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.
Make Healthy Choices to prevent cancer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is important to live a healthy lifestyle and take an active role in medical decisions to reduce the risk of cancers and other health issues. Eating healthy food that is full of nutrients and limiting alcohol use to less than a drink per day; performing 75 minutes of physical activity per week; getting enough sleep and avoiding chemicals that cause cancer can play an active role in majorly reducing your risk.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of hormone replacement therapy and birth control, breastfeed your babies and familiarize with your family health history. Previous diagnoses of the disease in the family may increase your risk of diagnosis.
How to Get Screened
Breast Cancer screenings can save your life. Age and family history are two factors that can influence how often a person should have adult screenings. If cancer is detected early, it may be treated and as a result, increase chances of survival.
There are three different screening methods.
- Self-examination: In the privacy of your home, you can search for breast cancer symptomssuch as lumps or changes in size or shape of the breasts.
- Clinical examination: Your doctor performs a more in-depth check of your breast, searching for any abnormal signs.
- Mammogram: Doctors use a low-dose X-ray to detect any signs of breast cancer. Although the mammogram can feel uncomfortable, it is the best test doctors have for early discovery of cancer.
- Ultrasonography of breasts and MRI also help in diagnosis. Most types of breast cancer are easy to diagnose by a biopsy of the affected area of the breast
The management of breast cancer depends on various factors, including the stage of the cancer and the age of the patient.
Modes of management include:
- Lumpectomy removes the tumor while leaving the breast intact,
- Mastectomy: Surgical removal of part or the whole breast to remove a tumor and connecting tissue.
- Chemotherapy, Radiation, and Hormone & Targeted Therapy are other modes of treatment.
An early start to examination and the regularity in doing so can save your life!
Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Aster Speciality Clinic, International City