Just like the name implies, breast cancer is a type of cancer that begins from the breast. Women are most prone to breast cancer, but men can suffer from breast cancer too. The cells grow to form a tumor that can be detected via an x-ray or seen as a feeling of a lump.
Many breast lumps are benign and not cancerous. Though these non-cancerous lumps are abnormal they do not spread outside the breast which makes them non-life threatening. However, some other benign lumps can increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. So, it is important to check if it’s malignant or benign.
Different part of the breast is prone to breast cancer, the duct carrying milk to the nipple (Ductal cancers), some starts inside the gland that produces breast milk (lobular cancer), some starts within other tissues in the breast (lymphomas, sarcomas), others are not very popular (angiosarcoma and phyllodes tumor).
The breast cancer cells are checked for proteins known as progesterone receptors, HER2, and estrogen receptors.
The grade at which the tumor cells are also closely checked as this will help to know the treatment options to engage.
Types of breast cancer
- Ductal carcinoma in situ
- Invasive ductal carcinoma
- Phyllodes tumors
- Paget disease of the nipple
- Symptoms of breast cancer
- Changes in the shape or size of one or both breasts
- Bloody discharge from either of the nipples
- Rash on or around the nipple
- When the nipple become sunken into the breast
- Swelling or lump-like growth in one of the armpits
- Conditions that facilitate the risk of breast cancer
- Alcohol consumption
- Overweight, obesity, or height
Age: As one grows older, the chances of getting breast cancer also increase. Women between 50 – 70 years should be screened once in every 3-year while those women over 70-years should also be screened from time to time.
Previous benign breast lump
Past diagnosis of breast cancer
Treatment of breast cancer
Breast cancer detection at an early stage makes its treatment easy before spreading to other parts of the body.
For the best result, breast cancer can be effectively treated using a combination of the following
This is usually the first type of treatment applied. The type of surgery is a factor of the type of breast. The doctor would discuss the best form of treatment.
Radiotherapy: This comes after the surgery, and in some instances, hormonal treatment is applied for a better result.
Preventing breast cancer
The following are some treatments to help reduce the chances of getting breast cancer. Researchers have studied the connections between diets and breast cancer and have come up with no definite conclusions. However, there are benefits for women who engage in the following;
Do not engage in alcohol consumption
Cut down on the consumption of saturated fat
Engage in a regular form of exercise
Do not get unnecessarily obese; maintain a healthy weight because excessive weight gain means more oestrogen production which increases the risk of breast cancer. Besides, women who have gone past menopause must also maintain a healthy weight.