Breast Cancer

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Breast Cancer

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer begins when breast cells begin to grow out of control. These cells tend to form a tumor that can be felt as a lump or can be seen on an X-ray. If these cells can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body, the tumor is said to be malignant. Breast cancer almost entirely occurs in women, but it can affect men too.

What Causes Breast Cancer?

The exact cause of breast cancer is still unknown. However, there are some factors that indicate a higher risk such as:

  • Advancing age; women over 50 are more likely to get breast cancer
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Has had breast cancer earlier
  • Presence of benign breast lumps
  • Exposure to the hormone estrogen

Do bear in mind, though, that most women considered high-risk do not get it while many women who with no known risk factors do get breast cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new mass or lump. A hard, painless mass with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous. However, breast cancers can also be soft, tender or rounded. They may also be painful. Some other of breast cancer symptoms are:

  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Nipples turning inward
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Swelling of the entire breast or in part (even if no distinct lump is felt)
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Scaliness, thickening or redness of the nipple or breast skin

Sometimes, a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes around the collarbone or under the arm and cause a swelling or lump there, even before the lump is felt in the breast. Swollen lymph nodes can also indicate a breast cancer.

How is Breast Cancer diagnosed?

To aid in diagnosis, your doctor may conduct some exams and tests. suspicious areas or lumps and to feel their size, texture and relationship to the chest muscles and skin. Your doctor will make a note of any changes in the skin or nipples. Your lymph nodes will also felt to look for any signs of breast cancer.

Depending on the results of the examination, imaging tests such as mammograms (x-ray of the breast), breast ultrasound, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the breast or a ductogram (x-ray of the nipple duct).

Based on the results of the imaging tests and physical exam, if your doctor suspects breast cancer

How is Breast Cancer Treated?

breast cancer, treatment will be offered such as:

Local treatmentsIn this type of treatment, the tumor is treated without affecting the rest of the body. Local therapies include radiation therapy and surgery. These treatments are more beneficial during the early stages.

Systemic treatments - In this type of treatment, medications may be given orally or directly into the bloodstream. Depending on the nature and stage of breast cancer, different types of therapies are used such as hormone therapy, targeted therapy and chemotherapy.

How can Breast Cancer be prevented?

The earlier you detect any signs of breast cancer, better are the chances of successful treatment. Conduct self-examination of your breasts regularly. Also, go for mammograms and preventive screenings on a regular basis. These measures will help identify breast cancer early on.

Apollo Support

At Apollo Clinic, we completely understand how breast cancer can affect an individual, both, physically and psychologically. The best way to resist breast cancer is to go for preventive check-ups. We provide mammogram and screening services for all women.

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