There exists more than 200 different types of cancers and breast cancer is one of them. It is a wrong notion that it is a woman’s disease but actually this disease has affected both men and women. Statistics says that more than 2, 00,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, 13 per cent of all women will get the disease and 3% of them will die. The disease of cancer arises due to the uncontrollable division of cells.
Altered genes and uninhibited growth of cells lead to tumors. These tumors can be benign (NOT cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumors won’t spread but it can damage tissues around it. Malignant tumors invade, damage, and destroy nearby tissues and can spread. There is always the danger of spreading of cancer throughout the body. It happens when cancer cells break away from malignant tumors and enter the bloodstream. Cancer cells from breast cancer are mostly found in the lymph nodes under the arm when it “spreads.” Occurrences of breast cancers in women are generally observed in between the ages of 35 and 65.
Even though the exact cause of cancer is unknown, there are many factors, which may cause this disease. Genetics is one of them. So a family history of breast cancer may enhance risk of breast cancer. Early onset of menstrual cycle, late menopause—Menstruation before the age of 12 and menopause after the age of 50 also increases risk of cancer. Being obese may also increase your risk.
Even though white women are more likely to get cancer than African-American women, African-American women are more likely to die from cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian women have a lower risk of getting breast cancer. Most studies menopause symptoms for more than 5 years may also increase the risk of breast cancer. Besides that excessive consumption of alcohol is also one of the factors responsible for it.
There are several symptoms of breast cancer. Initially cancer may not show any symptoms at all but with the passage of time the symptoms are seen. Appearance of lump or thickening in or near the breast, change in its shape or contour, swelling, thickening, pore enlargement, retraction or scaliness of the nipple, nipple discharge, pain or tenderness are the common symptoms. In some cases, pain and tenderness may occur.
There are several tests, which are generally done in the diagnosis of breast cancer. One of these is mammography. A mammography is an x-ray taken to examine the breasts. Another method is to use of ultrasound. An ultrasound is used to see if a lump is solid or if. It contains fluid. Besides that, fine needle are also used. Using a fine needle and syringe, a sample of cells from the lump on the breast is taken. It is taken to a lab where it is tested whether it contains any “bad” cells or not. Many other lab tests are also done to ascertain about the breast cancer.
Most people adopt surgery to remove their tumors. There are several types of surgery such as lumpectomy and partial or segmental mastectomy. This type of surgery is the removal of the tumor and the tissues in the vicinity of it. This type of surgery is usually followed by radiation therapy. Several methods used are employed to eradicate breast cancer, like radiation therapy in which high-energy x-rays are used to kill cancer. In chemotherapy the drugs are employed to kill cancer cells. There is another method, hormone therapy, which may be done by using drugs to change the way the hormones work or by surgery to take out the organs that make the hormones.
Most patients treated early on spend healthy lives after the recovery. Chances of recovery depend on many elements such as the type and stage of breast cancer.