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Breast cancer is a form of cancer which develops from the breast tissue. Breast cancer is indicated by signs such as a lump in the breast, changes in breast shape, fluid flowing from the nipple, dimpling of skin, or the development of red scaly patches. Breast cancer is a fatal form of cancer in women and immediate diagnosis is required on observing the symptoms.
Diagnosis of breast cancer
Other than the regular breast screening, the diagnosis of breast cancer involves the following steps and methods:
- Seeing your general practitioner (GP): It is very important to visit your GP soon after noticing the symptoms of breast cancer. Your GP will examine you properly and in case your symptoms need more assessment, he/she will refer you to a breast cancer clinic.
- Mammogram and breast ultrasound: You will be required to have a mammogram, as recommended by a specialist breast unit. This is an X-ray of the breasts. An ultrasound scan may also be required. Breast ultrasound should be undertaken only if you are less than 35 years of age. This is because, young women have denser breasts and a mammogram is not as effective as ultrasound in the diagnosis of breast cancer. In ultrasound, high frequency sound waves are used for obtaining an image of your breasts. It is observed to notice any abnormality or lumps. A breast ultrasound is also important for determining whether a lump is solid or contains liquid.
- Biopsy: In this diagnosis process, a sample of the tissue cells is taken from the breasts and tested under a microscope to find out if it is cancerous. A scan and needle test for the lymph nodes present in your armpit is also done to check whether they have also been affected. A biopsy is undertaken in several ways, depending upon the condition and severity. A needle aspiration biopsy is used for testing a sample of your breast cells without the removal of the tissues. This is the most common form of biopsy and it is also used for draining a small fluid-filled lump or benign cyst. During the process, you will be given a local anesthetic. Usually, a needle biopsy is carried out guided by an X-ray, ultrasound and an MRI scan as well. This helps in distinguishing it from non-invasive changes such as ductal carcinoma in situ.
Another form of biopsy used for the diagnosis of breast cancer is called vacuum assisted biopsy or mammotome biopsy. In this process, a needle gets attached to a suction tube, which helps in obtaining the sample and for clearing the bleeding. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general-surgeon.
Herniated disk l3-14 mm L4-11 mm L5-10 mm S1-8 mm My age 23 /M Dr. suggest for surgery but I didn't want that any chances for normal.
While you cannot cure breast diseases, family history and maturing, but there are some hazards or risks that you can control. Keeping in mind the fact that there is no certain approach to forestall breast cancer, there are things you can do that may bring down the hazard. Here are five approaches to ensure your breast's well-being:
- Watch your weight: Being overweight or hefty expands breast cancer chances. This is particularly true after menopause and for women who have put on weight as grown-ups. After menopause, the vast majority of your estrogen originates from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue can heighten your chances of getting breast cancer by raising the estrogen levels. Additionally, women who are overweight have a tendency to have more elevated amounts of insulin, than other hormones. Higher insulin levels have been associated with a few tumors, including breast cancer.
- Exercise routinely: Many reviews have found that exercise is the sign of having a healthy breast. Studies show that one to two hours of energetic walking each week, lessened a woman’s cancer risk by eighteen percent. Walking ten hours seven days decreased the hazard all the more.
- Constrain liquor: Women who have two to five mixed beverages every day have a higher danger of breast cancer than women who have just one drink a day or none . As much as three to six glasses of wine seven days have been found to somewhat increase breast cancer chances. It is not clear how or why liquor raises the hazard. In any case, constraining liquor is particularly essential for women who have other hazard variables for breast cancer, like, breast cancer running in their families.
- Restrain time spent sitting: Research has shown that sitting time, regardless of how much exercise you get when you are not sitting, increases the probability of growing cancer, particularly for women. Women who sit six hours or more a day outside of work have a ten percent more serious risk for breast cancer compared to the ladies who sit under three hours a day, and an increased hazard for other cancer types as well.
- Stay away from or confine hormone substitution treatment: Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT) was utilized frequently in the past to control night sweats, hot flashes, and other troublesome manifestations of menopause. In any case, specialists now realize that postmenopausal ladies who take a blend of estrogen and progestin might probably create breast tumors or cancer. Breast cancer disease seems to come back within five years in the wake of ceasing the blend of hormones. Therefore, get a breast cancer test even if you feel a small lump. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Breast cancer, is a type of cancer, which is common to women, where cancer cells grow on the breasts or the female mammary gland. It starts out with the formation of a small lump in your breast and can spread out to your other organs very rapidly. It generally affects women above forty years of age. Breast cancer can be classified into two types. They can either start forming on the inner linings of your milk ducts ( known as Ductal carcinoma) or in the lobules which supply milk (known as Lobular carcinoma).
There are many causes responsible for breast cancer they are mentioned below:
- Obesity or post-menopausal obesity (Learn more about Heart Diseases Post Menopause)
- Exposure to frequent radiation (X-ray)
- Consumption of alcohol
- Being taller than average
- Start of periods at an early age
- Late menopause
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Consumption of birth control pills
The most common symptoms of breast cancer are as follows:
- Formation of a lump in your breast
- Swelling or shrinking of your breast
- Change of size, shape and color of your nipple
- Blood or milk discharge from the nipple
- Breast pain
- Itching sensation
- Appearance of rashes (Learn more about to maintain the skin health)
Breast cancer if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage may turn out to be fatal. Ayurveda offers promising cures for breast cancer.
A few of the Ayurvedic remedies are mentioned below:
- Include foods, which are well supplied with vitamin D in your diet. Researches show that women with less amount of vitamin D in their bodies are more likely to develop breast cancer. Consider including foods like eggs, orange juice, dairy products and fish like salmon in your diet.
- Drink more of green tea as it has anti cancer properties.
- Exercises like walking, yoga, meditation and certain breast exercises can help you to relax the pain sensation, reduce stress and also get cured.
- Incorporate bitter gourd in your diet. Researches show that bitter gourd can kill those cancer cells, which cause breast cancer.
- Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, tulsi, curcumin have certain properties that can destroy cancer cells.
Since, breast cancer has less survival rates, it is absolutely essential for you to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner if you wish to get cured through Ayurvedic treatment.
Uterine cysts are a type of cysts or tumours, which grow in the uterus. This is prevalent in women when they are near their childbearing years. Uterine cysts have some typical symptoms, which would let you know when to consult a medical practitioner for further help. It would cause excessive bleeding for a long duration of time. There is bleeding from the uterus in between your menstrual cycles. At times, it becomes very difficult to empty your bladder and irritation and discomfort are caused. It also leads to constipation. These are frequent symptoms, which accompany uterine cysts. These types of cysts are almost always non-cancerous, but it is beneficial to take an expert advice on that matter. Homeopathy is a great option to treat such cysts.
Homeopathy is becoming increasingly popular throughout the entire world. Now it is time to prove to the world what homeopathy can offer in surgical diseases. Homeopathic medicines cannot take the place of surgery but can be of great help to the patients who do not want to go for surgery or cannot be operated upon due to various medical reasons. There are specific medications to treat cysts through homeopathy.
Some of them are:
Calcarea Carbonica: This medicine is suitable for those who bleed profusely during their menstrual cycle. Such excessive bleeding causes shivers and shrills in them, making them more prone to anaemia. In fact, excessive bleeding also influences their fertility cycles. This medicine is administered on overweight women who suffer from uterine cysts.
Thlaspi Bursa Pastoris: This is prescribed to women who experience frequent menstrual cycles within short intervals. In fact, one does not even recover from the shock of the previous cycle and the new one starts. It is usually accompanied by excessive pain in the uterus. This medicine not only treats the cysts, but also the frequent period cycles and pain in the uterus.
Trillium Pendulum: At times, due to excessive bleeding from the uterus, the patient suffers from fainting spells. Such cysts are also characterised by bright red blood flow during the menstrual cycle. These are the two main symptoms to administer this medicine on the individual.
Fraxinus Americana: Apart from irregular periods with pain in the uterus, it is also followed by breaking down spells. One experiences cramps in the feet during this type of cyst. In such conditions, the best natural homeopathic therapy that can be administered is Fraxinus Americana.
Calcarea Fluorica: This is a common medicine which is given to those patients who have extremely large tumours. These tumours are also characterised by their unique hardness.
Uterine cysts are a common problem in women and can be treated effectively. One needs to be alert about the symptoms and must immediately report to a specialized homeopathic practitioner for an effective administration of medicines, which may lead to a successful cure.
Hello, I have very much pain in L5 S1 spine from last 2 months. MRI report says: "Annular tear of l5-s1 disc with diffuse posterior bulge, central & right para central prolapse & mild inferior migration of the prolapsed fragment causing compression of right exiting nerve root. Please suggest me what I do? Pain is very much. Should I go for surgery or any other option available. If surgery then how much time time required to recover & what is accuracy of surgery treatment. Thank you.
I have small disk. And my lift leg paining I went doctor he proscribed me some pain lure and nerve medication but still my leg paining. How I can get well and don't take medication. Thanks.
I am a 30 years old male and since last 3 months I was having pain in right leg whenever I used to walk. My doctor advised me Lumbosacral MRI and my findings are as under: 1. Lumbar lordosis is mildly straightened. 2. Disc desiccation noted at L5-S1 noted. 3. Posterior disco osteophytes complex seen at L5-S1 level causing canal stenosis measuring 7mm and bilateral lateral recess stenosis, causing compression upon traversing S1 nerve roots and mild foramina narrowing with abutting bilateral L5 nerve roots. 4. Mild diffuse disc bulge at L4-5 level causing indentation of thecal sac with early lateral recess stenosis, however no significant neural compression seen.
I am 30 years old. Diagnosed with 11 % of vitamin D. Calcium and phosphate levels are also down. Besides cervical 6-7 disc have chronic black bulge. Pain in neck shoulder upper back. Also lumbar spine 4-5 also bulge. It is sending pain down till sole of feet. What is the treatment ways?
1. Eat calcium-rich foods
In addition to dairy products, choose fish with bones such as salmon, sardines or whitebait. For additional benefits, serve them with a side of dark leafy green vegetables or broccoli. Almonds, dried figs, fortified tofu and soy milk are also calcium-rich choices, says registered dietitian laura jeffers, med, rd, ld.
2. Take calcium supplements
The u. S. Recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1, 000 mg a day during your 20s, 30s and 40s. But your need rises as you age. Check with your doctor before starting supplements to find out what amount is right for you. For example, after menopause, most women need 1000 to 1, 500 mg a day unless they take hormone therapy. Your body only absorbs 500 mg of calcium at a time, Ms. Jeffers notes, so spread your consumption out over the course of the day.
3. Add d to your day
To help absorb calcium, most adults need 1, 000 to 2, 000 iu of vitamin d daily, combined calcium-vitamin d pills usually do not meet this requirement. And most of us who live north of atlanta do not get enough vitamin d the old-fashioned way — from the sun. Taking a vitamin d supplement will ensure you meet your daily needs.
4. Start weight-bearing exercises
To boost your bone strength, try exercise that “loads” or compresses your bones, says exercise physiologist heather nettle, ma. “running, jogging, high-impact aerobics, repetitive stair climbing, dancing, tennis and basketball are best for building bones. But if you have osteopenia, osteoporosis or arthritis, try walking or using an elliptical or other machine,” she says. Be sure to clear any exercise plans with your doctor first.
5. Don’t smoke, and don’t drink excessively
Bad news for bad habits: loss of bone mineral density is associated with tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, Dr. Sikon says. If you smoke, look into a program to help you quit. If you drink, stick to no more than one libation a day, she advises.
6. Get your bone mineral density tested
Doctors can get a quick and painless “snapshot” of bone health using a simple x-ray test called dxa. This test measures bone mineral density and helps determine risks of osteoporosis and fracture. Dr. Sikon recommends testing for women within two years of menopause. Earlier tests are recommended for men and women with certain diseases and for those taking medications that increase risk, such as long-term steroid therapy.
Perimenopausal women may consider hormone therapy to increase waning estrogen levels, which are linked to bone loss. And women and men diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis can take various medications to prevent dangerous hip and spine fractures.
I am 34 years old male. I am suffering from back pain for the last 3 years. I have done MRI. In MRI it is found that 1. MILD DIFFUSE DISC BULGE IS NOTED AT L3-4 LEVEL CAUSING ANTERIORTHECAL SAC indentation MINIMAL NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL forminal AS WELL AS LATERAL RECESSES. 2. MILD DIFFUSE DISC BULGE IS NOTED AT L4-5LEVEL CAUSING ANTERIOR THECAL SAC INDENTATION AND NARROWING OF BILATERAL NEURAL forminal AS WELL AS LATERAL RECESSES. MILD facial ARTHROPATHY IS NOTED BILATERALLY. please MAKE ME UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AND WHAT IS THE SOLUTION.
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.
Am 24 years old and facing disc bulge from past 4 years (L4, l5, l6) I have taken treatment with exercises, massages and Physio therapy. Which is best way to cure in a quick time.
I am 24yr old male and have backache for 7 month. My mri report is mild annular disc bulge is seen at l4-5 level with subtle anterior thecal sac impression. What should I do?
Breast Cancer - What exactly is it?
‘Breast cancer’ is a term that is used to refer to a malignant tumour, which has developed from cells present in the breast. Generally, all tumours can be divided into two categories i.e. benign and malignant and it is the malignant tumour that is responsible for causing cancer. Breast cancer generally originates in the cells the milk producing glands of the breast's or the passage, which carries milk from the glands to the lobules. Additionally, breast cancer can also originate in the stromal tissues, including the fibrous and fatty connective breast tissues.
Breast Cancer: Treatment Options
Treatment for breast cancer depends upon two things: the exact type of the cancer and how advanced the cancer is. Treatment options for breast cancer can thus be broadly divided into two categories as Local treatments and Systemic treatments.
Treatments that target the tumour without having any effect on the rest of the body are called local treatments. The following types of local treatment options are available for treating breast cancer:
- Surgery: Surgical breast cancer treatment involves removal of the malignant cancerous tumour in an operation. Smaller tumours can be removed using a surgical process referred to as ‘lumpectomy’, wherein the tumour along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour is removed. For larger tumours, removal of the entire breast becomes mandatory, in a surgical process known as ‘mastectomy’. Women who undergo mastectomy can choose to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery for reconstruction of the removed breast(s).
- Radiation Therapy: This basically involves using radiation to kill cancer cells present in the body. Radiation therapy is a long-drawn process that usually involves a set number of treatments administered over a long period of time. Radiation therapy is also generally the follow-up procedure after a lumpectomy, or more rarely, a mastectomy.
Treatments involving drugs that are administered via either the mouth or direct injection into the bloodstream are called systemic treatments. These include:
- Chemotherapy: This includes using drugs to destroy the cancer cells present in the body by stopping the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Chemotherapy can be administered using either an IV (intravenous) tube or via pills that can be swallowed.
- Hormone Therapy: This treatment option is used for treating tumours which have tested positive for progesterone or oestrogen receptors. Blocking hormones that fuel the tumour’s growth is the basis of this therapy.
- Targeted Therapy: This targets specific proteins and genes which contribute to growth and survival of the cancer cells. Targeted therapy is an extremely focused treatment, and is very effective in blocking the growth and division of cancer cells, as well as minimizing damage to surrounding healthy cells.
I am 38 years old man having back pain lasting for 20 days from mild to severe in left hip side. In consultation to orthopedic surgeon and after MRI one doctor told me the disease sciatica and another its slip disc. MRI of LS SPINE report says the result of AP diameter L1-L2=15, L2-L3=08, L3-L4=15, L4-L5=10 , L5-S1=09 Impression: 1) Degenerative DISC DISEASE with generalised disc bulge at L3-L4. Please tell.
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
Exposure of breast tissue to estrogen made in the bodytaking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause radiation therapy
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.