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Breast Cancer Health Feed

Breast Cancer During Pregnancy - Its Diagnosis & Treatment!

Breast Cancer During Pregnancy - Its Diagnosis & Treatment!

Breast cancer is among the most common malignancy during pregnancy. Breast cancer during pregnancy or first postpartum year is not caused due to pregnancy but the hormonal changes during this period which can escalate its growth. Women’s breast gets thick during pregnancy which makes it difficult to spot lumps or masses. Due to the thickened breast, cancer tumors during pregnancy get unnoticed and hence get diagnosed at an advanced stage. Therefore, it becomes important for women during pregnancy to examine their breast especially if they find any lump or symptoms.

Diagnosis - 

Women during pregnancy and in the first postpartum year should visit the doctor regularly not only for the baby’s health but for their health also. They should not ignore the breast examination especially when they find lumps or symptoms of the tumor.

Diagnosis of the Breast Cancer is done using some lab examinations and tests by the doctor:

  • Triple Assessment is a method for the diagnosis of Breast Cancer which refers to the breast examination of the women by the doctor.

  • An ultrasound scan which involves high-frequency sound waves for developing the image of the breast. This ultrasound scan is absolutely safe for the baby.

  • Sometimes Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is also used to detect early changes in the breast. MRI scan involves radio waves and magnetic fields to develop images. MRI is safe to perform especially after the first trimester or three months of the pregnancy.

In these tests, if the doctor finds some suspicious lump in the breast, then a biopsy is performed.

Treatment -

Usually, surgery is considered safe during any trimester. Cancer in the early stage can be removed either through mastectomy or removal of the entire breast or through lumpectomy or removal of the affected tissues. Mastectomy is preferred during the first and second trimester and Lumpectomy is preferred for the women in their third trimester of the pregnancy. Generally, Radiation Therapy is not preferred or performed until the childbirth as it can harm the baby. If the patient is required to undergo Chemotherapy, it can only be performed after the first trimester to reduce its risks of harming the baby.

It is alright to breastfeed the baby by the mother having breast cancer. Mothers with breast cancer should consult the doctor about lactation to ensure the health of the baby. But if the mother is going through chemotherapy then she should not continue breastfeeding the baby as a number of powerful chemo drugs can be transported to the baby through the milk.

Take Away -

Breast cancer developing during pregnancy or in the first postpartum year is often referred to as Pregnancy-Associated or Related Breast Cancer. It is not the result of pregnancy but can be escalated due to the hormonal changes during this period in women. There are a number of lab examinations which are used to diagnose breast cancer and treatment for the same is preferred according to the period of pregnancy and the severity of cancer.

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Risk Factors Of Breast Cancer!

Risk Factors Of Breast Cancer!

Breast cancer is a very common form of cancer that develops in the cells of your breast. Cancer typically forms in either the ducts of your breast (the pathway through which milk reaches the nipples from the glands) or the lobules (the glands which produce milk).

Breast cancer can affect both males and females. However, it is more commonly observed in women aged between 45-55 years.

Look out for these symptoms!
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include the following -

  1. Discharge of blood from the nipples
  2. A lump near the breast or the armpit
  3. Scaling or peeling of skin around the breasts
  4. Sore nipple
  5. Breast pain
  6. Swelling of lymph nodes in the armpit or on the neck
  7. Change in the shape and size of the nipple or the breast
  8. An inverted nipple

What are the risk factors? 

  1. Age- Breast cancer usually strikes at an older age. Women aged over 55 years are most often diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.
  2. Family history- If you have someone in your family who’ve had a history of breast cancer, then you too may develop this disease later in life.
  3. Inherited genes- Mutation of certain genes- BRCA1 and BRCA2- can put you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Obesity- People with Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than or equal to 30 are at risk of developing breast cancer.
  5. Alcohol consumption- Aggressive or frequent alcohol consumption can make you prone to breast cancer.
  6. Early menstruation- Those who’ve had their first menstrual cycle before the age of 12, are more likely to get affected by breast cancer in the later stage.
  7. Postmenopausal therapy- Women undergoing hormonal therapy or medications combining progesterone and estrogen to treat menopause have a greater risk of having breast cancer.

What is the treatment for breast cancer?
After a thorough evaluation of your overall health condition, your doctor will determine the options to treat your breast cancer depending on the type, size and stage of cancer. The usual methods of curing breast cancer are -

  1. Lumpectomy- This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure whereby smaller tumors are removed from the lumps of your breast. Your doctor will only remove a portion of the cancerous lump, leaving the remaining portion of the breast intact. This allows for better symmetry of your breast. However, you may need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy following a lumpectomy to make sure that all the cancer cells are destroyed.
  2. Mastectomy- This surgical procedure is performed to remove all of the breast tissues including the ducts, lobules, nipples and areola.
  3. Sentinel Node Biopsy- In order to determine whether or not cancer has metastasized to other body parts including the lymph nodes, your doctor will first discuss with you the importance of removing the lymph nodes which are likely to be in the receipt of the lymph drainage from the tumor.
  4. Breast removal- In certain cases where people have a greater risk of developing breast cancer due to family history or genetic susceptibility, removal of both breasts are prescribed by doctors.

The rate of survival for breast cancer has increased in recent times owing to modern treatment techniques. Nearly 90% of breast cancer patients survive for at least 5 years after the treatment is done.

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Ways Breast Cancer Screening Can Be Done!

Ways Breast Cancer Screening Can 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.

Fine-Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC)

Few cases of mass in breast requires this test which give centre confirmation. It is a diagnostic procedure used to investigate lumps or masses in the breast. In this technique, a thin, hollow needle is inserted into the mass for sampling of cells that after being stained are examined under a microscope.

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Hi there, I am a home maker and 5 months before I got married, I have an problem in my left breast nipple has pus swelling. Is this some kinda cancer, I'm afraid, please advice.

Hi there, I am a home maker and 5 months before I got married, I have an problem in my left breast nipple has pus swe...
No, it may be due to infection, you should check it up by a gynaecologist, by proper homoeopathic treatment it is very much curable.
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Hi, I forgot to take letovol on 3rd and 4th day. Any issue if I take on 5th day?

If given for induction of ovulation chances are very high that it will be ineffective in this cycle because of missing twice
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Breast Cancer - Can It Be Predicted?

Breast Cancer - Can It Be Predicted?

Medical science constantly challenges the boundaries by finding not only the cures to the most dangerous diseases but finds a way to prevent them even before they occur. With years of research, practice and data available for analysis, scientists are using advanced technology in combination with years of research to create a predicting mechanism for often fatal diseases like cancer.

Breast cancer screening has always been done with mammography. The fact is that this method is only 75% accurate, laden with false positives and misses a whole set of women totally- and that too when cancer has already developed. Part of the problem comes from the dense breast tissue which one in three women have. This tissue masks the lumps, which makes it difficult for mammograms to accurately screen cancer.

Some breakthrough scientific methods are changing this by drawing on years of research to predict this deadly disease, years before it can manifest itself.

A genetic test to predict cancer 10-11 years ahead of time

This test was performed to see how environmental factors could influence cancer, along with habits like smoking, abusing alcohol or hormones, genetic changes that occur and are put a large percentage of the women at high risk of developing this disease.

A simple blood test is used for the genetic analysis of hereditary cancer. Researchers found a biological marker, methylation of the ATM gene, which has a very high ability to predict the risk of developing cancer, several years before diagnosis. 'Methylation' concluded that when one biological indicator is exposed to carcinogenic substances or other abusive substances like tobacco and alcohol, it may trigger the development of cancer.  On the flip side, this test will take time to reach the commercial market and even then cannot give an exact timeline as to when someone may develop the disease.

A simple blood test to predict breast cancer 5 years before it develops

This is the kind of medical miracle the world is looking for. Last year in April, researches in Denmark identified a simple blood test that can predict breast cancer five years before it actually develops with an accuracy of a whopping 80%.

It works by "measuring all of the compounds in the blood to build a 'metabolic profile' of an individual, in order to detect changes in the way chemicals are processed, during a pre-cancerous stage," says Laura Donnelly, health editor at The Telegraph, which covered this development. Danish researchers observed 57,000 participants over 20 years, gathering blood samples along the way, specifically comparing a set of 800 women who remained healthy or developed breast cancer within 7 years of their first blood sample. The researchers found they were able to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which patients would be affected by the disease, just by looking at the metabolic profiles they built from the participants' blood samples. The results have been published in Metabolomics.

Are you living with the uncertainty of a lump in your breast? It's time you take the first step and consult a specialist here.

1705 people found this helpful

How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer?

How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer?

Of all cancer types that affect the female population, breast cancer is the most common one. Statistics show that above 1 in 8 women in the USA are likely to develop breast cancer (invasive type, which is often severe). Changing lifestyles including prolonged use of birth control, smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of physical activity, dietary changes, etc., have led to an increased incidence. As these are here to stay, the only way is to prevent.

The likelihood of developing breast cancer is determined by risk factors. Some of these risk factors cannot be changed. For instance, age, ethnicity, and history of familial breast cancer. However, there are others, which can be acted upon or modified to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.

Some of the preventable risk factors are as follows:

  • Nicotine abuse: Quitting smoking has multiple benefits for a woman, and one major benefit is the reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Other benefits include reduced incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and other cancers.
  • Hormone replacement therapy: To the extent possible, avoid prolonged use of birth control pills or hormones for other treatment purposes. In addition to using non-hormonal methods, if not avoidable, constantly monitoring hormone levels is very important. Birth control pills should especially be avoided by women over 35 years of age who smoke. The risk associated with developing cancer reduces as soon as the hormone supplement is stopped.
  • Weight Management: One of the major risk factors is obesity, and in people with other non-alterable risk factors, it is best to work on weight management from an early age. Talk to your doctor about your ideal BMI and ensure this is maintained.
  • Physical Activity: Regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes per day, in addition to strength training will help in keeping the body agile and managing weight. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer.
  • Breastfeeding: Studies have shown that breastfeeding has protective effect against breast cancer; longer a baby is breast fed, greater is the protective benefit.
  • Screening: Even if not completely preventable, early detection of breast cancer is very important. This will help in less severe treatment and better prognosis. Recommended ages for mammography are as follows:
    • In the age of 40 to 44, an annual mammogram is advised along with a discussion with the doctor on the risks.
    • An annual mammogram for all women in the age of 45 – 54 is important as most women enter menopause by this time. This needs to be continued annually, as self-breast exams alone cannot detect cancer, thus it is a good practice and anything abnormal will not go undetected.
    • These will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, help in early detection, and improve prognosis.

Breast Cancer - How To Avert It?

Breast Cancer - How To Avert It?

Breasts are a part of female identity- which is why for most women, breast cancer still continues to be a big fear. Many feel that having cancerous cells in these parts rob them of their identity and puts a question on everything they stand for. More than a disease, many women treat it as an emotional trauma that one has to go through, rather than something that has to be dealt at a physical level. But breast cancer is not a taboo subject anymore and with the huge awareness created, women are now more knowledgeable in identifying their risk levels. What’s more, breast cancer can be prevented to the maximum by making minor changes to our daily chores and lifestyle.

Let us have a look at ways to keep breast cancer in check.

  1. Have regular checkups: Move over traditional mammography methods; new digital checks that are more accurate in identifying the symptoms have come into the picture. Make these checks mandatory as a part of the yearly check-ups and never postpone them.
  2. Exercises: Regular exercises can be very helpful in keeping the body fit. Estrogen is the biggest factor that can stimulate breast cancer. Having regular activities alters the estrogen metabolism thus minimizing the cancer levels. Even a relaxed exercise of 15 - 20 minutes can do a world of good, both for the body and mind in keeping the condition under check.
  3. Family history: About 5% to 10% of the breast cancers are hereditary. Hence always ensure that you know your family history and their tryst with cancer.
  4. Minimize screening tests that use radiation: Go for X-ray screening and chest x-rays only when absolutely necessary. Always consult with the physician about the precautions to be taken when going for a screening test.
  5. Reduce hormone intake: Hormone therapy is most commonly used to manage menopausal symptoms. However, there is a chance that they can indirectly aid in producing estrogen that can cause breast cancer. Always have a proper consultation with the gynecologist and as far as possible avoid hormone intake. Try to treat the symptoms through natural ways.
  6. Breast Feeding: This is one of nature's ways of preventing the contagion that causes breast cancer. Breastfeeding naturally reduces the estrogen levels thus drastically reducing the chances.
  7. Diet and the right food: Tons of articles have been written about the good food to have and the proper diet to maintain. When it comes to breast cancer, increasing the carotenoid levels in the body can decrease the chances of breast cancer. Foods that are rich in carotenoid include fresh vegetables and fruits and greens. Also, increase the intake of fibers to have a natural defense mechanism against cancer.
  8. Early detection: There is no better treatment plan for breast cancer than detecting it early. The symptoms do not appear initially and they appear only in the advanced stages. Hence make sure that regular checkups are done to diagnose it.
  9. Alcohol abuse: Alcohol can be had in minimal quantities but do not abuse them. Excessive drinking can increase the chances of breast cancer.
  10. Smoking: Researchers have found a direct link between smoking and breast cancer. This increases phenomenally during menopause stages. Quit smoking altogether for a better life and in preventing many other ailments.

Breast cancer can be an emotional phase for women and following the above methods can keep breast cancer in check and prevent them in the long run.

1 person found this helpful

Breast Cancer - How To Foresee It?

Breast Cancer - How To Foresee It?

Medical science constantly challenges the boundaries by finding not only the cures to the most dangerous diseases, but finds a way to prevent them even before they occur. With years of research, practice and data available for analysis, scientists are using advanced technology in combination with years of research to create a predicting mechanism for often fatal diseases like cancer.

Breast cancer screening has always been done with mammography. The fact is that this method is only 75% accurate, laden with false positives and misses a whole set of women totally- and that too when cancer has already developed. Part of the problem comes from the dense breast tissue which one in three women have. This tissue masks the lumps, which makes it difficult for mammograms to accurately screen cancer.

Some breakthrough scientific methods are changing this by drawing on years of research to predict this deadly disease, years before it can manifest itself.

A genetic test to predict cancer 10-11 years ahead of time
This test was performed to see how environmental factors could influence cancer, along with habits like smoking, abusing alcohol or hormones, genetic changes that occur and are put a large percentage of the women at a high risk of developing this disease.

A simple blood test is used for the genetic analysis of hereditary cancer. Researchers found a biological marker, methylation of the ATM gene, which has a very high ability to predict the risk of developing cancer, several years before diagnosis. 'Methylation' concluded that when one biological indicator is exposed to carcinogenic substances, or other abusive substances like tobacco and alcohol, it may trigger the development of cancer.  On the flip side, this test will take time to reach the commercial market and even then cannot give an exact timeline as to when someone may develop the disease.

A simple blood test to predict breast cancer 5 years before it develops
This is the kind of medical miracle the world is looking for. Last year in April, researches in Denmark identified a simple blood test that can predict breast cancer five years before it actually develops with an accuracy of a whopping 80%.

It works by "measuring all of the compounds in the blood to build a 'metabolic profile' of an individual, in order to detect changes in the way chemicals are processed, during a pre-cancerous stage," says Laura Donnelly, health editor at The Telegraph, which covered this development. Danish researchers observed 57,000 participants over 20 years, gathering blood samples along the way, specifically comparing a set of 800 women who remained healthy or developed breast cancer within 7 years of their first blood sample. The researchers found they were able to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which patients would be affected by the disease, just by looking at the metabolic profiles they built from the participants' blood samples. The results have been published in Metabolomics.

Are you living with the uncertainty of a lump in your breast? It's time you take the first step and consult a specialist.

4000 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - How To Avert It?

Breast Cancer - How To Avert It?

If you are concerned about breast cancer, you should know about the steps you can take to prevent the condition. Breast cancer is a type of cancer developing from the breast tissue. Symptoms such as a lump in the breast, fluid flowing from the nipple, changes in the shape of the breast and occurrence of red scaly patches on the breast denote breast cancer.

You need to make certain lifestyle changes in order to prevent breast cancer. The ways you should adopt include the following:

  1. Limit your alcohol intake: The more you consume alcohol, the more you put yourself at the risk of getting breast cancer. It is recommended for you not to drink more than one drink per day. Small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of breast cancer as well.

  2. Abstain from smoking: There is a direct link between tobacco smoking and breast cancer, and the risk is even more in premenopausal women. You should quit smoking to reduce the risk of breast cancer along with many other conditions, which can develop because of the ill-effects of smoking.

  3. Control your weight: Obese women are more prone to breast cancer when compared with women with a healthy weight. This is especially true when obesity occurs at a later stage in life, after menopause.

  4. Keep physically active: Regular physical activity is essential for you to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for preventing breast cancer. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises or 75 minutes of vigorous exercises are recommended along with strength training.

  5. Breastfeed: Breastfeeding plays an important role in preventing breast cancer. The more you breastfeed your baby, the more protected you are from breast cancer.

  6. Limit the dosage and duration of hormone therapy: If you undertake combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years, you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In case you are taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about alternative options such as non-hormonal therapy and medications. If you still require hormonal therapy, you must use the lowest dose that will be effective.

  7. Avoid exposure to radiation and pollution: Certain medical imaging procedures like computerized tomography involves radiation of high doses. There is a link between breast cancer and radiation exposure. Thus, you should abstain from getting exposed to radiation and avoid taking such tests if it is not very urgent.

Maintaining a healthy diet also helps in reducing your risk of developing breast cancer. You should include food items which are plant based in your regular diet, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Also, consume healthy fats such as olive oil instead of red meat and butter.

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