Breast cancer could very well be placed at number one among all the killer diseases in women today. This type of cancer accounts for 26% of all the cancers in women. As such, it is largest killer cancer of all people in world, except maybe lung cancer. With so many women becoming victims of breast cancer each year, it should be thought that the medical fraternity must be having very detailed information about it. But that is hardly the case. Despite the millions of women dying each year, the causes, mechanisms and treatment of breast cancer still remains shrouded in mystery.
. . A simple layperson’s definition of breast cancer is that it is an abnormal growth of a mass of cells known as a tumor anywhere within the breast. This growth is felt as a lumpy mass in the early stages of the cancer. This is when the woman must rush to the doctor. In fact any sudden inexplicable abnormality in the shape of the breast must be given medical attention immediately.
There is no cause for alarm, as most changes could be perfectly harmless. But it is wise to rule out the possibility of blood cancer. . . Another aspect of urgent medical attention is that breast cancer is fully treatable if it is seen to early. In all women suffering from breast cancer, the tumor will undergo an initial benign stage.
At this stage the tumor has not started its abnormal multiplication. If it is removed when it is benign, the cancer does not spread, and in most cases, the woman gets totally cured of the disease and leads a normal life. . . Nothing can be said about how long the tumor will remain benign.
That depends on several inherent factors with the woman’s physiology. The period of benign tumor is another part of breast cancer about which very little is known. But the presence of a tumor or such other symptoms is a strong indicator of occurrence of breast cancer. Apart from the tumor, there could be changes in the coloration of the skin over the breast. Other skin changes such as crimpling and folding could occur. The symptoms of breast cancer are also observed over the nipple and the areolas.
The nipples could become inverted without reason, or there could be deformities in their shapes. The same could occur at the areolas, which are the dark circles around the nipples. In the later stages of the breast cancer, there could be a discharge of fluids from the nipples. This discharge could be pus-like, or it could even be a discharge of blood. . .
Even though the exact causes of breast cancer are not known, there are some women who are termed by the medical facilities as high-risk groups for the disease. Topping this list are the women who smoke and consume alcohol on a regular basis. Women who are obese due to lack of exercise or a physiological problem come next.
Breast augmentation surgeries such as breast implants were once considered to be a primary reason for breast cancers. This was in the days silicone gel was used as the implanting material. However, today with the replacement of silicone gel with saline gel, the incidences of women getting cancer due to implants has become drastically less.
It is also found that breast cancer cases run in families. Hence if a close relative has breast cancer, there is a great chance that the other women in the family could get it too. This indicates a hereditary factor influencing breast cancer.
. . Though the causes of breast cancer are unknown, there is a proliferation of the amount of literature about its prevention. Most of these methods are just hogwash, but there are many precautionary points that women must consider.
Women must give high priority to losing their body weight, especially if there has been a case of breast cancer in the family. It is also a good idea to have a regular checkup. The checkup could also be done at home with finger pressure.
With two fingers, the entire breast must be gradually touched, poking at points to check if there is any undue hardness felt. . .
Some women take drugs that contain estrogen in them. These could be for almost about anything - from increasing the sexual drive to increasing the amount of milk during lactation. But it must be remembered that any kind of hormonal disarray in the body could only make matters worse. It is not yet proven, but it can be assumed that an increase in the amount of estrogen in the blood could hasten the chances of blood cancer. . .
There are some foods that have been identified by dieticians to be good for preventing breast cancer. These include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and legumes. Even oranges, tomatoes and other citrus fruits could have some effects. Soy and its products are also good.
A low carbohydrate diet is suggested. At the same time, it is needless to say that the woman must abstain from smoking and alcoholism. . .
Indulging in regular exercise and maintaining an overall positive outlook towards life could be important to remain away from breast cancer. Some alternative therapists believe that mental tensions could be one of the causes of breast cancer. .
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