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Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular body part. With continued growth, pieces of this tissue travel through the blood to different body parts and continue to grow in the new area. This is known as metastases. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects about 1 in 8 women in the USA. Read on to know more details of breast cancer – breast anatomy, causes, symptoms, risk factors, detection, prevention, and of course treatment.
Anatomy: The main function of the breast is lactation through its milk-producing tissue that are connected to the nipple by narrow ducts. In addition, there is surrounding connective tissue, fibrous material, fat, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels which complete the structure. This is essential to know as most breast cancers develop as small calcifications (hardened particles) in the ducts or as small lumps in the breast tissue which then continues to grow into cancer. The spread can happen through lymphatic or blood flow to other organs.
Warning signs/symptoms: The following are some symptoms that need to be watched out for if you have a predisposition to breast cancer.
- A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
- Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
- Redness of your breast or nipple
- Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
- Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
- Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
- One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
- Hardened area under the breast skin
Either one or a combination of these should be an indication to get a detailed checkup done. Early diagnosis results in controlling the disease with minimal treatment and reduced complications.
Causes and risk factors: The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be pinned down. However, risk factors are clearly identified, and women with risk factors need to watch out for warning signs.
- Family history: Of all the risk factors, the family history is the most important. Breast cancer runs in families, and if there is a first-degree relative with the breast cancer, the chances of developing it are almost double. Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the carriers of the disease, and this testing can be done in women to identify if they are at risk.
- Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
- Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
- Hormones: Greater exposure to the female hormone estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Women who use birth control pills for contraception and hormone replacement after menopause are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones need to watch out. These include those who attain menarche before 12 years of age, get pregnant after 30, attain menopause after 55, and have menstrual cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 29 days.
- Obesity and alcohol abuse are also likely to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.
Stages: Starting from stage 0, higher stages indicate advanced disease.
- Stage 0: The growth which has begun in the milk-producing tissue or the ducts has remained there (in situ) and not spread to any other area, including the rest of the breast.
- Stage I: The tissue slowly becomes invasive and has begun to affect the surrounding healthy tissue. It could have spread to the fatty breast tissue and some breast tissue may be found in the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
- Stage III: It may have spread to the bones or other organs but small amounts are present in up to 9 to 10 of the lymph nodes in the armpits and collar bones which makes it is difficult to fight.
- Stage IV: The cancer is widespread to far-flung areas like the liver, lungs, bones, and even the brain.
Screening: This is one of the most effective ways to identify the disease in its early stages. This will help in controlling cancer from spreading with minimal treatment.
- Self-examination: A thorough self-examination to look for changes in terms of shape, size, colour, contour, and firmness should be learned by all women. Watch for any discharge, sores, rashes, or swelling in the breasts, surrounding skin, and nipple. Examine them while standing and when lying down.
- In most women, annual screening mammograms are advised after the age of 40. However, in women who have a strong family history or genetic makeup, it is advisable to have screening mammograms starting at age 20 every 3 years and then annually from the age of 40.
- Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
- Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
- Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer if the risk is greater.
Breast Cancer Prevention: Now that there is so much awareness about causes and risk factors, there are definitely ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
- Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
- Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
- Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
- In high-risk women, breasts are surgically removed to prevent the development of cancer (preventive mastectomy).
Treatment: As with all cancers, treatment would depend on the stage at which it is identified and include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As noted earlier, if you are at risk, look out for warning signs as early diagnosis is the key to maximum recovery.
I am suffering from slip disc l4 l5 problem from last 5 yrs. I have tried all the treatment. But. please provide some tips.
My wife is suffering from slip disc in spine after mri doctor diagnosis that she also suffering bone tb with unbearable pain in lower portion. Now as per doctor advice completely she is in bed rest. Now she cannot able to stand. Kindly advice.
You know that feeling after a long day when your feet are so sore or swollen that you can’t bear the thought of standing on them for any longer? once you take off your shoes and sit down, or even soak them in a warm bath, it’s still an unpleasant experience. Luckily, I’ve collected 10 natural remedies for such an occasion and I want to share them with you.
Important: regular swelling vs potential health risks
When experiencing swelling in the feet and legs, apply pressure to the area with a finger. If the dimple created by the finger remains for more than a couple of seconds, it may indicate oedema, which can be the result of heart, liver, or kidney problems. When this occurs, see a doctor at the first possible opportunity.
If you experience swelling in one leg but not the other, you should also see a doctor as this may be an indication of deep venous thrombosis (a blood clot blocking the blood vessels).
If the swelling is accompanied by shortness of breath, fever, bluish skin, and chest pains, get immediate medical attention.
10 natural remedies:
1. Soak your feet in epsom salts
Pour 250g of epsom salt into a hot bath, and take a nice long soak. You can also add essential oils to the mix for enhanced relaxation. Your feet will thank you, your body will thank you, and you’ll emerge from that bath a happier person.
2. Massage the area
Massaging the painful area increases blood flow and moves the fluids that accumulate and cause the swelling. If you want to indulge, get someone to massage your feet for you, preferably with hot essential oils.
3. Stop smoking
If you smoke tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, etc.), you should know that one of the many negative effects of nicotine is constriction of blood vessels, which can lead to sore feet.
4. Stay hydrated
When the caffeine and sodium we consume accumulate in the body, they can cause swelling and pain in the limbs. The best way to dilute them and flush them out is by drinking water. If you want to maximize the efficiency of hydration, squeeze a lemon or lime into the glass of water for a boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
5. Eat healthy, avoid excess salt
While we need salt for our body to function well, when we overdo it, it can have adverse effects. Reduce the amount of salt you consume every day, and consider cutting down on caffeine as well.
6. Elevate the legs
If you’re suffering from chronically sore legs/feet, try keep your legs elevated for 30 minutes, three times a day. You will notice a difference within a couple of days. Also, when you’re in bed, use a couple of pillows to prop up your feet. Elevating the legs helps to drain the excess fluids that causes the swelling and pain.
7. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods
Whether you’re flying, taking the bus, or just sitting in an office all day, keeping your legs stationary can lead to pain and swelling. If you know you’re going to sit for a long period of time, make sure to stand up, stretch, and walk around every 20 minutes or so.
8. Use compression socks when traveling
If you’re going to fly overseas, another excellent solution is to use compression socks. These socks apply pressure to your feet, preventing fluid from building up – the main cause of swelling and pain in the feet.
Exercise will help boost your cardiovascular system, which in turn will reduce the possibility of swelling in the limbs. Exercise increases blood-flow in the body and reduces weight.
10. Take magnesium supplements
Magnesium is essential for our body’s function. That said, many people suffer from a magnesium deficiency. By adding magnesium to your system, you will improve your overall health, reduce hangover symptoms and suffer less pain in your extremities
Cancer that originates in the bones of a human body is referred to as bone cancer. Any bone could come under the threat of this disease, but generally the longer bones of your body, so to say the bones of your limbs, are at a greater risk.
A few factors that might push you an inch closer to bone cancer are:
- Genes could jinx your health: A few typical genetic syndromes could increase a person's chances of contracting bone cancer. These syndromes could have been active in any person belonging to your lineage. One such syndrome is Li-Fraumeni.
- Treatment for one kind of cancer can make you prone to some other kind: Radiation affects your bones adversely. A patient of breast cancer might be undergoing radiation therapy that further increases his or her risk of contracting bone cancer in future.
- Paget's disease can have unfavorable implications: Paget's disease is a disease that affects elderly people. This condition, if left untreated, can turn into bone cancer at a later stage.
Several symptoms of bone cancer can be found below:
- Sudden loss of weight: If you lose a considerable amount of weight in a few weeks time without having made any effort at all, you should probably be worried about the health of your bones. Bone cancer can result in sudden and unintentional weight loss.
- Unexpected bone fracture or breakage: Cancer of the bones is known to gnaw at the strength of your bones. Weakened and diseased bones can break or get fractured very easily. An unexpected fracture should not be overlooked so as to prevent chances of anything more harmful.
- Long spans of unyielding exhaustion: Constant fatigue and sleepiness might be hinting at a more serious underlying problem. The bones in your body hold you together; cancerous bone cells can make you feel exhausted without much exertion as your bones lose their inherent potency.
- Persistent pain in the bones: Excruciating cramps or pangs of stinging pain in a person's bones either continuously or at odd hours, could be indicative of bone cancer. Such instances require the advice and guidance of an experienced oncologist.
- Bone swelling: The area affected by bone cancer can grow big and tender or the bone itself can swell up.
I want to know about disk pain. i am suffering from this pain from very long . please suggest me good treatment
Mri report- mild diffuse disc bulge at l4-l5 level causing the cal sac indentation and bilateral mild neural formalin narrowing (l> r). Please advice.
Hello doctor. I am I 32 years female and I have slip disc problem from last two years .I have 2 years baby vd normal delivery. I am not able to sleep properly because when I sleep suddenly I awake 2-3 times at night nd I try to sleep again but I sleep after 30 to 40 min. Now I am gaining fat and weight also. I take proper meal and I don't take more junk food also. Please tell me what to do? My all checkup report are normal & thyroid also.
Hello, I am 41 yr. Old, female. I have got breast cancer & undergoing chemotherapy. I have completed 5 chemo out of 8. Since 2 days I am experiencing severe and unbearable pain in right leg. Is this a symptom of chemotherapy? We have tried all kinds of balm and oils, but nothing is working. Pls prescribe me some medicine or home remedy for it.
Fibroid tumour is the abnormal cell growth in the uterus and they are mostly benign. Fibroids usually affect women in the age bracket of 30 - 40. Fibroid tumours are of three types, depending on their location:
- Submucosal fibroids: The tumour develops under the lining of the uterus
- Intramural fibroids: The growth is found amongst the muscles in the wall of the uterus
- Subserosal fibroids: The growth develops on the wall of the uterus right in the pelvic cavity
Causes behind it
The exact cause of fibroids in not known clearly. But certain factors have been discovered that might influence their formation. These factors include:
- Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen are the hormones responsible for recreating the uterine lining during every menstrual cycle. These hormones might trigger the formation of tumour.
- Family history: If any member in your family; your mother, grandmother or sister has/had fibroids in their uterus, you may also develop it.
- Pregnancy: Your body produces excessive progesterone and estrogen when you are pregnant, which may cause an increase in the size of a pre-existing small fibroid. Myomectomy can be done by giving incision on the abdomen or by laparoscopy depending on the size and location of the fibroids.
Signs You are suffering from it
- Heavy bleeding along with blood clots during or between your periods
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- Elevated menstrual cramping
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sex
- Longer than normal periods
- Bloating or pressure in lower abdomen
- Enlargement or swelling of the abdomen
How it can be treated?
Your doctor will formulate the right treatment depending on your age, the mass of the fibroids and your overall health. Your doctor may choose a combination of treatment to cure your fibroids, and they include:
- Medication: Gonadotropin releasing hormones (GnRH) agonists, birth control pills and ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed. GnRH agonists reduce the level of progesterone and estrogen in your uterus.
- Surgery: Myomectomy and hysterectomy are two common surgical procedures to treat fibroids. Myomectomy is performed by removing the fibroids only by making an incision on the abdomen. But hysterectomy completely removes the uterus. The latter is reserved for serious cases.
- Non-invasive surgery: Forced ultrasound surgery, myolysis (shrinking fibroids with laser or electric current), cryomyolysis (fibroids are frozen) and endometrial ablation (an instrument uses heat, hot water, microwaves or electric current to destroy fibroids) are some non-invasive surgical procedures. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I am a man of 50 years and have no complications except slip disc between l4-l5 which is ok if I take proper precaution. From last few months I feel considerable pain in my both knee after sitting on a chair for few hours constantly and then trying to move. When I am keep walking pain is not there. I have to sit in front of computer whole day long. Kindly advise.
I am suffering from sciatica for the last 6 months. Tried back exercises and muscle relaxants. The condition is due to L4/L5 disc herniation. Kindly advice.
Dear sir For last 1month I am suffering from severe pain in L5S1 region in lower back .done MRI also n compression is seen. Now what precautions should I take on daily basis as I m on bed rest for last one month..
My mother is suffering from disc extrusion in L5, is surgery necessary? Or something other will be helpful.
I am 55 year, last 4 month back Dr. Report slip disk Dr. Suggest me complete rest. I am admitted in hospital 9 day. Some relief but now also problem I can not sit more than 1 hours. If I seat both leg heavy & just. I cannot put my leg in ground
I have had a limbo sacral spine MRI. Conclusion of result is "Mild annular disc bulge with superimposed broad based posterocentral disc protrusion and annular tear at L4-L5 level is causing indentation on thecal sac. No central canal or existing foramina stenosis or nerve root compression" can anybody tell is it worrisome.
Post kidney transplant, most people have a low immunity due to the powerful medications that are prescribed to avoid rejection of the organ. These medications tend to make the patients more prone to infections and hence, following strict dietary guidelines is necessary to avoid any complication. Also, as most people suffering from kidney failure are diabetic, hypertensive or suffer from heart disease, dietary control is mandatory. Moreover, the use of immunosuppressive drugs can increase your risk of diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.
#1: eat a protein rich diet
After a kidney transplant, the body requires more proteins to aid in the healing process and improve immunity. This is the reason, why consuming proteins should not be limited. Also, patients who were previously on dialysis had a lower protein intake, post kidney transplant, the consumption of proteins is recommended to be increased. Here are 6 protein sources for vegetarians.
#2: do not eat raw fruits
Intake of raw fruits is not advised as there is a high risk of infection due to raw food. However, you can eat fruits in stewed form as cooking lowers the active bacterial load, thereby lowering your risk of infection.
#3: include curd in your diet
Curd contains good quality protein, which is required for healing post-transplant, hence, curd should be eaten. As far as sour foods like lime and tamarind are concerned, eating them is also okay. But avoid eating grapes as they are known to interact with immune suppressive drugs and hinder healing of the kidney. Also read about 11 diet do’s and don’ts for people with kidney problems.
#4: you need not avoid fruits/ vegetables with seeds
Foods with seeds like tomato, brinjal, ladies finger, guava, watermelon, etc are considered harmless and can be taken after transplant, provided other biochemical parameters like electrolytes and cholesterol are within normal range. Also, ensure that the level of potassium in the blood is within control. However, if you are suffering from kidney stones, it is better to avoid these foods.
#5: you might need to take protein supplements
People who undergo kidney transplants are recommended protein supplements during the initial stage, however, it varies from person to person. In most cases, post kidney transplant, patients recover their appetite, hence there’s no need for any supplements. However, if the patient feels that his protein intake is not optimal, he can continue taking supplements post-transplant, but only after consulting a nephrologist.
Unlike the common misconception that kidney transplant recipients can eat everything after a transplant, you need to follow a disciplined dietary routine with numerous restrictions, depending upon your overall recovery and health. You can start eating out after three to six months of kidney transplantation, as it is the average time taken for the immuno-suppression to be stable and be at a low level. However, raw food, salads, fruits and foods kept open should be strictly avoided, even in general.