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How To Fight Breast Cancer
It feels really sad when you get to know that one of your near and dear ones is suffering from breast cancer. In fact you tend to feel sad even for those whom you don’t actually know but is suffering from the disease. Such a feeling could obviously be attributed to the fact that breast cancer is the second most leading cause of death among women.
Basically, your body is made up of cells which together make up the tissues of your body. A number of such tissues put together form the organs of your body. In normal circumstances, as and when the cells in the body grow old or is damaged due to some reason the cells of the body divide and grow and replace themselves with the old and worn cells thus keeping a person perfectly healthy.
The problem arises when the process of cell renewal doesn’t go on as it should i.e. when the cells in the body of individual grows and multiply but the older cell in the body does not die and is accumulated in the body instead of being removed out. This continuous accumulation of cells for a long period of time leads to the development of lump or a tumor. These tumors could either be benign i.e. not harmful or cancerous i.e. malignant tumor. Such a tumor that begins in the cells in the breast is known as breast cancer.
The Benign tumors rarely pose a threat to a person’s life. These tumors do not invade other areas in the body and can be removed very easily. Moreover, such tumor does not recur. The malignant tumors, on the other hand, could be life threatening. Such tumors easily invade other parts of the body, damaging them and spreading throughout the body. If at all they are removed, there are chances that the cancer could grow back.
Types of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is basically classified as per the location from where the cells have begun multiplying uncontrollably. As such the two main types of breast cancer are Ductal Carcinoma i.e. the breast cancer that begins in the ducts that carry milk from the lobules to the nipples and Lobular Carcinoma i.e. the breast cancer that begin in the lobules (that part of the breast that produces the milk). Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer affecting about 80% of the women detected with breast cancer while lobular carcinoma accounts for 10% of the women suffering from breast cancer.
Ductal Carcinoma and Lobular Carcinoma can be further divided into Invasive and Noninvasive cancer i.e. depending on whether the cancer has invaded other cells, tissues and organs beyond the original site. In case if the breast cancer is noninvasive the words ‘in situ’ is added to the type of cancer i.e. it could be Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Some other types of cancer are inflammatory breast cancer, ER positive cancer, HER2 positive breast cancer.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
One of the most common and initial sign of breast cancer is the presence of a lump in the breast or in the armpit. This lump is usually hard, has uneven edges and mostly has a negligible amount of pain. A change in the shape, texture, size etc of the breast too is a common symptom. The change in the texture of the breast could be in the form of reddening, puckering, dimpling etc.
Women affected by breast cancer may also experience a change in the shape of the nipple. At times, some sort of fluid too is discharged from the nipple. This discharge could be bloody, yellow, green or even similar to pus. In the advanced stages of breast cancer the individuals affected by breast cancer would also experience pain in the breast and/or bones, swelling in the arm of the affected breast, loss of weight etc.
Certain studies conducted show that in an entire life time at least 1 out of 8 women are likely to be suffering from breast cancer. Bearing in mind some of the risk factors that could make you susceptible to develop breast cancer could be one of the foremost ways which could enable you to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage and thus, you can fight off breast cancer.
Some of the common risk factors are the age and gender. Though a few men are affected by breast cancer, it is mostly women who are the prime victims of breast cancer. Moreover, it is known that as you grow the more likely to are to fall prey to it. Breast cancer also runs in the family i.e. if any of your relative is suffering from breast cancer you could quite possibly be its next victim.
An early start to the menses or even a delayed menopause too could lead to breast cancer. Individuals suffering from mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes stand about 80% chances of suffering from breast cancer. Some other factors that could lead to breast cancer would be alcohol abuse, delayed childbirth or no children, exposure to radiation etc.
Fight Off Breast Cancer
One of the most essential steps that should be followed in order to fight off breast cancer is to have a routine examination of your breast. This could be in the form of a self examination, clinical breast examination, mammogram, ultra sound, biopsy etc. This would help you detect the cancer at an early stage and would thus provide you with better prognosis. In fact it is recommended that beyond the age of 35 years a woman should get a mammogram done regularly on a yearly basis. Moreover, if you are prone to one or more of the risk factors it is essential to take this self examination tests seriously- you could even have a preventive mastectomy done in such cases.
Generally, measures like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, lumpectomy and/or mastectomy would be used to treat the breast cancer depending upon the size, type and spread of the tumor. Have a well balanced and nutritious meal. Avoid consuming alcohol, processed foods and red meat in large quantities.