Breast Cancer - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Breast Cancer and its Prevention
Breast Cancer as the name suggests is the one which forms in the breast cells of an effected person. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the second leading reason for deaths all over the world. Though with the passing of the time, the survival rates for breast cancer have increased drastically, a lot of factors are present these days which are responsible for detecting the cancer before it advances. With the new ways for the treatments which are available in the market as well as with a better understanding of the disease, it becomes very easy to bring the cancer under control.
Causes for Breast Cancer:
The major reason for the occurrence of Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells in the breasts. When these cells begin to grow up abnormally, they begin to accumulate and begin to form a mass or lump of cells which we term as cancer. These cancerous cells then begin to spread to the nearby lymph nodes and other parts of the body as well. Breast cancer firstly begins to spread in the milk producing ducts of the person, and then they begin to spread to the glandular tissues or lobules of the person within the breasts.
Some factors which have come forward as the ones which can increase the risk of a person contracting breast cancer. About 5 to 10% of the breast cancer patients suffers from the genetic mutations which are passed along the generations in families. The most common of the breast genes are Cancer Gene 1 (BRCA1) and Breast Cancer Gene 2 (BRCA 2). They both are known to increase the chances of contracting breast cancer in women.
People who have a strong family history of breast cancers are the ones who which can be diagnosed for the disease with the blood tests that can determine the presence of the BRAC genes.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer:
Some of the major signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer are as follows:
Presence of lumps or thickening of the surrounding tissues around the breast
Blood discharge from the nipples
Change in the shape and size of the breasts
Changes in the skin of the breast, such as dimpling
Inversion of the nipple
Peeling, scaling as well as flaking of the nipple and the breast skin
Redness and pitting of the skin of the breast
In case you are able to find any lump on the surface of the breast, then it is recommended to see a doctor regarding the same at the soonest.
Tests and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer:
Breast Exams: They are done when the doctor checks the breasts for the lumps or any abnormalities.
Mammogram: Mammogram of the breasts is done with the help of X Rays. They are used to screen the organs for cancer. If any abnormality is detected with this test, then it can lead to the further division of the reason behind the disease.
Ultrasounds: In this, the ultrasound waves are used in order to make the images of the breasts deep within the body. Also, these are done in order to check and make a difference between the solid mass as well as a fluid filled cyst.
Biopsy: in this a small sample is removed and is sent to the laboratory in order to check if the cells are of a cancerous nature or not. This is also done in order to check for the determination of the cells which are the reasons behind the formation of the cancer.
MRI: MRI is done with the help of a radio waves in order to create the images of the interior of the breast. An injection of the dye is given before the MRI in order to get a clear view of the internal structure of the cells.
Staging of the cancer is done in order to establish the stage of the cancer cells. This is needed in order to look for the best ways for the treatment of the cells. The staging of the cancer cells is done by the use of blood tests, mammograms, Breast MRI, bone scans, CT Scans as well as PET Scans. The stages of the cancer range from I to IV. The stage IV of the cancer is known as metastatic breast cancer, which indicates that the cancer has spread to other organs of the body as well.
Treatment and Drugs for Breast Cancer:
The treatment options for Breast Cancer can be easily determined on the basis of stage and grade of the cells.Most of the women opt for options such as surgery, chemotherapy as well as hormone therapy for breast cancer treatment. However, there are many different treatment options which are available all over the world for the treatment of cancer. Some of the most favourable ways for the treatment of Breast cancer are as follows:
Surgery: Surgery for Breast Cancer includes lumpectomy in which the tumour of the person is removed, while leaving aside the healthy tissues. Mastectomy is another kind of surgery in which the entire breast tissue is removed. The lobules, ducts, fatty tissue as well as all of the surrounding skin are removed during mastectomy. A biopsy is sometimes another option in which the surgery is done for patients whose cancer has spread to the lymph lodes. Complications are always attached to the surgery and therefore reconstruction always remains a bigger constraint for the patients once the surgery has been done.
Radiation Therapy: In this, the cancer cells are killed with the help of the high powered X -rays. The external beam of the X- Rays is projected in most of the cases after the lumpectomy has been completed. Also, radiation is recommended in patients after mastectomy has been completed. Side-effects of radiation may include swelling of the breast tissues, sun burning as well as fatigue and redness of the skin.
Chemotherapy: In these drugs are used in order to kill the cancer cells of a person. If the cancer cells are at a risk of spreading to the other parts of the body, then too this is suggested to the patients by the doctors. The side effects of chemotherapy may include hair loss, nausea, vomiting as well as fatigue along with an additional risk of contracting infections.
Though these are the most commonly used ways for the treatment of cancer, some other ways, such as hormone therapy is also in place for the treatment of breast cancer and for slowing down the abnormal production of the cells in the body of a person afflicted with the disease.