Cancer is a disease in which the body’s cells begin to multiply uncontrollably. When cancer originates in the breast it is called breast cancer. In addition, breast cancer, excluding skin cancer, is the most common cancer among women. It is the third highest incidence of cancer in the world. Even though it is a cancer that affects a great part of the female population, the doubts are still very frequent.
Most women between the ages of 50 and 74 should have a mammogram every two years. If you are between the ages of 40 and 49 or you think you may have a higher risk of breast cancer, ask your doctor when to do a mammogram.
Some Factors May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
The main factors that influence the risk of breast cancer in a person include being woman and getting older.
Other risk factors include:
- Inherited changes in certain genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2).
- Have menstruation before 12 years of age.
- Do not give birth or have the first child at a later age.
- From menopause to 55 years of age.
- Taking hormones for more than five years to replace
- Estrogen and progesterone
- Take oral contraceptives (birth control pills).
- Personal history of breast cancer, dense breasts and
- Other health problems.
- Family history of breast cancer (father, brother or son).
- Receive radiation therapy to the chest.
- Being overweight, especially after menopause.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer Some warning signs of breast cancer are:
- A lump or chest pain.
- Thickening or swelling of the breast part.
- Irritation or ripples of the skin of the breast.
- Scaly skin or red breast.
- Nipple sinking or pain in this area.
- Net nipple beyond breast milk, especially blood.
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Pain in any part of the breast.
Tests Used to Diagnose and Monitor People with Breast Cancer May Include:
- Breast MRI to help better identify the lump in the breast or evaluate an abnormal change in a mammogram
- Breast ultrasound to show whether the lump is solid or filled with fluid
Breast biopsy: using methods such as the biopsy needle, ultrasound – guided, stereotaxic or open
- A CT scan to see if the cancer has spread outside the chest
- Mammography to detect breast cancer or help identify the nodule in the breast
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to see if cancer has spread
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
If your doctor finds out that you have breast cancer, you will have more tests. This is called the test, which verified whether the cancer has spread.
Treatment for Breast Cancer
Breast cancer treatment is based on many factors, including:
- The type of cancer
- The stage of cancer (staging is a tool that your providers use to determine how advanced the cancer is)
- Whether the cancer is sensitive to certain hormones or not
- If the cancer is overproduced or not a protein called HER2.
Cancer Treatments May Include:
- Hormonal therapy.
- Chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy, which is used to destroy cancerous tissue.
- Surgery to remove cancerous tissue: Lumpectomy removes the breast tumor. A mastectomy to remove all or part of the breast and any nearby structures.
- The lymph nodes can also be removed during surgery.
- The target therapy uses medicine to attack changes in genes in cancer cells. Hormone therapy is an example of targeted therapy. Blocks of certain hormones that stimulate the growth of cancer.
No Need for Panic If You Need More Tests After a Mammogram: A lot of women are asked to repeat a mammogram or another exam. One reason is that many women over 40 have calcium deposits (calcification) in their breasts, which are benign, but they appear as white patches on a mammogram. Although the radiologist can distinguish between benign and suspect, it may be useful to investigate further. They only require suspicious biopsy stains.
It is possible that estrogen in the environment is a cause of increased breast cancer rates: There are natural and synthetic chemical compounds that mimic estrogen in the body or block natural hormones. Found in pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenol A (BPA), plant products (such as soybeans) and other chemicals. Many of them have been associated with breast cancer in several studies.
Hormonal Therapy May Raise Breast Cancer Risk: It is interesting to note that lower use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) in synthetic postmenopausal women also decreased breast cancer rates.
There are Complementary Therapies That Can Help Treat Breast Cancer: Doctors are increasingly willing to use alternative natural treatments in combination with medical procedures (such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy). These can include nutrition and exercise, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, meditation, yoga, massage, Feldenkrais, Reiki, qigong, tai chi and support groups. Talking with your healthcare team before using any of these alternative therapies is recommended.
An Easy Way to Reduce Risk is to maintain high levels of Vitamin D: Women with low levels of Vitamin D are at higher risk for breast cancer. Experts suspect that Vitamin D helps control the normal growth of breast cells and prevent breast cancer cells from growing. So you will want your doctor to regularly check your Vitamin D levels levels and according to the results, recommend a supplement.
Knowing Your Body Will Keep You Healthy: Experts recommend doing regular self-exams and getting professional clinical exams often. For those women who battled breast cancer, early detection of recurrence nearly doubled their chance of survival.