People often view a cancer diagnosis as a death statement. October being the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is time to shatter some myths about this disease and how its early detection and diagnosis can save your life from going downhill. Mumtaz, Bollywood actress from yesteryears, was detected with Cancer too a few years back. She kept her spirits high and soaring and battled the disease and is now living a healthy and happy life.
Also not many people know that Mexican beauty, Barbara Mori who created quite a stir in Bollywood with her debut Kites and rumoured affair with co-actor Hrithik Roshan, is a cancer survivor as well. Barbara was detected with cancer when she was just 29 years-old. Though many don’t know the nature of her disease; many have speculated it to be breast cancer. This beauty has openly expressed her support for various breast cancer causes.
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women.
Estimated new cases and deaths from breast cancer in the India in 2013:
New cases: 232,670 (female); 2,360 (male)
Deaths: 40,000 (female); 430 (male)
About the Breasts:
The breast is of two parts lobes and ducts. Every breast has multiple areas called lobes and having smaller sections called lobules. Number of tiny bulbs can make. The ducts are joined by lobes, lobules, and bulbs.
Early Alarm of Brest Cancer
It starts with by partial symptoms and breast lump pain, and tenderness are most affected areas that associated with breast cancer.
- Symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Dimpling of the breast surface
- Vaginal pain
- Visible veins on the breast
- Nipple discharge or retraction of the nipple
- Enlargement of one breast
- An “orange peel” texture to the skin
- Unintentional weight loss
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit
Prevention is better than cure
- Risk factors include
- Being female and older age
- Family history of breast cancer
- Density of breast
- Early menstruation
- Late Menopause
- Late pregnancy or never being pregnant:
- Exposure to radiation
- Being overweight,
- Not getting enough exercise.
Increasing protective factors such as
- Less exposure to estrogen:
Decreasing the length of time a woman’s breast tissue is exposed to estrogen may help prevent breast cancer. Exposure to estrogen is reduced in the following ways:
- Early pregnancy:
Estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy. Women who have a full-term pregnancy before age 20 have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have not had children or who give birth to their first child after age 35.
Estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Women who breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.
- Ovarian ablation:
The ovaries make estrogen. The amount of estrogen made by the body can be greatly reduced by removing one or both ovaries. Also, drugs may be taken to lower the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries.
- Late menstruation:
Beginning to have menstrual periods at age 14 or older decreases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen.
- Early menopause:
The fewer years a woman menstruates, the shorter the time her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen.
Women who exercise four or more hours a week have a lower risk of breast cancer. The effect of exercise on breast cancer risk may be greatest in premenopausal women who have normal or low body weight.
Unresolved reasons of breast cancer
- Oral contraceptives
Taking oral contraceptives (“the pill”) may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer in current users. This risk decreases over time. Some oral contraceptives contain estrogen.
In the environment, such as chemicals, increases the risk of breast cancer.
The following do not affect the risk of breast cancer:
- Having an abortion.
- Makingdiet changes such as eating less fat or more fruits and vegetables.
- Takingvitamins, including fenretinide (a type of vitamin A).
- Cigarettesmoking, both active and passive (inhaling secondhand smoke).
- Using underarm deodorant or antiperspirant.
- Takingstatins (cholesterol -lowering drugs).
Breast Cancer Screening
When you visit your doctor with concerns about breast pain, tenderness or a lump, there are common tests he or she will perform:
- Mammogram:an x-ray of the breast to help tell between a benign and malignant mass
- Biopsy:removal of a small amount of breast tissue for testing
- Ultrasound:use of ultrasonic sound waves to produce an image of the tissue
- MRI:Normally used in conjunction with other tests, magnetic resonance imaging is another non invasive way to examine breast tissue.
The best way to fight breast cancer is early detection, whether that is self-examinations or regular mammograms. If you’re worried that your breast pain or tenderness could be something serious, make an appointment with your doctor today.