Breast cancer is the most common cancer types that affect women. It is characterized by the malignant growth originating from the breast tissues that can metastasize to other locations, if remains undetected for long time. Breast cancer affects both – men and women, but it is uncommon in men. Over millions of women suffer this disease. This cancer, being deadly cancer type that causes the maximum cancer deaths in women should be detected early to prevent it from metastasizing to nearby lymph nodes and organs. Various events are carried out across the world by the cancer society and different volunteering organizations to spread breast cancer awareness. Know the breast cancer detection, prevention, natural cure and stay free from this deadly disease which are briefly described.
Breast Cancer Detection
Detection of breast cancer can be done early if one is vigilant towards any unusual signs and symptoms shown by it. The most common noticeable sign of malignant growth in breasts is lumps that can be felt when touched. Almost 80% of cases are discovered with women complaining about lumps in their breasts.
Other common symptoms of the malignancy are dimpling of the skin in breast region, change in the look of nipple, change in skin color and texture in the region, bloody fluid discharge from nipples, breast inflammation, itching, pain, warmth in the area, and constant pain in the breast region or armpits.
Most women do not have even (symmetrical) breasts. One breast is bigger than the other; one hangs lower. This is more commonplace than having symmetrical breasts. In fact, only one percent has perfectly even breasts.
Asymmetrical breasts are a pesky problem women deal with, finding the best bra to camouflage the discrepancy; however, women with uneven breasts need to know those with diverse sized breasts are more prone to acquire breast cancer.
The bigger the difference in breast size the bigger the risk of cancer. Women diagnosed with breast cancer have more breast size unevenness than those who don’t have the disease.
A study revealed the probability of acquiring breast cancer increased by 50 percent for each 100ml expansion in breast size difference. For every 3.38 ounce increase in breast unevenness, there can be a 50 percent increase in the risk of cancer, according to Breast Cancer Research journal (2006.)
Uneven breasts alone do not necessarily mean a woman will get breast cancer. Breast asymmetry is taken into consideration in context of the female’s complete profile including her family and reproductive history, her age and other influences
One breast cancer symptom women do need to be aware of is breasts that are relatively close in size but suddenly change in shape, becoming lop-sided. This can be an indicator of cancer. A noticed change in size in a breast or breasts may be the result of a cystic or solid growth, which makes the breast bigger. Contact your physician ASAP.
When breasts are a dissimilar size this is often a genetic tendency or it can be the result when paired organs, such as breast, start growing or stop growing at different times, which results in asymmetry. Not only can two breasts be different sizes but different shapes.
Self examination is one of the simple methods to aid early detection of the cancer. Women must be aware of how their breasts feel in normal. So, any unusual change in the look and feel of the milk ducts can be reported to the health professional and diagnosed further for cancer.
Perform the breast exam a week following your menstrual period. Do it lying down because breast tissues spread out when you are reclining and this enables you to easier detect any changes.
Put the right arm behind the head and use the three middle fingers on the left hand to feel for any variations in the breast tissue in the right breast. Moving the fingers up and down (vertical, check all areas of the breast. Feel for changes (lumps, etc.) in the collar bone and neck. Do the same thing on the left breast, using the right hand.
Use your eyes as well as your fingers. Check for dimpling, skin irritation, unusual swelling or lumps, nipple pain or inward turn of the nipple, which is called retraction. Is there any encrusted skin or redness of the breast skin or nipple? A discharge from the nipple (aside from breast milk) is not normal.
Not every breast irregularity is breast cancer so don’t panic. In fact, breasts often feel uneven prior to a woman’s menstrual period. As people age, breasts can change. Alterations also occur during pregnancy and menopause and when a woman is taking birth control pills.
Self examinations cannot be the only detection technique used though. So, if you feel that you have any symptom related to the malignancy of milk ducts, you must consult your physician for diagnosis of the disease.
Pay attention to your breasts. This is the best preventive action a woman can take. Know what they normally feel and look like. You know your own normal which means you are the first to notice when something isn’t looking or feeling normal. Regularly do self breast exams.
Examinations for Detection
This screening is one of the best techniques for early detection of the disease. Mammogram is an x-ray image of the breasts from different angles to verify any lesions and lump growth. This test is recommended to women who show up symptoms such as lumps and discharge from nipple. The examination result can show abnormality – which is not worrisome, lesions – which is benign, and lastly, a more suspicious lesion.
MRI scans are another technique that uses radio waves to produce images of certain body parts and organs. MRIs can be recommended with mammograms for women with suspicious lesions.
Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to produce the images of the body tissues. The sound waves emitted by a special machine are bounced back to produce black and white image of breasts. Ductogram and nipple discharge examination are other two diagnostic tests for cancer.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
This cancer can be prevented provided proper attention is paid to the protective factors and the risk factors of the disease. Smoking is one of the several risk factors for this disease. Quit smoking to reduce your risk of developing the malignancy. Change in lifestyle, including exercises and altering eating habits are some of the protective factors to prevent cancer.
Limit alcohol to control the risk of getting cancer. If you cannot give up alcohol completely, limit it to not more than one drink per day. Hormonal therapies place huge risk to healthy breasts and women, who have symptoms of cancer or other risk factors of the malignancy, should discontinue the therapy immediately.
Women, who do not breast-feed are at higher risk, thus, breast-feeding can reduce your risk to a significant level. Some environmental pollutants are being still studied for placing risk of the cancer, so avoid exposure to such pollutants and stay protected of this deadly disease.
Natural Cure for Breast Cancer
Some natural and home remedies work well to treat and prevent the cancer. Raw garlic has antibiotic properties and has alkyl sulphur compounds which work as anti-cancer agents. This forces the malignant cells to go through the cell-life cycle and die natural death.
Consuming soybean is considered helpful for breast cancer patients too. Phytoestrogens in soy can block malignant cells from using estrogen hormones and prevent tumor development in the early stage.
Including broccoli, wheatgrass, green tea, grapes, and lignans in your regular diet can offer you various anti-cancer benefits that aid in fighting cancer of the milk ducts.
Breast cancer causes millions of deaths in women every year and the statistics are not yet satisfactory. Thus, spreading awareness is run on a large scale and women are being educated about the risk factors of the disease, screening tests to detect it at an early stage, and preventing it from resulting in death.