the Disease

Breast cancer is classified into five stages depending on the characteristics of the cancer cells such as how far it has spread and its size. 

  • Stage 0: Early stage non-invasive breast cancer 
  • Stage I and II: Early stage breast cancer
  • Stage III: Locally advanced cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes
  • Stage IV: Advanced stage metastatic cancer that has spread to other body parts

Besides staging, all kinds of invasive cancer note the HER2 protein status and hormone receptor status of cancer. This helps in determining breast cancer treatment options. For instance, a patient with stage II cancer (HER2-negative and hormone-negative) would need a different treatment method than a patient with stage II cancer (hormone-positive). 

The common treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy.

It is important for every woman to be aware of the above-discussed points. Even if you or your loved one happens to be diagnosed with the disease, stay strong and have a positive mindset. Whether it is breast cancer treatment or mouth cancer treatment, there are many advanced technologies in the medical field.

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