Breast cancer early detection

Ways to detect Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops from the breast tissue. It is mostly found in women, however, can be diagnosed in men too.

Know symptoms and signs of breast cancer include:

  • Nipple discharge or retraction of the nipple
  • Enlargement of one breast, dimpling of the breast surface
  • An “orange peel” texture to the skin
  • Unintentional weight loss and bone pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit
  • Visible veins on the breast.

The risk factors for developing breast cancer include obesity due to a lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement, therapy during menopause, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all and family history.

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Your questions on Breast Cancer answered

Since what age should women start a breast examination?

Breast cancer is one such cancer that can be cured if detected and treated during initial stages. It is extremely important for women to know what their breasts look and feel like normally so that they are able to differentiate in case of any changes. Breast cancer can happen to women across all age groups, although a majority of the cases of breast cancer occur in women over 40 years of age. However irrespective of the age, women should be aware of their body and its changes. Diagnosing breast cancer in women under 40 years of age is difficult because the breast tissue during that age is much denser than in older women. However self-breast examinations must be done once a month and can be done by women in their 20’s as well. During the teens, women tend to feel lumps in the breast which is quite normal as the breasts are developing and the lumps normally disappear on their own gradually. However, if the lump gets bigger in size or causes pain/discomfort it is better to consult a specialist in order to understand the cause.

A self-breast examination should be done by women whose breasts are fully developed (post-adolescence). Beginning the practice early will help women create a habit out of it and they will become much more familiar with their breasts and can address any changes that the breast undergoes. The self-examination should be done after the days of mensuration as during those days the breasts tend to be swollen. At a younger age, regular examination at frequent intervals is recommended in order to rule out any health condition. Mammograms are not recommended for women below 40 years of age because of the dense breast tissue women have at a younger age, hence mammograms may not be extremely efficient. Women over 40 years of age should screen themselves annually. In case of women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer; i.e. women who have a family history of breast cancer, women who started menstruating before 12 years of age, women with poor lifestyle habits, women diagnosed with benign breast conditions previously etc. it is recommended to consult a specialist who would be able to advise on the right time to begin mammogram screening.

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FAQ’s About Endometriosis

  1. What is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus called endometrium begins to grow in locations elsewhere, outside the uterus. The growth may occur in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bladder etc.

  1. Who gets Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that differentiates on grounds. The condition can occur in women of reproductive age, which is since the onset of menstruation until menopause.

  1. What are the causes & symptoms of Endometriosis?

There are no definitive causes of endometriosis.

In order to understand the symptoms of endometriosis, one first needs to understand what happens in the body during periods. During a menstrual cycle, the body sheds the endometrium which is broken down and flows out of the body as menstrual blood.

The most common yet ignored symptom of endometriosis is pain during periods. This is, in fact, one common myth that needs to be broken, period pain is not meant to be painful. Women believe that pain during periods is common and occurs to all. Consistent pain during the menstrual flow is not normal and needs to be checked by a healthcare practitioner. Other symptoms of endometriosis include irregular periods, heavy bleeding during menstrual flow, spotting, painful urination, pain during sexual intercourse. In some cases, women even experience pain in areas where the endometrium has developed. Symptoms of the condition vary in women. If one experiences painful urination, the other may experience some other symptom.

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All You Need To Know About Cervical Cancer

As per the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women.[1] With the incidence of the disease increasing worldwide, it has become crucial to understand the various aspects of the diseases and what one can do to beat the condition.

Cancer is a disease that begins when cells in any part of the body begin to grow uncontrollably. Cervical cancer is one that begins in the lining of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus which opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is one of the preventive cancers if detected early. The condition develops very slowly which begins as a condition called dysplasia; the abnormal development/growth of a tissue.

The condition is caused due to infection of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are various kinds of HPV’s, however cervical cancer is caused due to infection caused specifically by types 16 and 18. Not all types of HPV viruses cause cervical cancer, some cause conditions like genital warts. Unlike many other cancers for which there is no designated cause, we know the exact causative factor of cervical cancer. Most adult women would have been affected by the HPV virus at some point in their life. In most cases, the infection goes away on its own without any treatment. However, in some cases the infection stays for prolonged periods, leading to cervical cancer. In addition to the HPV, unhealthy lifestyle practices like smoking also puts a woman at the risk of developing cervical cancer.

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Postpartum tips for new mothers

The postpartum period begins after the delivery of the child until the mother’s body returns to the pre-pregnancy state. This period is generally defined as the first 6 weeks after childbirth.  A baby is a whole new adjustment for the entire family and it may take some time to get used to the new family unit. This period may also involve you, as a mother, spending most time bonding with your baby and less time with your partner. However, the weeks after adjusting to motherhood can be challenging, particularly if you are a first-time mother. Although it is important to take care of your baby, it is also extremely important to take care of yourself and your body.

Since you would have gotten into a routine with your baby during the day and night, it may not be an easy start. However, here are a few tips that can help ease the process;

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