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Be Aware of Breast Cancer to Avoid It

Breast cancer is a neoplasm (new growth) that originates from the milk ducts or the lobules of the breast. It is common among women yet there are cases of this type of cancer among the male population. The main cause of this disease is unknown or idiopathic. Yet there are theories that explain how this came about. One of the explanations is the mutation of the cells (also referred to as cancer cells), thereby forming lumps or tumors. There are several triggers to this such as exposure to radiation or carcinogenic substances. There are various treatments for this condition which depends on the size, type and stage of the neoplasm.

The following are the modes of treatment for breast cancer:

•             Surgery- this is the surgical intervention that aids for the removal of the breast tumor.

•             Drugs- it could either be through hormonal therapy (some tumors respond to hormonal levels in the body) or through chemotherapy (the use of chemotherapeutic drugs to kill abnormal cells)

•             Radiation therapy- the use of radiation to eliminate cancer cells

•             Immunotherapy- the use of drugs that could modulate the body’s immune system

What are the early signs?

One of the early signs of breast neoplasm is a lump that is located in the breast tissue. This shows how important it is to perform breast self-examination. The palpation of the breast could detect a presence of an abnormal lump, which is one of the early signs of breast cancer. Furthermore, through mammogram these abnormal growths may also be revealed at an earlier time.

Furthermore, presence of skin dimpling or pain (could be indicative of inflammatory breast neoplasm) on the areas of the breast may also indicate the presence of a breast cancer. These could manifest with certain signs such as redness, swelling and itching on the breast tissue. However, these are not reliable indicators and further diagnostic procedures need to be carried out.

What are the two classifications of breast cancer?

Malignant breast cancer- this is the type of breast cancer that tends to spread outside the breast and could reach nearby organs such as the heart, lungs and even bones. The symptoms associated with this type of cancer may make the diagnosis hard to make because of the vague manifestations. For example, if the metastasis is in the lungs, the patient may show signs that can be respiratory in nature.

Benign breast cancer- this is the type that poses lesser risk. The lump or new growth does not spread or metastasize unlike malignant breast cancer. If the lump does not grow or causes discomfort, the lump is not excised or removed but further studies need to be done.

Statistics show that there is an increasing risk of breast cancer. The best cure to this alarming growth in the number of cases would be prevention. Regular breast self-examination and undergoing diagnostic tests would aid for prevention. Cancers, in general, are found out in the later stage and this makes prognosis or the chance of survival poor. Educating the people about breast cancer would be a vital tool towards saving the population from the dreaded condition.

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