Breast cancer – A complete overview
Breast Cancer develops from the breast tissue when breast cells grow unrestrained which usually comes into being a tumour. It is one of the most popular cancers in women. Even though breast cancer is a kind of tumour found in women, it somehow also affects a very negligible amount of men. Researches and studies suggest that risk of developing breast cancer is directly proportional to the age of a woman, which means that the older a female is more are the chances of her getting breast cancer.
Causes and Risk Factors of Breast Cancer
Although, some of the risk factors have been observed and confirmed by the researchers, the exact cause behind the cancer is still a mystery for the world. Certain factors that give rise to the risk of developing breast cancer are –
- Consuming excessive amount of alcohol
- Consuming oral contraceptives for long durations in continuity
- Early menarche (before the age of 12) or late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Genetic inheritance or any close family member having breast cancer
- Women who do not have children or have the first child after the age of 35 years tend to have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Women who’ve had radiation therapy for some other disease as children or young adults are at more risk of developing breast cancer too.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- Itchy breasts
- Redness or fluffiness in one or both breasts
- Lump or lumps in breast(s)
- Change in the colour of breast
- Any change in colour, size or shape of nipple(s)
- Inverted nipple(s)
- Blood discharge from breasts
- Pain in any part of the breasts
- Flaking or peeling of nipple skin
- Irritation in breast(s) or nipple(s)
- Swelling of lymph nodes in the breast or armpit
Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
- Physical Exam – In this, the doctor examines the breasts for any abnormality such as swelling in lymph nodes or lumps.
- Ultrasound – In this, sound waves are used to produce a digital image of the structure deep inside the body. It is used to determine whether the lump is a liquid-filled cyst or a solid mass.
- Mammogram – Mammogram is an X-Ray of breasts. This is basically used in screening breast cancers.
- Biopsy – It is the only way to confirm the breast cancer. In this, a sample tissue is taken out of breast and tested for any abnormality.
- Magnetic resonance imaging for breasts – In this, magnetic radio waves is used to create images of the interior of the breasts. Before this procedure, an injection of dye is also injected. In this process, unlike the other processes radiations are not used to produce internal images.
Breast Cancer Treatment
- Lumpectomy – This process is used to remove the cancer present in the breasts using surgical methods.
- Mastectomy – This is the process in which the whole breast is removed using surgical methods.
- Radiation Therapy – In this process, powerful radiations are used to kill the cancer cells present in the breast.
- Chemotherapy – High energy medicines are injected directly in the vein for killing the cancer cells. These medicines can have many side effects like hair fall, nausea and even weight gain or loss.
- Immunotherapy – In this process, the immune system of the body is prepared to fight against the cancer cells which it usually doesn’t.
There are some uncommon treatments too, which are usually suggested according to your type of breast cancer. If any of your symptoms match the ones given above or you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, we suggest you visit the best oncologist in Delhi or anywhere near you.