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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.
Breast cancer begins when the cells that are present in the breast start to go out of control. These cells generally form a tumor which can be seen on mammogram or one can feel it as a lump. The tumor is threatening if the cells can grow into the tissues that surround it or spread to other areas of the body. Breast cancer happens mostly in ladies. Here are a few methods with which you can prevent breast cancer-
- Keep your weight in check: Maintaining a healthy weight is important for everyone although, it is easy to tune it out since it is said so often. Being overweight can expand the danger of a wide range of cancers, including breast cancer, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active: Women who are physically active for almost or at least 30 minutes a day have a lower danger of breast cancer. Normal activity is additionally one of the ideal approaches to keep weight under control.
- Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables and Avoid Too Much Alcohol: A balanced and healthy diet can bring down the danger of breast cancer. Attempt to eat a considerable measure of fruits and vegetables and keep liquor at moderate levels or lower. While moderate drinking can be useful for the heart in most grown-ups, even low levels of intake can build the danger of breast cancer. If you do not drink, don't feel you have to begin. In case you drink modestly, there is less risk.
- Try not to Smoke: Smokers and non-smokers alike know how undesirable smoking is. It brings down a person’s quality of life and expands the danger of heart and lung diseases, stroke, and no less than 15 types of cancer, including breast cancer. It additionally causes bad breath, awful teeth, and wrinkles.
- Breastfeed, If Possible: Breastfeeding for almost one year or more brings down the danger of breast cancer. It additionally has extraordinary medical advantages for the baby as well, especially in terms of immunity.
- Keep away from Birth Control Pills: Contraceptive pills have both dangers and advantages. In many cases, the more young a lady is, the lower the danger is. While ladies are taking birth control pills, they have more chances of falling prey to breast cancer as per various medical studies. This danger leaves rapidly in the wake of stopping the pill. The danger of stroke and heart attack is increased while on the pill, especially if the woman smokes. Long term use can likewise have essential advantages, such as bringing down the danger of ovarian cancer, colon tumor and uterine cancer and undesirable pregnancy. In case you are exceptionally worried about breast cancer, staying away from birth control pills is also an alternative to lower the risk. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist and ask a free question.
I am 19 years old and I am having lower back pain (disc herniation l4-l5. I suffer pain everyday. What shall I do?
Cerebral ischaemia or brain ischemia is a medical condition that restricts the flow of blood to the brain, resulting in an unmet metabolic demand. This leads to limited oxygen supply in the brain, which could result in death of brain tissues, cerebral infarction or an ischemic stroke. Thus, a cardiorespiratory arrest, a stroke, and irreversible brain damage are few possible consequences of cerebral ischaemia.
People with compressed blood vessels, low blood pressure, congenital heart defects or sickle cell anaemia have a high risk of developing cerebral ischaemia, since compressed blood vessels or very low pressure can lead to restricted blood flow. Also, sickle-shaped cells have a greater tendency to clot, causing obstructed blood flow.
Patients with cerebral ischaemia experience a host of symptoms, such as weakness in the body, problems in coordination and movement, vision and speech impairment and unconsciousness.
Cerebral congestion, on the other hand, refers to excessive quantity of blood in the brain vessels, causing pressure on the cerebral substance. Cerebral congestion is of two types. It is termed as active when there is too much arterial blood flow and passive when there is undue quantity of venous blood in the veins of the brain. Both conditions cause symptoms, such as severe headache, insomnia, irritability and unconsciousness. The patient gets little sleep and is disturbed, often followed by dreams. When awake, the patient’s mental activity in the brain is very high.
Homeopathy is now a well-established school of medicine backed with years of research and practice. Gone are the days when homeopathy was considered no more than an extension of herbal home remedies. Homeopathic laboratories around the world produce large number of medicines covering almost all ailments. The benefits of homeopathic treatment are now well established due to its holistic approach and minimal side effects. Homeopathy is undoubtedly a ray of hope for patients with cerebral ischaemia and cerebral congestion, as it delivers a comprehensive treatment plan designed to target the signs and symptoms of the disease and address its non-occurrence.
The medications deal with mild to severe symptoms, including inflammation of the brain, headache, vomiting, insomnia, stroke/convulsions and seizures. The stramonium drug, for example, deals with seizures. Belladonna is an effective remedy for sharp shooting headaches, a common symptom of cerebral congestion. Ferrum is believed to be a valuable remedy for brain ischaemia. Few drugs deal with the symptoms of both ischaemia and congestion—nux is a suitable drug for the treatment of ischaemia as well as for passive cerebral congestion. Similarly, phosphorus can be used to treat brain ischaemia and congestion. Zincum metallicum is a highly recommended drug for chronic cases of ischaemia.
The treatment is comprehensive and long term and shows substantive results. Regular follow-ups and consultation with a homeopath specialist is the key to an effective treatment.
All healthy individuals will always have some amount of urea in the blood. Yet, when the urea level in the blood becomes too high, that means there is a malfunction in some part of the body due to which the body is not being able to remove this excess urea successfully. This urea can be formed in the liver when there is a process in terms of the protein metabolism's chemical balance. This urea is then transported to various parts of the body until the kidney cleans it out as urine. But when this urea does not get cleaned out properly, the urea gets concentrated in the blood and signifies a problem with the kidneys and other internal organs as well as the blood flow to the kidneys.
The cause may include burns, heart failure, renal artery embolism, vomiting and loose motions as well as more serious ailments like Diabetes. This can lead to long term kidney damage and symptoms like thirst, fluid retention, headaches, fatigue, dizzy spells, accelerated pulse, restlessness in limbs, pain in the abdomen and more. Here are the best ways to reduce the blood urea levels in a natural manner.
Ayurveda is an ancient science that can be used for the benefit of many patients suffering from chronic and painful ailments like diabetes, kidney failure, cardiovascular ailments and more. One of the mainstays of Ayurveda includes the use of herbs to create medicines and concoctions that will help in giving relief with their 100% natural elements. Medicines like Mutrakrichantak Churna, Punarnava Mandur, Varunadi Vati and many others can be used to avoid dialysis and bring down the urea levels in the blood by aiding better functioning of the kidneys.
- Punarnava: The name of this herb has been derived from two words - Puna and Nava. While Puna means again, Nava means new and together they help in renewed functioning of the organ that they treat. This herb helps in flushing out the excess fluid in the kidneys by reducing the swelling without any side effects. This herb is basically a kind of hogweed.
- Varun: This is the common caper which can be used to break down the stones present in the renal region and even as a cure for urinary tract infection. This herb helps in removing any element that may be obstructing the urinary tract and finally removes the excess fluid build up and inflammation.
- Gokshur: This is a diuretic that can be used as a herbal tonic to give strength to the weak kidney cells for regeneration.
Other aspects of Ayurvedic treatment for this condition include proper protein intake and better hydration along with massages and Yogic postures.
I have back pain L4. L5 problem fast in 5 years. I want to reduce pain with out operation is possible. Please Inform
I am 42 year old female .After slip disc L1toL4 problem, pain in left heel and becomes severe at times. Is it spur in the foot ,slip disc or something else.
Back bone slip disk, sitika. I ask in Hindi rid ki haddi ke manke sarke hue hai. Unka koi ilaj hai kya. Koi bhi ilaj jese aurved ya koi or ilaaj hai to please batana. Unko bahut pain hota hai. Or koi kam bhi nahi kar sakte hai. Pura bed rest hai.
I am 27 year boy I have back pain l4 and l5 disk light move. I there any full relief treatment means contact me sir. Back pain person do sex fully or not. After two month marriage fixed so im tired.
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?
L4-l5 and l5-s1 between disk problems years-44-women. Please give advise operation after disk moving
Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyoma or myoma, are benign growths on the uterus, occurring mostly during the years of childbearing. Few of the common symptoms of fibroids are leg pain or backache, constipation, difficulty in emptying the bladder, frequent urination, pain or pressure in the pelvic region, menstrual periods stretching over a week and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Certain genetic changes of the uterus which are different from the ones normally present in the muscle cells of the uterus can cause this disorder.
Certain hormones such as progesterone and estrogen that prepare the body for pregnancy are even responsible for triggering the development of fibroids.
Substances which help the body maintain its tissues trigger fibroid growth as well.
Family history, excessive consumption of alcohol and red meat while going low on foods such as dairy products, fruits, green vegetables and vitamin D, obesity, usage of birth control pills and early onset of the menstruation cycle are other factors that may escalate the risks of one suffering from fibroids.
Be careful and take a closer look: Fibroids are fundamentally non-cancerous and they hardly interfere with pregnancy. Often, they do not exhibit notable symptoms and are prone to shrinkage after menopause. Hence giving them and yourself some time might be the best option.
Medications generally aim at the hormones controlling the menstrual cycle and treating symptoms such as pelvic pressure and excessive menstrual bleeding. However, they do not treat fibroids completely but work towards contracting them. They include-
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) agonists to block estrogen and progesterone production
Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) to alleviate severe bleeding caused due to fibroids
Tranexamic acid to ease excessive menstrual periods
Progestins or oral contraceptives to regulate menstrual bleeding
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain associated with fibroids
Surgeries to Treat Fibroids:
Depending on symptoms and whether medical therapy has failed, the patient may have to undergo surgery. The following surgical procedures may be considered:
Hysterectomy: removing the uterus. This is only considered if the fibroids are very large, or if the patient is bleeding too much. Hysterectomies are sometimes an option to prevent fibroids coming back.
Myomectomy: fibroids are surgically removed from the wall of the uterus. This option is more popular for women who want to get pregnant.
Endometrial ablation: removing the lining of the uterus. This procedure may be used if the patient's fibroids are near the inner surface of the uterus; it is considered an effective alternative to a hysterectomy.
UAE (Uterine artery embolization): this treatment cuts off the fibroid's blood supply, effectively shrinking the fibroid.
Magnetic-resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery: an MRI scan locates the fibroids, and sound waves are used to shrink the fibroids.