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Breast Cancer Tips

Breast Cancer Screening - How Can It Be Done?

Garbhagudi Ivf Centre 92% (83 ratings)
Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine & ART
IVF Specialist, Bangalore
Breast Cancer Screening - How Can It Be Done?

Breast cancer is usually genetic in nature and it may affect women whose mother or grandmother may have suffered from the disease. This disease may start from the inner portion of the milk duct, in which case it is called ductal carcinoma. In case the cancer initiated through the lobules, it is called lobular carcinoma. In order to find the existence of the disease on a timely basis, it is imperative to get regular screening done. This can also prevent the disease and its spread. Read on to find out more about symptoms and breast cancer screening methods.



Symptoms
There are many symptoms of breast cancer, which can point at the existence of the same. Therefore, it is imperative to be vigilant and take note of such changes and symptoms so that the disease may be tackled on time. Persistent and unexplained pain in and around the breasts is one of the major symptoms that one should not ignore. Also, dimpling and the formation of new lumps under the armpits are other changes that should be reported to the doctor for more advanced screening. Further, irritation and redness in the area which does not go away after the onset of periods and remains for many weeks, should be checked. Bleeding, swelling and pulling of the nipple area can also point at the existence of breast cancer.

How screeing can be done?

Physical examination
The doctor will, first of all, carry out a physical examination. This is due to the fact that breast cancer is not a mere existence of the lump. The various changes in the breasts as discussed above, especially dimpling of the breasts and pulling of the nipples, can point at the beginning of the disease, which must be tackled so as to prevent the full-fledged onset of the same. During this kind of clinical breast exam, the doctor will also show the patient how to conduct the test on her own every few weeks.

Mammogram
This is essentially an X-Ray of the breasts and is usually carried out for women who have been facing consistent symptoms or even for those who are going through menopause. This kind of a test should not be done too frequently as it can expose the patient to the risk of breast cancer, in case she does not already have the problem. This test is usually carried out with the help of a mammogram machine that will give a reading once the breasts are placed on the metal plates.

Breast MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test seeks to create pictures of the area of the body in question with the help of radio waves. This is usually conducted for those patients who already run a high risk of breast cancer due to a family history of the same.

1 person found this helpful

Breast Cancer!

DNB (Surgical Oncology), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Oncologist, Vadodara
Breast Cancer!

Breast Cancer!

Breast Cancer - Know Its Symptoms!

DNB (Surgical Oncology), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Oncologist, Vadodara
Breast Cancer - Know Its Symptoms!

Breast Cancer - Know Its Symptoms!

Breast Cancer - What All Should You Know?

Dr. Manisha Patil 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DGO, Fellowship In Aesthetic Medicine
Gynaecologist, Pune
Breast Cancer - What All Should You Know?

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.

  1. A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
  2. Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
  3. Redness of your breast or nipple
  4. Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
  5. Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
  6. Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
  7. One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
  8. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
  3. Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
  4. Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
  5. 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.

  1. Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
  2. Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
  3. Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
  4. 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.

2481 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - What Should You Do To Reduce Your Risk?

Dr. Ashish Kale 89% (107 ratings)
MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Diploma In Endopelvic Surgery, FICS
Gynaecologist, Pune
Breast Cancer - What Should You Do To Reduce Your Risk?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
2734 people found this helpful

Know More About Breast Cancer!

Dr. Ketan Dang 88% (111 ratings)
DNB - Medical Oncology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Oncologist, Chandigarh
Know More About Breast Cancer!

Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary thought but with medical intervention, most breast cancer cases can be treated. The most common forms of treatment are radiation and chemotherapy. Along with this, there are many forms of alternative and complementary treatment that may be followed. This can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and boost the immune system. Here are some things you can do as an alternative and complementary form of treatment.

  1. Have a special dietHaving a healthy, well-balanced diet is necessary for everyone. This becomes more important when a person is recovering from cancer. Foods that have a high level of saturated fats and salt should be avoided. Intake of smoked, highly processed and pickled foods should also be reduced. On the other hand, you should increase your intake of vegetables, fruits and other foods derived directly from plants.
  2. Get your antioxidants: Antioxidants can protect a person from the damage caused by free radicals. This aids in the treatment of breast cancer and speeds up the healing process. Some of the antioxidants that can be beneficial in treating breast cancer are vitamins A, C and E, Lycopene and Beta Carotene. This can be found in wild blueberries, pecans, dark chocolate, kidney beans and goji berries. You can also increase your antioxidant consumption with dietary supplements. However, consult your doctor before taking any antioxidant supplements as it can interact with other drugs.
  3. Massage therapy: Massages can help relax the mind. They also have a number of other benefits. They are known as immunity boosters and can ease fatigue and pain. Thus a massage can also reduce the need for pain medication. It also helps increase the concentration of white blood cells in cases where women are being treated for stage I and stage II breast cancer.
  4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment that is considered part of traditional Chinese medicine. This involves the placement of sterile, needles that are very thin into specific points on the skin. These are then gently moved to stimulate the nervous system. In some cases, herbal supplements may also be incorporated into the treatment. Acupuncture is believed to help relieve fatigue, control vomiting and hot flashes and reduce pain.

It is important to note that these forms of treatment should not replace medical treatment but should be carried out along with it. You must also ensure that your doctor is aware of any supplements of alternative forms of treatment that you may be taking along with the medical treatment.

3227 people found this helpful

How To Make Sure That You Are Being Treated By A Right Doctor!

Dr. Tanvir Maqbool 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DNB, National Board Of Examination
Orthopedist, Faridabad
How To Make Sure That You Are Being Treated By A Right Doctor!

1. He listens to your complaints properly and not just starts writing prescription before you explain your problem.
2. He examines you properly and explains about examination and importance of particular examination.
3. Explains about probable causes of your complaints and investigations needed and importance of each investigation
4. He explains you about your disease, preventive, dietary, rehabilitative, and treatment (conservative or operative) and pros and cons of each.
5. Let us come to point. Your report shows severely deficient vitamin d level. Or severely deficient vitamin b12 level. Did your doctor explain you about importance of vitamin d. Did you doctor tell you how imp is vitamin b12. You have chronic backache did your doctor tell you about proper posture, precautions needed, exercise regime if not not then your not at right place.
Ok I will explain vitamin d deficiency; rampant in society. Diabetes, depression, cancer eg breast cancer, weakening of bones decreased immunity, inflammation of small vessels which could even lead to cardiac arrest all these are related to vitamin d deficiency. Did your doctor made you understand how important is vitamin d if you have been diagnosed with deficiency of of vitamin d. Did your doctor explain you role of b12, supplementation if you are a vegetarian.
6. Doctors just treat healing is by god. We follow principles of treatment and lord heals. Good doctor listens, explains, makes you comfortable so that you could explain your problem properly, not just writes prescription or asks for surgery but makes you sure that your at right place. Makes you feel why our elders used to call medical profession a noble profession. 

3 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Surgical Procedure For Treating It!

Dr. Khyati Shroff 87% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Gen Surgery
General Surgeon, Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Surgical Procedure For Treating It!

With the recent number of breast cancer cases on the rise, it is important that we should get the examination done on a regular basis as a preventive measure. Even if someone is suffering from it, it is important that we should make an effort and learn about.

If you have breast cancer then a surgery will be part of your treatment. Based on the condition, surgery will be carried out due to any of the following reasons :

1. To remove the cancerous tissues from the breast
2. To reconstruct the breast once the cancer is removed
3. To check whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm
4. To treat symptoms of cancer that has progressed to an advanced stage

Breast cancer surgery may be classified into two types

1. Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves removing the entire breast; tissues in the adjoining region may also be removed. A double mastectomy is a procedure where both the breasts are removed.
2. Breast-conserving surgery: In this surgery, only parts of the breast affected by cancer are removed. The area of the breast that is to be removed will depend on the severity of the cancer. Some healthy tissues may also be removed in this surgery.

Usually, if a woman is in the initial stages of cancer then she may opt for the latter as it entails removing parts of the breast. They may also undergo radiation therapy along with these surgeries.
For checking if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm, the lymph nodes are removed from the body. Once they are removed, they are studied under a microscope to check if it has spread, if yes then the extent of their damage. This procedure is carried out along with the surgery to remove the cancer.

Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for a breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the area. You may opt for this procedure at the time of breast cancer removal or at a later stage. If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery then you should discuss it with your surgeon.

Surgery is sometimes not used to treat cancer, but in slowing the progression of cancer or even reducing its symptoms.It is important you talk to your surgeon before the procedure to understand the goal of the surgery.

2569 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Therapies That Can Help In Curing It!

Dr. Sudeep Sarkar 86% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Senior Residency Training Program (Surgical Oncology), Fellowship in Cancer Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Therapies That Can Help In Curing It!

Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary thought but with medical intervention, most breast cancer cases can be treated. The most common forms of treatment are radiation and chemotherapy. Along with this, there are many forms of alternative and complementary treatment that may be followed. This can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and boost the immune system. Here are some things you can do as an alternative and complementary form of treatment.

  1. Have a special dietHaving a healthy, well-balanced diet is necessary for everyone. This becomes more important when a person is recovering from cancer. Foods that have a high level of saturated fats and salt should be avoided. Intake of smoked, highly processed and pickled foods should also be reduced. On the other hand, you should increase your intake of vegetables, fruits and other foods derived directly from plants.
  2. Get your antioxidants: Antioxidants can protect a person from the damage caused by free radicals. This aids in the treatment of breast cancer and speeds up the healing process. Some of the antioxidants that can be beneficial in treating breast cancer are vitamins A, C and E, Lycopene and Beta Carotene. This can be found in wild blueberries, pecans, dark chocolate, kidney beans and goji berries. You can also increase your antioxidant consumption with dietary supplements. However, consult your doctor before taking any antioxidant supplements as it can interact with other drugs.
  3. Massage therapy: Massages can help relax the mind. They also have a number of other benefits. They are known as immunity boosters and can ease fatigue and pain. Thus a massage can also reduce the need for pain medication. It also helps increase the concentration of white blood cells in cases where women are being treated for stage I and stage II breast cancer.
  4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment that is considered part of traditional Chinese medicine. This involves the placement of sterile, needles that are very thin into specific points on the skin. These are then gently moved to stimulate the nervous system. In some cases, herbal supplements may also be incorporated into the treatment. Acupuncture is believed to help relieve fatigue, control vomiting and hot flashes and reduce pain.

It is important to note that these forms of treatment should not replace medical treatment but should be carried out along with it. You must also ensure that your doctor is aware of any supplements of alternative forms of treatment that you may be taking along with the medical treatment.

2652 people found this helpful

Know More About Breast Cancer Surgery!

Dr. Harsh Garg 92% (14 ratings)
MBBS, Ms - General Surgery, DNB - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Panchkula
Know More About Breast Cancer Surgery!

With the recent number of breast cancer cases on the rise, it is important that we should get the examination done on a regular basis as a preventive measure. Even if someone is suffering from it, it is important that we should make an effort and learn about.

If you have breast cancer then a surgery will be part of your treatment. Based on the condition, surgery will be carried out due to any of the following reasons:
1. To remove the cancerous tissues from the breast
2. To reconstruct the breast once the cancer is removed
3. To check whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm
4. To treat symptoms of cancer that has progressed to an advanced stage

Breast cancer surgery may be classified into two types-
1. Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves removing the entire breast; tissues in the adjoining region may also be removed. A double mastectomy is a procedure where both the breasts are removed.
2. Breast-conserving surgery: In this surgery, only parts of the breast affected by cancer are removed. The area of the breast that is to be removed will depend on the severity of the cancer. Some healthy tissues may also be removed in this surgery.

Usually, if a woman is in the initial stages of cancer then she may opt for the latter as it entails removing parts of the breast. They may also undergo radiation therapy along with these surgeries.
For checking if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes below the arm, the lymph nodes are removed from the body. Once they are removed, they are studied under a microscope to check if it has spread, if yes then the extent of their damage. This procedure is carried out along with the surgery to remove the cancer.

Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for a breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the area. You may opt for this procedure at the time of breast cancer removal or at a later stage. If you are considering breast reconstruction surgery then you should discuss it with your surgeon.

Surgery is sometimes not used to treat cancer, but in slowing the progression of cancer or even reducing its symptoms.It is important you talk to your surgeon before the procedure to understand the goal of the surgery.

1903 people found this helpful
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