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Are you experiencing excruciating headache? you probably didn't know but you could be suffering from brain aneurysms. It is described as bulge formation in the blood vessel in the brain. It is a totally asymptomatic condition as one does not display any symptoms until the bulge vessel ruptures which may result in blood releasing in the skull which may further lead to a stroke. The bulge is often formed in the gaps between the tissues covering the brain and brain itself.
Most common treatment options for ruptured aneurysm
There are two common treatment options for a ruptured brain aneurysm endovascular coiling and surgical clipping. Both these procedures have certain risk factors, therefore it is best to discuss the details with a neurologist. The endovascular coiling is a less invasive process where the surgeon inserts a hollow tube or catheter into an artery and threads it through the body to reach an aneurysm. Then a guide wire is sent to push a soft platinum wire through the catheter. This coils up and disrupts the flow of blood into the aneurysm and leads to blood clotting. The clotting is essential in sealing off the aneurysm from the artery.
The surgical clipping is a process used for closing off the aneurysm, and a section of the skull is required to be removed for assessing the affected part. It also helps in locating the blood vessel that is responsible for the problem. Finally, a metal clip is placed on the neck of the aneurysm to stop the flow of blood. Though endovascular coiling is less invasive and said to be safer, adequate post-treatment care is necessary to minimize risks.
To treat larger aneurysms, a treatment called flow diverters may be useful. Since, the treatment is decided based on the size, location, apperance and your health condition, your doctor will be the best person to take the final call.
Other procedures to treat symptoms
Other than the surgical procedures several treatments might be prescribed to treat the symptoms and to manage complications. A few commonly advised treatments are:
- Pain relievers: To manage headaches
- Calcium channel blockers: One of the most common complications that may arise with an aneurysm is calcium entering the walls of blood vessels which may result in narrowing of walls. Calcium channel blockers are medications may be prescribed by the doctors to deal with the complication
- Anti seizure medications: Medications such as levetiracetam, phenytoin, valproic acid, and others are prescribed to treat seizures associated with aneurysms
- Procedures to prevent stroke: An insufficient blood flow may result in a stroke and to prevent it, the drug vasopressor is injected intravenously, or angioplasty is performed.
- Rehabilitative therapy: Damage to the brain may require the patient to undergo several physical and occupational therapy.
If you suffer from the condition, it is advised to keep a check on the blood pressure and quit smoking as they can help in reducing the risks associated with aneurysms.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
One of the things that Shannen Doherty and Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks, have in common, apart from their fame is that both were affected by breast cancer. No matter how normal a person may seem, breast cancer can strike anyone. In fact, it usually strikes one in eight women. So, it makes good sense to know what it can appear as!
Breast cancer makes up a rather big amount of the general cancer cases as 15% of the cancer cases which are reported on a yearly basis are usually breast cancer cases. That being said, there are quite a few things which can be done in order to reduce a person’s risk to breast cancer.
Effective ways to prevent breast cancer-
As with any other types of cancer, breast cancer is a condition characterized by uncontrolled and rapid cell proliferation and division in the breast, resulting in the formation of a malignant tumor. While breast cancer is known to be one of the most common types of cancer affecting women, men are also susceptible to the condition.
An early diagnosis of the condition gives a mercurial boost to the treatment for breast cancer, often ensuring a full recovery. Unfortunately, in most cases, breast cancer gets diagnosed at a later stage. Some of the symptoms commonly associated with breast cancer include:
- A change in the breast shape, size, or even the contour.
- The appearance of a lump in the breast, often pea sized.
- There may be a fluid discharge (can be clear or blood-stained) from the nipples. In addition to this, the skin around the nipples or the breast may undergo some change. It may appear red, inflamed, scaly or even puckered and dimpled.
In addition to the medications and treatment, a person with breast cancer can benefit by practicing the following tips diligently:
- Self-awareness: Nobody can know your body better than yourself. The associated complications of breast cancer can be averted if only people stop overlooking the early signs and symptoms. There are many government sponsored campaigns and programs to create awareness about breast cancer. Once a while, self-examine your breasts. Feel your breasts for any lumps or thickenings. If you notice any abnormalities, waste no time and consult a doctor at the earliest.
- BRCA1 and BRCA2 human genes: The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are important with regards to the breast cancer. These genes are responsible for the production of tumor suppressor proteins, which play a pivotal role in the repair of DNA damage (often resulting from mutations or diseases). A mutation (often genetically triggered or hereditary trait) in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can wreak havoc, elevating the instances of breast cancer and many other types of cancer (ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and pancreatic cancer, to name a few). Thus, people who have a family history of breast cancer triggered by a mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes should get themselves tested as a precautionary measure.
- Obesity is a big No: Maintaining a healthy body weight is the need of the hour. Various research has found a link between obesity and increased risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-II, women who put on extra weight (60 pounds or more) after the age of 18, are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer post-menopause as compared to their healthy counterparts. Thus, it is important to keep the body weight within healthy limits. Take care of your diet. Indulge in physical activities and exercise.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: People, particularly women who consume alcohol in excess (2-6 drinks daily) are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Limit your daily dose of alcohol (1 drink or less per day).
Prevention is Prudent-
Get Fit: The first thing which should be done is that a reasonable level of fitness should be maintained. Many studies have found that if a person is significantly heavier than her recommended weight, she is at a far great risk to develop all sorts of cancer and breast cancer, in particular, than a person who is able to keep her weight in check. The difference in cancer risk rates is about 40%. This is because a greater amount of fat leads to more estrogen being produced, which increases the risk of breast cancer.
Quit Smoking: While most people associate smoking as something which increases the risk of cancer to the lungs and are not aware that it increases the risk of breast cancer, too. So, the best solution is to kick the habit!
Get Off the Pill: Once a woman crosses past her mid-thirties, she should try to avoid relying on birth control pills to reduce the risk of pregnancy. This is because these pills have an effect which increases the risk of breast cancer, which heightens as a woman gets older. As long as the woman cuts out the use of the pill, the risk quickly gets cut, as well.
Get Regular Check Ups: While screening for breast cancer by making use of mammograms does not cut the risk of it, the screening helps detect breast cancer early if it does exist. As a result, a woman has a much better chance of fighting breast cancer. So, a woman who is past the age of forty should try to have a mammogram on an annual basis with the frequency of the same increasing as she gets older. However, it is to be kept in mind that going for a mammogram too often is also not a good idea as the tests themselves pose risks of DNA changes.
Women all around the world are susceptible to breast cancer. While there isn’t a 100% chance of avoiding it, taking care of yourself and leading a fit and active lifestyle can significantly cut down your risk of contracting this condition. Remember, your health is in your hands, so the earlier you start, the better!
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
जिगर शरीर में सबसे बड़ा ग्रंथियों वाला अंग है और शरीर को विषाक्त पदार्थों और हानिकारक पदार्थों से मुक्त रखने के लिए विभिन्न महत्वपूर्ण कार्य करता है। पेट के दाहिने ऊपरी चतुर्भुज मंर स्थित है, पसलियों के ठीक नीचे। लिवर पित्त के उत्पादन के लिए जिम्मेदार है, जो एक पदार्थ है जो आपको वसा, विटामिन, और अन्य पोषक तत्वों को पचाने में मदद करता है। यह ग्लूकोज जैसे पोषक तत्वों को भी स्टोर करता है और दवाओं और विषाक्त पदार्थों को तोड़ता है।
लिवर कैंसर, जिसे हेपेटिक कैंसर भी कहा जाता है, एक कैंसर होता है जो लिवर में शुरू होता है। जब कैंसर लिवर में विकसित होता है, तो यह लिवर कोशिकाओं को नष्ट कर देता है और सामान्य रूप से कार्य करने के लिए लिवर की क्षमता में दखल देता है। लिवर कैंसर के दो प्रकार होते हैं। प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर, जो लिवर की कोशिकाओं में शुरू होता है। जबकि, कैंसर जो कि कहीं और से शुरू होता है और अंततः जिगर तक पहुंच जाता है, उन्हें जिगर मेटास्टेसिस या द्वितीयक लिवर कैंसर कहा जाता है।
प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर के विभिन्न प्रकार
विभिन्न प्रकार के प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर लिवर के विभिन्न कोशिकाओं से उत्पन्न होते हैं। प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर लिवर में एक गांठ के रूप में, या एक ही समय में लिवर के भीतर कई स्थानों में शुरू हो सकता है।
1. हेपैटोसेलुलर हेपैटोसेलुलर:
हेपेटोसेल्यूलर कार्सिनोमा (एच.सी.सी), जिसे हेपेटामा भी कहा जाता है, सबसे सामान्य प्रकार का लिवर कैंसर है। एचसीसी मुख्य प्रकार के लिवर कोशिकाओं में शुरू होता है, जिसे हेपोटोसेल्यूलर कोशिका कहा जाता है। एचसीसी के अधिकांश मामले हेपेटाइटिस बी या सी, या शराब के कारण जिगर के सिरोसिस के संक्रमण का नतीजा है।
2. फाइब्रोलैमेलर एचसीसी:
फाइब्रोलामेरेलर एचसीसी एक रेअर प्रकार का एचसीसी है, जो आम तौर पर अन्य प्रकार के लिवर कैंसर की तुलना में उपचार के लिए अधिक संवेदनशील होता है।
कोलेंजियोकार्सिनोमा, जिसे आमतौर पर पित्त नली के कैंसर के रूप में जाना जाता है, लिवर में छोटे, ट्यूब जैसे पित्त नलिकाओं में विकसित होता है। पाचन में मदद करने के लिए, ये नलिकाएं पित्ताशय में पित्त को ले जाने के लिए जिम्मेदार हैं। जब कैंसर लिवर के अंदर नलिकाएं के खंड में शुरू होता है, तो इसे इंट्राहेपेटिक पित्त नलिका कैंसर कहा जाता है। यद्यपि, जब लिवर के बाहर नलिकाओं के अनुभाग में कैंसर शुरू होता है, तो एक्स्ट्राहेपाटिक पित्त वाहिका कैंसर कहलाता है।
एंजियोनेसकोमा लिवर कैंसर का एक रेअर प्रकार है जो लिवर के रक्त वाहिकाओं से शुरू होता है। इस प्रकार का कैंसर बहुत तेज़ी से प्रगति करता है, इसलिए यह आमतौर पर एक और अधिक उन्नत चरण में डिटेक्ट किया जाता है।
हेपोटोब्लास्टोमा एक अत्यंत असामान्य प्रकार का लिवर कैंसर है।
लिवर कैंसर के लक्षण
ज्यादातर लोगों के प्राथमिक जिगर कैंसर के शुरुआती चरणों में लक्षण नहीं होते। जिसके परिणामस्वरूप, लिवर कैंसर बहुत देर से डिटेक्ट किया जाता है। लिवर कैंसर के लक्षणों में शामिल हैं:
- भूख में कमी
- वजन घटना
- एबडोमीनल पेन
- मतली और उल्टी
- सामान्य खुजली
- हेपटेमेगाली (बढ़े हुए जिगर)
- बढ़े हुए स्प्लीन
चूंकि लिवर कैंसर के लिए कोई व्यापक रूप से अनुशंसित नियमित स्क्रीनिंग टेस्ट नहीं हैं, इसलिये बीमारी के परिवार के या अन्य जोखिम कारकों के इतिहास वाले लोगों को उनके डॉक्टर से बात करनी चाहिए ताकि वे अपने जोखिम को मॉनिटर करने या कम करने के लिए सही कदम उठा सकें।
लिवर कैंसर के जोखिम कारक
प्राथमिक लिवर कैंसर के खतरे को बढ़ाने वाले कारकों में शामिल हैं:
- उपचय स्टेरॉयड्स
- कम प्रतिरक्षा और मोटापा
What is Bone cancer?
Bone cancer is malignant tumour of the bones which can spread to lungs or other parts of the body. It may have arisen primarily from the bone itself (primary bone cancer) or more commonly, may have spread to the bones (secondary bone cancer) from cancer of some other body organ like Breast cancer, Prostate cancer etc.
Primary bone cancer usually occurs in growing children and young adolescents, whereas, secondary bone cancer usually occurs in older age group. Usually, the patient experiences pain in the affected area, which over the time, gets worse and continuous. There may also be swelling in the involved region. It can cause weakening of bones resulting in fracture. Some patients may attribute these symptoms to any prior antecedent trauma. Unintentional weight loss may also be seen. Sometimes, these patients are wrongly being treated for infection, thus delaying the correct treatment which may have a bearing on the final outcome.
How common is bone cancer?
Secondary bone cancer is the most common type of bone cancer with bone being the third most common site of cancer spread (metastasis) from other organs. However, primary bone cancers are rare accounting for less than 1% of all cancers.
Causes of bone cancer?
There are no known environmental or other hereditary factors which cause bone cancer, however, certain patients are at a greater risk for bone cancer which include:
- Patients who have received prior radiation therapy
- Patients with a history of Paget’s Disease
- Patients with hereditary retinoblastoma - a type of eye cancer that most commonly affects very young children
- Patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition
How is it diagnosed?
A patient suspected with bone cancer needs to be investigated thoroughly with blood tests, Xrays, MRI to look for local extent of disease. Since bone cancer can spread to lungs and other bones, staging of the disease is done either with whole body PET CT or a bone scan with CT Chest. Alongwith that, a biopsy (usually with a needle) is required to establish the diagnosis. It’s important to do biopsy from the correct site since wrong biopsy site can be detrimental in limb salvage and can result in amputation (cutting the limb). Therefore, it’s recommended that the biopsy should always be done by the surgeon (Orthopaedic Oncologist) who will be doing the final surgery for bone cancer.
Treatment of bone cancer is a multidisciplinary approach requiring an Orthopaedic Oncologist (Bone & Soft tissue tumour specialist), Medical Oncologist (Chemotherapy Specialist), Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy specialist) and Pathologist (Specialist in tissue diagnosis).
Usually in primary bone cancers, chemotherapy is given to the patient followed by surgery to remove the diseased bone which is further followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Limb salvage surgery is possible nowadays for bone cancers in which the part of the bone involved with tumour is removed surgically (rather than cutting the whole limb) and the defect is reconstructed with artificial joint, thereby saving the limb. In some cases, the cancerous bone so removed is given very high dose of radiation so as to kill all the cancer cells and the sterilised bone so formed is fixed back to the parent bone with the help of plates and screws, a technique commonly called as Extra Corporeal Radiation Therapy (ECRT). In children, since the artificial joint will not grow as the child grows leading to unequal limb lengths over a period of time, the defect can be reconstructed with expandable joint which can be lengthened as the child grows which allows to maintain limb length equality at the time of skeletal maturity.
Is cure possible in bone cancer?
With the current chemotherapy regimes and advanced surgical technology, cure is possible in upto 70-75% patients with primary bone cancer. In patients with secondary bone cancer, cure can still be achieved depending upon the primary cancer and the extent of disease. In advanced cases also, a lot can be done to control the disease and give a quality of life to the patient.
Is it possible to prevent bone cancer?
Since the exact cause of bone cancer is not known, as of now it’s not possible to prevent bone cancer.
Whom to consult?
First chance is the best chance when it comes to curing bone cancers. So, it’s advisable to seek treatment from a trained Orthopaedic Oncologist when confronted with a bone cancer to achieve maximum beneficial outcome.
I have some disc problem, in MRI report L5S1, how can I remove this problem, which exercise is useful in this problem.
A Herniated disc also known as a slip disc or prolapsed disc and it refers to the problem where one of the discs located in between the bones of the vertebrae(backbone) gets damaged and stacks itself upon the nerves. The tender inner portion of the disc gets protruded over the outer ring. Herniated disc causes severe neck pain and back pain. It occurs when the outer ring gets weak and tears down. The most common symptoms include pain and numbness, especially on one side of the body. The pain extends down to the arms and legs. It worsens during nighttime. The muscles become weak. Overweight people are likely to have this disease, as the discs carry extra weight. Old people are vulnerable to a slip disc.
Effects of Herniated Disc:
- An untreated case of Herniated disc may cause permanent damage to the nerves.
- In certain cases, a Herniated disc is capable of cutting off nerve impulses to the "caudal equine"nerves, present in the lower back and legs. This leads to loss of bladder control or bowel control.
- Saddle anaesthesia is another long-term effect. Nerves are compressed by the slip disc, causing loss of sensation in the inner portions of your thighs, the back of your legs and surrounding the rectum region.
- Symptoms may improve or worsen.
Diagnosis of Herniated Disc:
Treatment or diagnosis of Herniated disc or slipped disc can be either conservative or surgical in nature. The nature of treatment is determined according to your discomfort level and the kind of pain you are experiencing, or how much the disc has slipped out.
- The pain caused by Herniated disc can be relieved by undertaking an exercise schedule, which includes stretching and strengthening the spine and its surrounding muscles.
- A physiotherapist should be appointed for recommending the types of exercises.
- Taking pain relievers also soothes the pain.
- Stronger medicines prescribed by doctors include-muscle relaxants, narcotics to deal with the pain, medicines for nerve pain such as "gabapentin" or "duloxetine".
- In case of the symptoms not subsiding within a span of six weeks, a surgery may be recommended by your doctor. The surgeon may have to remove the damaged part of the disc. This surgery is called a microdiscectomy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
Dr. Please tell me can you detect the baby's brain defect in ultrasound and any birth defects clearly in which ultrasound?
Breast Cancer Prevention:
Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.
Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer. Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:
Changing lifestyle or eating habits. Avoiding things known to cause cancer. Taking medicine to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting.
General information about breast cancer:
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in india
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.
The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.
Enlarge Drawing of female breast anatomy showing the lymph nodes, nipple, areola, chest wall, ribs, muscle, fatty tissue, lobe, ducts, and lobules.
Anatomy of the female breast. The nipple and areola are shown on the outside of the breast. The lymph nodes, lobes, lobules, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are also shown.
Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels lead to organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fight infection and disease. Clusters of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla (under the arm), above the collarbone, and in the chest.
Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer. The following are risk factors for breast cancer:
Older agea personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast diseasea family history of breast cancerinherited gene changesdense breasts
The following are protective factors for breast cancer:
Less exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made by the bodytaking estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy,
Estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomyselective estrogen receptor modulatorsaromatase inhibitors and inactivators
Risk-reducing mastectomy ovarian ablationgetting enough exercise
It is not clear whether the following affect the risk of breast cancer:
Factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk
Older age is the main risk factor for most cancers. The chance of getting cancer increases as you get older.
A personal history of breast cancer or benign (noncancer) breast disease
Women with any of the following have an increased risk of breast cancer:
A personal history of invasive breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis), or lobular carcinoma in situ (lcis). A personal history of benign (noncancer) breast disease.
A family history of breast cancer
Women with a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) have an increased risk of breast cancer.
Inherited gene changes:
Women who have inherited changes in the brca1 and brca2 genes or in certain other genes have a higher risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and maybe colon cancer. The risk of breast cancer caused by inherited gene changes depends on the type of gene mutation, family history of cancer, and other factors.
Men who have inherited certain changes in the brca2 gene have a higher risk of breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, and lymphoma.
Having breast tissue that is dense on a mammogram is a factor in breast cancer risk. The level of risk depends on how dense the breast tissue is. Women with very dense breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer than women with low breast density.
Increased breast density is often an inherited trait, but it may also occur in women who have not had children, have a first pregnancy late in life, take postmenopausal hormones, or drink alcohol.
Exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made in the body
Estrogen is a hormone made by the body. It helps the body develop and maintain female sex characteristics. Being exposed to estrogen over a long time may increase the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen levels are highest during the years a woman is menstruating.
A woman's exposure to estrogen is increased in the following ways:
Early menstruation: beginning to have menstrual periods at age 11 or younger increases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Starting menopause at a later age: the more years a woman menstruates, the longer her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Older age at first birth or never having given birth: because estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy, breast tissue is exposed to more estrogen in women who become pregnant for the first time after age 35 or who never become pregnant.
Taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause:
Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can be made into a pill form in a laboratory. Estrogen, progestin, or both may be given to replace the estrogen no longer made by the ovaries in postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries removed. This is called hormone replacement therapy (hrt) or hormone therapy (ht). Combination hrt/ht is estrogen combined with progestin. This type of hrt/ht increases the risk of breast cancer. Studies show that when women stop taking estrogen combined with progestin, the risk of breast cancer decreases.
Radiation therapy to the breast or chest:
Radiation therapy to the chest for the treatment of cancer increases the risk of breast cancer, starting 10 years after treatment. The risk of breast cancer depends on the dose of radiation and the age at which it is given. The risk is highest if radiation treatment was used during puberty, when breasts are forming.
Radiation therapy to treat cancer in one breast does not appear to increase the risk of cancer in the other breast.
For women who have inherited changes in the brca1 and brca2 genes, exposure to radiation, such as that from chest x-rays, may further increase the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who were x-rayed before 20 years of age.
Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women who have not used hormone replacement therapy.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk rises as the amount of alcohol consumed rises.
The following are protective factors for breast cancer:
Less exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made by the body
Decreasing the length of time a woman's breast tissue is exposed to estrogen may help prevent breast cancer. Exposure to estrogen is reduced in the following ways:
Early pregnancy: estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy. Women who have a full-term pregnancy before age 20 have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have not had children or who give birth to their first child after age 35. Breast-feeding: estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Women who breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.
Taking estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy, selective estrogen receptor modulators, or aromatase inhibitors and inactivators
Estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy
Hormone therapy with estrogen only may be given to women who have had a hysterectomy. In these women, estrogen-only therapy after menopause may decrease the risk of breast cancer. There is an increased risk of stroke and heart and blood vessel disease in postmenopausal women who take estrogen after a hysterectomy.
Selective estrogen receptor modulators:
Tamoxifen and raloxifene belong to the family of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (serms). Serms act like estrogen on some tissues in the body, but block the effect of estrogen on other tissues.
Treatment with tamoxifen lowers the risk of estrogen receptor-positive (er-positive) breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ in premenopausal and postmenopausal women at high risk. Treatment with raloxifene also lowers the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. With either drug, the reduced risk lasts for several years or longer after treatment is stopped. Lower rates of broken bones have been noted in patients taking raloxifene.
Taking tamoxifen increases the risk of hot flashes, endometrial cancer, stroke, cataracts, and blood clots (especially in the lungs and legs). The risk of having these problems increases with age. Women younger than 50 years who have a high risk of breast cancer may benefit the most from taking tamoxifen. The risk of having these problems decreases after tamoxifen is stopped.
Taking raloxifene increases the risk of blood clots in the lungs and legs, but does not appear to increase the risk of endometrial cancer. In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (decreased bone density), raloxifene lowers the risk of breast cancer for women who have a high or low risk of breast cancer. It is not known if raloxifene would have the same effect in women who do not have osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this drug.
Aromatase inhibitors and inactivators:
Aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, letrozole) and inactivators (exemestane) lower the risk of a new breast cancer in women who have a history of breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors also decrease the risk of breast cancer in women with the following conditions:
Postmenopausal women with a personal history of breast cancer. Women with no personal history of breast cancer who are 60 years and older, have a history of ductal carcinoma in situ with mastectomy, or have a high risk of breast cancer based on the gail model tool (a tool used to estimate the risk of breast cancer).
In women with an increased risk of breast cancer, taking aromatase inhibitors decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body. Before menopause, estrogen is made by the ovaries and other tissues in a woman's body, including the brain, fat tissue, and skin. After menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen, but the other tissues do not. Aromatase inhibitors block the action of an enzyme called aromatase, which is used to make all of the body's estrogen. Aromatase inactivators stop the enzyme from working.
Possible harms from taking aromatase inhibitors include muscle and joint pain, osteoporosis, hot flashes, and feeling very tired.
Some women who have a high risk of breast cancer may choose to have a risk-reducing mastectomy (the removal of both breasts when there are no signs of cancer). The risk of breast cancer is much lower in these women and most feel less anxious about their risk of breast cancer. However, it is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling about the different ways to prevent breast cancer before making this decision.
The ovaries make most of the estrogen that is made by the body. Treatments that stop or lower the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries include surgery to remove the ovaries, radiation therapy, or taking certain drugs. This is called ovarian ablation.
Premenopausal women who have a high risk of breast cancer due to certain changes in the brca1 and brca2 genes may choose to have a risk-reducing oophorectomy (the removal of both ovaries when there are no signs of cancer). This decreases the amount of estrogen made by the body and lowers the risk of breast cancer. Risk-reducing oophorectomy also lowers the risk of breast cancer in normal premenopausal women and in women with an increased risk of breast cancer due to radiation to the chest. However, it is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling before making this decision. The sudden drop in estrogen levels may cause the symptoms of menopause to begin. These include hot flashes, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and depression. Long-term effects include decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, and decreased bone density.
Getting enough exercise:
Women who exercise four or more hours a week have a lower risk of breast cancer. The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal women who have normal or low body weight.
It is not clear whether the following affect the risk of breast cancer:
Certain oral contraceptives contain estrogen. Some studies have shown that taking oral contraceptives (" the pill") may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer in current users. This risk decreases over time. Other studies have not shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women who take oral contraceptives.
Progestin -only contraceptives that are injected or implanted do not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer. More studies are needed to know whether progestin-only oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer.
Studies have not proven that being exposed to certain substances in the environment, such as chemicals, increases the risk of breast cancer.
Studies have shown that some factors do not affect the risk of breast cancer.
The following do not affect the risk of breast cancer:
Having an abortion. Making diet changes such as eating less fat or more fruits and vegetables. Taking vitamins, including fenretinide (a type of vitamin a). Cigarette smoking, both active and passive (inhaling secondhand smoke). Using underarm deodorant or antiperspirant. Taking statins (cholesterol -lowering drugs). Taking bisphosphonates (drugs used to treat osteoporosis and hypercalcemia) by mouth or by intravenous infusion.
Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer.