Breast Cancer

May 3, 2016

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a harmful growth that occurs in the tissues of the breast. It is a very common cancer and affects a huge number of women all across the world. The chances of a women being affected with this disease some time during her lifetime is 1 in 8. For that reason, it is imperative for women to be aware of the prevention, symptoms and treatment of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Sign & Symptoms:

  • Change in size or shape of one or both the breasts
  • Redness or rashes around the nipples
  • Thick discharge from one or both the nipples
  • Hard lumps in various parts of the breasts
  • Constant pain in the breast
  • If the color or shape and size of one or both the nipples change
  • Swelling in armpit
  • Change in the skin texture (thickening/ rigid)

Risk factors:

  • Family history: If anyone in the family had been affected by this disease then it increases the risk by two to three folds. Mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and p53 results in a very high risk of breast cancer
  • Reproductive factors: Delay in menopause or delivering the first child at a relatively old age are among the most common risk factors that can lead to breast cancer
  • Age: The risk of breast cancer increases after a women enters into her forties
  • Lifestyle related factors: Unhealthy lifestyle can also lead to breast cancer. Using oral contraceptives on regular basis can also be a big reason. Obesity and heavy drinking are also major contributors.

Awareness:

Experts say that by possessing proper awareness about Breast cancer, this harmful disease could be prevented to a great extent. Women must keep the following things in mind if they want to stay away from this deadly disease:

  • Women should keep a check on their smoking and drinking habits. It is very important to limit the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes
  • They should keep a check on their weight because obesity can lead to various ailments
  • Breastfeeding is very important, so if you are a new mother then make sure to breastfeed your young one
  • Regular exercising should be an important part of your life
  • It is important to include more of cruciferous vegetables & fruits and less of red meat in your diet
  • Visit your gynecologist regularly in order to get yourself checked on a regular basis

How Breast Cancer is diagnosed?

Mentioned below are the breast cancer screening test that can help to diagnose breast cancer at the most primitive stage. These tests are available at leading cancer hospitals across India.

  • Mammogram: A mammogram is a sort of x-ray of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to look for breast disorders in women who have no warning signs of breast cancer. Screening mammograms generally take two to three views of each breast.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI is used along with mammograms for screening the breasts of women who are at a higher risk of getting affected by breast cancer. It can also help in a proper examination of suspicious areas as indicated by a mammogram.
  • Ultrasound: The ultrasound of the breasts is used to target a particular area of concern as indicated by the reports of mammogram. It also helps to differentiate between cysts and solid masses. Apart from all this, at times it can also help in highlighting the difference between benign and malignant tumors.

Treatments Recommended for Breast cancer patients

Breast cancer treatment in India depends upon a number of factors that include type of breast cancer, stage, spread of the disease, size of the tumor, menopause etc. One of the finest treatment options for breast cancer is Immunotherapy – it is a therapy that uses the person’s immune system to fight against the disease.

It is done either by stimulating the immune system of the body or by providing components to boost the immune system. This particular therapy helps in strengthening the immune system and targets only the cancerous and malignant cells while shielding the normal and harmless cells. Immunotherapy also preserves the taste buds and maintains bone strength while improving the overall quality of a person’s health.