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Treatment of Breast Cancer Health Feed

Breast Cancer - How To Get Rid Of It?

Life Care Hospital 90% (80ratings)
Multi Speciality, Gorakhpur
Breast Cancer - How To Get Rid Of It?

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 the 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.

2962 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Know Signs To Watch Out For!

Rubi Kumari 91% (593ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Gynecology and Obstetrics
Gynaecologist, Motihari
Breast Cancer - Know Signs To Watch Out For!

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.

2935 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Know Forms Of Surgery To Tackle It!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Diabetic Foot Surgeon, Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Know Forms Of Surgery To Tackle 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 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 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 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 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 cancer.

Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for 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.

6031 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Know More About Surgical Procedure To Deal With It!

Dr.Amitava Chakraborty 89% (13ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Kolkata
Breast Cancer - Know More About Surgical Procedure To Deal With 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 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 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 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 cancer.

Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for 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.

2801 people found this helpful

Surgical Procedure For Treating Breast Cancer!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FRCS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Bangalore
Surgical Procedure For Treating Breast Cancer!

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 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 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 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 cancer.

Once the mastectomy procedure is completed, you can opt for 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.

2950 people found this helpful

Risk Factors Of Breast Cancer!

Dr.Mridul Gehlot 89% (283ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fellowship in Gynae Oncology
Gynaecologist, Jaipur
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.

2511 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - How To Avert It?

DMRT, MBBS, MD - Radiation Oncology, DNBR
Oncologist, Kolkata
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.

2932 people found this helpful

Stages And Treatment For Breast Cancer!

Dr.Shivakumar Uppala 85% (11ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh Surgical oncology, FMAS.Laparoscopy, FAIS
Oncologist, Bangalore
Stages And Treatment For Breast Cancer!

Breast Cancer can be detected at various stages. Some women might feel a difference in their breast area, with a lump or kind of a skin rash around the nipple or they could see that their nipple has become inverted, so then the treatment procedures would be different. The different stages of cancer and their respective treatment procedures are discussed below:

Stage I Breast Cancer - Treatment
In this case, breast cancers are at their nascent stage, either they have not spread to the lymph nodes or might have spread to only a small area. Treatment options are as follows:

  • Surgery: The main treatment for breast cancer in stage I is surgery. These types of cancers get treatment with either breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. There are some cases when breast reconstruction can also be done along with the surgery to get rid of cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: When doctors feel the need to do a breast construction surgery, then radiation therapy is normally given after surgery. This helps in lowering the chance of cancer getting relapsed. Older women, aged close to 70 years, should go for breast reconstruction surgery without radiation therapy, provided the following conditions are true:
    • The lump was 2cm or less across and it has been completely removed.
    • None of the lymph nodes removed contained cancer.
    • The cancer is either ER or PR-positive and hormone therapy is conducted.
  • Chemotherapy and other drugs: Women who have either ER or PR-positive hormone receptor, doctors would recommend them to go for hormone therapy. The therapy is given for 5 years. In case the tumor is larger than 1cm across, adjuvant chemotherapy is recommended.

Stage II Breast Cancer-Treatment
This is the stage when cancer has spread to some nearby lymph nodes. The treatment methods followed are:

  • Surgery and radiation therapy: This second stage of cancer gets treated with breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. The lymph nodes nearby get checked either with a sentinel lymph node biopsy or an axillary lymph node dissection. Women, on whom BCS have been conducted, get treated with radiation therapy after surgery.
  • Neoadjuvant and adjuvant systemic therapy: This is another method followed for treating stage II cancer. It is a good option for women with large tumors as they shrink the tumor before conducting surgery. Chemotherapy, HER2 targeted drugs and Hormone therapy all form part of treatment in this stage II.

Stage III Breast Cancer – Treatment
In stage III breast cancer, the size of a tumor is more than 5 cm, with cancer spreading on to the nearby lymph nodes. The treatment procedures followed are:

  • Neoadjuvant therapy: Generally the stage III cancers are treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is also given after surgery, followed by breast reconstruction surgery.
  • Starting off with surgery: Another treatment option for this stage is to get started off with surgery. The tumors are quite large and they even grow on to nearby tissues, which means women need to get a mastectomy. Women having large breasts can even go for Breast Reconstruction Surgery, in case cancer has not spread on to the nearby tissues.
1798 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Know The Surgical Treatment Options Available!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Oncologist, Agra
Breast Cancer - Know The Surgical Treatment Options Available!

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the type of cancer, hormone sensitivity, size, grade and stage of cancer. A doctor considers the overall health of the patient and the patient’s individual preference before recommending a treatment plan. While there are many treatments options available for breast cancer, surgery is by far the most popular option for most patients. Along with surgery, some other treatments that a patient undergoes include radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.

Surgery options:

  1. Lumpectomy: This is a procedure wherein the surgeon cuts the tumour and removes some of the surrounding healthy tissue in order to ensure that cancer does not spread to the healthy cells after the surgery. This procedure is applicable for small tumours.
  2. Mastectomy: This is a procedure in which all tissues of the breast are removed. This includes lobules, fatty tissue, ducts, areola, and nipple. In a skin-sparing mastectomy, all of the breast skin, except the nipple and the areola, is preserved, which makes the reconstruction process easier.
  3. Sentinel node biopsy: Since the sentinel lymph nodes are the first place that cancer is likely to spread, a doctor might suggest a sentinel node biopsy if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. If no trace of a cancer cell is found in the nodes, it is unlikely that any more nodes need to be removed.
  4. Removal of breasts: Many women who have cancer in one breast often choose to remove both the breasts in order to avoid the risk of cancer spreading. While a family history of breast cancer can greatly increase the chance of breast cancer in a woman, statistics show that most women who have cancer in one breast do not develop cancer in the other one.
  5. Radiation: This is a process where a high-powered beam of energy is directed at the cancer cells to kill them. This method is often used after a lumpectomy. Radiations are of two types—external beam and brachytherapy. Some side effects of this treatment include fatiguehair fallloss of appetite and rashes.
  6. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer by cytotoxic and other drugs. This is often recommended by doctors when there is a good chance of the cancer cells spreading to other locations of the body. This form of treatment is often recommended before the surgery to shrink a tumour or restrict the growth of cells.
  7. Hormone therapy: Hormonal therapy is used to treat cancers that have hormonal sensitivity. They can be used before or after the surgery in order to ensure that cancer does not reoccur. Some of the treatment methods in this section include medication that restricts hormones from getting attached to the cancer cells, medications that restrict the body to produce oestrogen post-menopause and medication that destroys cancer receptors.
2021 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment!

Hcg Cancer Centre 93% (315ratings)
Oncologist, Mumbai
Breast Cancer - Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment!

Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.

With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.

Signs & Symptoms:

It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:

  1. A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla. 
  2. A change in the size or shape of the breast. 
  3. A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling, dilated veins, ulcers, orange peel application.
  4. Bloody discharge from the nipple. 
  5. A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).

Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.

Risk Factors 
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:

  1. The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50 
  2. Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 
  3. Family history of breast cancer 
  4. Being overweight 
  5. Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12) 
  6. Late menopause (after the age of 55) 
  7. Never had children 
  8. Late childbearing 
  9. No breast feeding 
  10. Excessive consumption of alcohol 
  11. Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time

However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.

Early Detection and Screening

More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery are also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:

  1. Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
  2. Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
  3. Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.

Types of Breast cancer:

  1. Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
  2. Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.

Making A Diagnosis:

If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging workup is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.

Treatment options:

Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage and type of cancer (in terms of cell types).

It is further customised based on age, fitnesss/genes, conditions & willingness (finiancials, logistics to take treatment).

3 people found this helpful
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