The Truth About BREAST CANCER In 4 Minutes

breast cancer awareness

Even though it is hard to speak and picture the word “breast cancer”, it is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women.

These days, it’s essential to know about this type of cancer, how to reduce the risk of getting it, and how to deal with it physically and psychologically.

What is the meaning of breast cancer?

Like all cancers. Breast cancer is a condition in which uncontrolled cell growth results in a tissue mass known as a tumor. Both men and women can get it, but women are more likely to do so.

Most types of breast carcinoma happen in the two main parts of the breast (ducts and lobules).

The glands that generate milk are (lobules). Milk travels through tubes called (ducts) to the nipple.

For female breast anatomy click here

Breast cancer risk factors

According to much research, more than one risk factor is required to increase your risk of developing a breast tumor. However, if you have one or more risk factors, it doesn’t guarantee you will get sick.

These factors are

  • Being a female: Most cases of breast cancer are in women.
  • Getting old: Age raises the risk of breast tumor. After age 50, most breast cancer cases are, discovered.
  • Genetic disorder: The two most critical genes related to a higher risk of breast carcinoma are BRCA1 and BRCA2. They can pass from parents to children.
  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer: Although most of those who developed cancer in the breast had no family history, if your mother, sister, or daughter had breast carcinoma, you were more likely to have cancer in the breast.
  • History of radiation treatment: Breast cancer is more likely to develop in older women who received radiation therapy to the chest or breasts before age 30.
  • Obesity: The risk of developing breast tumor rises with obesity.  
  • Reproductive history: Breast cancer risk is highest for women who began their period before age 12 and for those who give birth to their first child after age 30.
  • Drinking alcohol: Alcohol abuse increases the chance of breast tumor.

By now, you may be wondering, How do I find out if I have this type of cancer?

Breast cancer symptoms

You have to know how your breasts feel and look. So, when any change happens, you will know.

Hard non-painful Lumps are the early signs of breast cancer. However, most types of breast carcinoma begin with soft, painful lumps.

These signs may include:

  • Clear or bloody fluid discharge from your nipple
  • Feeling of lump in your breast or underarm
  • Change in the shape or size of one or both breasts
  • Localized pain in the nipple or breast
  • Change in breast skin or swelling
  • Nipple retraction
  • Redness in the breast or the nipple area
  • Irritation of the breast skin 

If you have one or more of the mentioned symptoms, don’t wait to visit your doctor.

Breast cancer and breastfeeding

Depending on your therapeutic strategy, it is crucial to ask your doctor if breastfeeding your child is safe or not.

During treatment with chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy you have to stop breastfeeding, as it affects the nursing baby. If your doctor approves, you might be able to start breastfeeding again after the treatment is finished.

Breast cancer for men

Although breast tumor is more common in women, it can also affect men in rare cases.

Breast carcinoma for men usually happens in older age, but can affect younger men occasionally.

The symptoms of male breast tumor are the same as those of female breast tumor.

Treatment of breast cancer

The main treatments for breast carcinoma are

  • Surgery. 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy

Can breast cancer kill you?

A woman has a one in 39 chance of dying from this type of cancer (about 2.5 %).

According to reports, breast carcinoma rates have declined since 1989.

Better treatment and earlier detection of breast tumor through screening and awareness are thought to be the causes of the decrease in death rates.

Breast cancer complications

There are four stages of breast tumor, but metastasis is the most advanced stage at which cancer cells spread to another area of the body.

10% of women with cancer in the breast will also get cancer in the other breast.

Cancer cells can spread to

  • Bones
  • Liver
  • Brain
  • Lungs
  • Lymph nodes

Metastasis depends on

  • The stage at first diagnosis
  • Treatment received 
  • Tumor characteristics

Unfortunately, metastatic breast cancer is untreatable. It is impossible to overcome all cancer cells once they invade another area of the body. But the appropriate treatment can help you live longer and provide a high-quality life.

Breast cancer prevention

Although there is no definite way to stop breast cancer from developing, taking these preventive measures reduces your risk.

Control your weight 

As said before, there is a strong connection between obesity and breast carcinoma. So it is important to maintain a healthy weight.

Do exercise

There is no doubt that exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Exercising for 30 minutes a day also lowers your risk of breast cancer.

Eat a healthy diet

Balanced food is the core of a healthy life. Eating fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of developing cancer.

Stop smoking

About 12 different cancers, including breast carcinoma, are caused by smoking. So, it’s not too late to stop and get benefits. If you can’t, try to seek assistance.

Breastfeed your child if possible

Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast carcinoma and is also useful for your child.

Don’t use hormone therapy

One of the risk factors is hormone therapy, So if it is possible, try to stop using it.

Know your family history

Women who have a strong family history of cancer might take extra precautions to stay safe. 

If your mother or sister has breast or ovarian cancer, you are at a higher risk.

Give up alcohol

Alcohol is carcinogenic; about 6% of cancer diagnoses are due to alcohol consumption.

Don’t forget mammograms

Early detection of cancer by mammograms improves cancer treatment.

Psychological support

Breast cancer will be difficult for you and your family to deal with, and you can get depressed, anxious and scared which may affect your mental health.

Never hesitate to speak with a counsellor or physiotherapist and ask for help.

You can ask for help here

Breast cancer now