Breast cancer is a condition where cells in the breast grow out of control. The breast has three main parts: lobule, duct, and connective tissues. Cancer cells can grow in different parts of the breast.
Most common type of breast cancer are listed below:
Some common symptoms of breast cancer include:
When there is delay in diagnosis of breast cancer at early stage, it may spread to other organs and may lead to following symptoms:
Breast cancer in male is rare. However, you may have to pay attention to the following symptoms:
There is still no clarity on how cells in the breast start growing abnormally. However, environmental factors or hormonal changes may cause genetic mutation in the tumor suppressor genes.
Breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 (BRCA2) are the genes found in every human and they are helpful in protecting you from the various tumors. However, certain mutations happening in these genes prevent them from working properly, thereby increasing the chances of cancer. When one of these genes mutates, cells grow abnormally leading to the mass formation which results in breast cancer.
There are many factors which increase the chance of the development of breast cancer in women. Some of the common risk factors are:
Women who are working have a higher risk due to factors like:
The most common methods performed to diagnose breast cancer are breast examination and mammography. Self-examination is the main key to early detection of breast cancer.
After examination, the doctor may advise you to go for certain tests that confirm the tumor and also give information about the stage of the cancer.
Lump in the breast may also be associated with different health problems like fibroadenomas, benign breast masses, lipoma, etc. It is always recommended to visit a right specialist and they will suggest certain tests and based on the proper diagnosis; he may guide you to the right specialist like an oncologist in case of breast cancer.
After confirmation of cancer, your doctor may ask you to go for additional tests to determine the tumor spread to the lymph nodes or to other areas of your body. Doctor recommends positron emission tomography (PET) scan to know about the spread of the tumor. Once the detailed information of the cancer is available with the doctor, he will start planning the treatment protocol.
There are different treatment options available which are used in combination depending upon the patient’s age, overall health, and stage of cancer.
After the breast mastectomy, you may have to stay in hospital for 3 days or less. Your vitals like body, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, etc., will be monitored throughout your stay. In case you have pain or nausea due to anesthesia, inform the doctor and they will provide you mediation to subside it. Physiotherapist will visit you and teach you the exercises that you may have to practice to avoid shoulder and arm stiffness.
Once you are discharged, please follow the below mentioned guidelines:
Several preclinical and clinical studies suggest that immune therapy improves the clinical outcome of patients suffering from breast cancer. It acts by blocking the specific antibodies that makes it difficult for the immune system to fight the cancer. However, this has not been approved by the FDA yet, treatment is mostly available through clinical trials.
The survival rate of the patient depends on the factors like type and stage of cancer.
Treatments for all stages are available. Also, survival rates don’t always predict your future. It is always advisable to discuss with your doctor about the diagnosis and best treatment option available.
Breast cancer can reoccur long after the treatment. Your doctor may like to keep you on active surveillance where you may need to go frequent testing to keep a check on recurrence. He may advise you to look for: