Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in females worldwide. However, a satisfactory fact is that breast cancer patients survive if detected early and with proper treatment.
Therefore, to prevent the mortality caused due to breast cancer, it is essential to recognize Breast cancer symptoms and diagnose it early.
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the collection of cancer cells that arises from the breast cells. It is a malignant Tumour that is a group of cancer cells that can metastasize or spread to other distant body parts. This happens when the breast cells begin to grow uncontrollably.
What Are The Breast Cancer Symptoms
Breast cancer may not always display any
symptoms. Initially, there is no unusual or recognizable
breast changes or mass is felt. In such cases, after the screening, mammography
abnormality turns up. However, in other cases, the standard first
sign of Breast cancer is a lump or new mass. If you feel a hard and painless lump that has uneven edges see your doctor as it is more likely to be a cancerous growth. In few cases, the Breast cancer mass may feel soft, tender and round. This is why it is better to consult your doctor whenever you feel anything unusual.
Besides lump in the breast, other unusual symptoms that may be an alarming Sign of Breast cancer are as follows:
- Swelling- Swelling may affect a part or whole of the breast.
- Dimpling of the breast skin.
- Pain in the breast is not a usual breast cancer symptoms but may be present in a few cases.
- Inward turning of the nipple
- Nipple pain
- Any discharge from the nipple except the breast milk.
- A mass or lump may be felt in the surrounding areas or underarm
- Scaling and redness of the breast skin.
- Breast skin thickening.
- Orange peel texture of the skin of the breast.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit.
In cases of any of these unusual symptoms, consult a doctor.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
To ensure that breast cancer is identified and diagnosed in early stages, it is better to add Breast self-exam to your monthly routine.
How To Do Breast Self-Exam
Below are the steps of Breast self-exam:
- Step 1: Stand straight in front of a mirror with shoulders straight and arms on your hips. Look at your breasts in the mirror for any unusual changes in the breasts’ colour, shape, and size. If you notice any visible distortion, swelling or uneven shape, do see your doctor. In addition, look for other symptoms such as puckering, bulging of the skin, dimpling, inverted nipples, swelling, discharge from the breast, redness, soreness and rash.
- Step 2: Now, raise both your arms above your head and look for the same changes discussed in step 1.
- Step 3: Next, you need to lie down. With your right hand, feel your left breast. Your touch should be firm but smooth. Same way, feel your right breast with the help of your left hand. While doing the examination, keep your fingers flat and together. Move your fingers up down in vertical rows or use a quarter-sized circular motion. Cover the entire breast and feel all the breast tissues. Use comparatively light pressure to feel the skin and tissues just beneath. Put the middle amount of pressure on the tissues in the middle. Apply firm pressure for the deep-seated tissues.
- Step 4: Sit down or stand up to feel your breasts. Best do this while having a shower. Cover the entire with the hand movements discussed above.
If you feel anything unusual after a self-breast exam, meet your doctor for further tests and diagnosis.
Following tests and exams may be done to rule out breast cancer.
1. Breast Exam- To confirm the presence of any other possible abnormalities or lumps.
2. X-ray of the breast- or Mammography.
3. 2D combined with 3D mammograms
4. Breast biopsy
5. Breast ultrasound
Treatment Of The Breast Cancer
Size, grade, type of breast cancer determines the treatment of breast cancer. In addition, the treatment also depends on their sensitivity to the hormones. Therefore, patients all over health is also considered before selecting the treatment procedure. Following are the treatment options to treat breast cancer.
Surgery – Includes physical removal of the tumour. Also, there may be the removal of a part of the normal surrounding tissue and the lymph nodes. Following are the operations that may be for breast cancer treatment.
- Lumpectomy- Only breast tumours and a small margin of healthy surrounding tissues are removed.
- Quadrantectomy-1/4th part of the breast is removed.
- Mastectomy- Entire breast is removed.
- Axillary lymph node dissection- Here, several lymph nodes are removed.
- Sentinel node biopsy- A limited number of lymph nodes are removed.
- Removal of both the breast.
Other additional treatment options that may be done after or before the surgery are radiation therapy and chemotherapy for metastatic Breast cancer.
- Hormone therapy
- Radiotherapy and
- Targeted therapy
After reading the above article, if you are concerned about acknowledging how to prevent breast cancer, below are the few things you can do:
2. Quit smoke.
3. Stay active and exercise regularly.
4. Maintain a healthy weight.
5. Breastfeed for up to one and a half or two years after giving birth.
6. Limit the dose and duration of the HRT.
7. Avoid radiation exposure.
8. Eat foods rich in vitamin A, E, and C.
The 5-year survival rate after breast cancer treatment is 99 percent of Breast cancer symptoms are diagnosed at an early stage.
Therefore stay aware of changes in your body and immediately consult your doctor if you suspect some unusual changes.