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Breast Cancer

Health    Breast Cancer
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Breast cancer affects one in eight women during their lives. No one knows why some women get breast cancer, but there are many risk factors. Risks that you cannot change include

  • Age - the risk rises as you get older
  • Genes - two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, greatly increase the risk. Women who have family members with breast or ovarian cancer may wish to be tested for the genes.
  • Personal factors - beginning periods before age 12 or going through menopause after age 55

Other risks include obesity, using hormone replacement therapy (also called menopausal hormone therapy), taking birth control pills, drinking alcohol, not having children or having your first child after age 35, and having dense breasts.

Symptoms of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in size or shape of the breast, and discharge from a nipple. Breast self-exams and mammography can help find breast cancer early, when it is most treatable. One possible treatment is surgery. It could be a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. Other treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

Men can have breast cancer, too, but it is rare.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The following features are indicative of Breast Cancer:
  • nipple tenderness
  • lump formation
  • thickening of breasts
  • change in the skin texture
  • enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast

Common Causes of Breast Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Breast Cancer:
  • older age
  • family history
  • obesity
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • menopausal hormone therapy
  • having the chance of first child after age 35

Other Causes of Breast Cancer

The following are the less common causes of Breast Cancer:
  • use of birth control pills
  • alcohol consumption
  • infertility
  • having dense breasts

Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Breast Cancer:
  • drinking alcohol
  • obesity
  • not being physically active
  • women who have not had children
  • hormone therapy after menopause

Prevention of Breast Cancer

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Breast Cancer. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • changing lifestyle or eating habits
  • avoiding things known to cause cancer

Occurrence of Breast Cancer

Degree of Occurrence

The following are the number of Breast Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Breast Cancer most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 35-50 years

Common Gender

Breast Cancer most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Female

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Breast Cancer:
  • Chest X Rays: To trace cancer to the lungs
  • Bone Scan: To trace cancer to the bones
  • Computed tomography (CT) Scan: To take pictures of chest and spread of cancer to other organs
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Scan: To look at the brain and spinal cord

Doctor for Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Breast Cancer:
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Surgical Oncologist

Complications of Breast Cancer if Untreated

Yes, Breast Cancer causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Breast Cancer is left untreated:
  • oral or pharyngeal mucositis
  • pain
  • xerostomia
  • dental caries
  • increased risk for opportunistic bacterial, fungal and viral infections

Procedures for Treatment of Breast Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Breast Cancer:
  • Lumpectomy: Removal of the tumors from breast
  • Removing the entire breast: Removal of the entire breast tissue by operation
  • Radiation therapy: Kills cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy: Destroy cancer cells

Self-care for Breast Cancer

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Breast Cancer:
  • Exercise regularly: Practice exercises most days of the week
  • Avoid consuming alcohol

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Breast Cancer

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Breast Cancer:
  • Physical Therapy: Walking, swimming and yoga can help to relieve fatigue
  • Manage stress: Muscle relaxation, visualization, and spending time with friends and family help to control stress

Patient Support for Treatment of Breast Cancer

The following actions may help Breast Cancer patients:
  • Supportive care: Your family provides an extra layer of support that makes you feel better and live longer

Time for Treatment of Breast Cancer

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Breast Cancer to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 11/21/2018.
This page provides information for Breast Cancer.