Cancer engulfs six million people in India every year, and going by the statistics, breast cancer accounts for 27% of all cancers in women. It is a myth that breast cancer can occur in women only, but it rarely occurs in men too. Women are ignorant about the symptoms of breast cancer, they takes months to seek medical advice about appearance of the symptoms because of the stigma associated with it. Most of the times, a person in is disbelief that something wrong can happen with them. This disbelief leads to delay in diagnosis and further complicates the situation. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and still there is lack of awareness about it in rural as well as urban women. The most important kind of awareness is about the self-examination of breast, which is the most basic and effective way of examination.
How to identify breast cancer
There are different symptoms of breast cancer including change in size of breasts, lumps, nipple discharge and more discussed below. If you have such symptoms, do not panic. Visit your doctor right away.
You feel a lump in the breast, upper chest or in the armpit. The lump cannot be seen, but is felt. If you experience sharp and unusual pain in armpit or breast, do not ignore it.
Change in size of breasts:
The difference in size of the breasts. It is very natural to have size of one breast little bigger than the other. Do not mistake it for symptom of breast cancer. The colour of the breasts appears inflamed or red. The texture of breasts is different than the normal; the breasts skin appears puckered and dimpled.
Appearance of nipples
The nipples appear growing inwards rather than pointing outward.
If one or both the breasts discharge fluid, it requires immediate medical attention.
WHAT CAN I DO?
There are a number of ways in which breast cancer is detected:
- It is recommended that your doctor or general practitioner should examine both your breasts and your armpits every year.
- In addition to this, women should perform Breast Self-Examination (BSE) every month.
- Women over the age of 40 should have a mammogram (breast x-ray) every two years.
- Breast ultrasound is used in conjunction with a mammogram to determine the nature of abnormal breast tissue seen on a mammogram.
Some Fast Facts About Breast Cancer
- Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
- Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.
- Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.
Is breast cancer hereditary?
Yes, we can say breast cancer can be inherited. Women having more than one first degree female relative with breast cancer in their family tree are at higher risk of suffering from breast cancer than the one having no family history of breast cancer.
Causes of breast cancer:
The history of breast cancer in your family has a direct relation with the chance of acquiring the disease. A woman having first degree female relative with breast cancer have higher chances of acquiring breast cancer.
Abnormally high levels of estrogen in women are responsible for disease in women. Estrogen is responsible for dividing cells and higher level of estrogen means abnormal division of cells in the body.
3.Drastic change in lifestyle and diet
It is the most debated risk factor. Obesity and drinking excess of alcohol has a direct relation with hormonal imbalance. Women taking diet high in fat are more likely to be affected by the disease.
Is breast cancer curable?
Breast cancer is curable if diagnosis is done at early stage. The screening of the disease involves finding out how complicated the disease is and helps in planning out the course of medication.
The treatment depends on how adverse cancer is and the type of it. There are two kinds of treatments
1) Local treatments: This is done by treating the tumour without affecting the other parts of the body. It includes surgery and radiation therapy.
2) Systemic treatments: This is done using drugs, which is inserted into the mouth or into the bloodstream. It includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy.
Coping up with Breast Cancer
Whenever a person is diagnosed with a terminal disease, the person goes through variety of emotions and how he copes up with the fear and anxiety of being diagnosed is very important. The support from patient’s family and friends while he is convalescing is of great significance.
The patient should not confine himself/herself instead they should meet other people affected by the disease. The interaction helps them deal with the battle against the disease. Share and talk about your emotions and feelings with your family and friends because “a problem shared is a problem half solved”.
The battle against Breast Cancer is half won when there is inclusive awareness about it among women of all sections of society. It is a small part of a huge initiative to improve health of women in our country. Women are influential contributors in every field from science to agriculture and without good health, it is impossible for a country to reach pinnacle. To get away from Breast Cancer, visit the best Doctor in the city- Dr. Renu Malik, Radix Healthcare.