Changing lifestyles have increased the risk of breast cancer. Once known to afflict women between the ages of 45 and 50 years, breast cancer is now affecting women even of age 25 to 30 years. But this health hazard can be fought successfully.
Becoming a mother late, feeding the baby for a short period of time, and starting of menstruation at too young an age are some of the major causes of this cancer. In addition, late menopause, obesity and hormone-related drugs can be the causes, too.
Symptoms of breast cancer
The symptoms of the disease include
- Swelling, redness in the breast(s)
- Lump in the breast and its size increasing over time
- An abscess or ulcer on the skin of the breast that does not heal
- Abnormal changes in breasts or their size
- The inner part of the breast is pulled inwards, it turns red or any fluid other than milk comes out of it
- initial screening
Early detection of breast cancer
Every woman from the age of 20 years should check her breasts herself every day between five and sebven days after menstruation starts. Here’s how you should do it:
- Stand in front of the mirror; slowly bring your hands from top to bottom on the breasts
- If there is any lump, you will feel it
- If you are a woman between the ages of 20 to 39 years, you should undergo tests by experts every three years
- If you are a woman above 40, get yourself checked every year
- Mammography (Digital / Ultrasonic Mammography must be done after the age of 40 on the advice of a doctor
After the biopsy, ultrasound, CT scan, bone scan, stomach (PET) scan detect the spread of cancer.
Breast cancer is treated according to the stage of the disease by combining surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy.
There are some receptors on cancer cells such as ER and PR, which should be examined during the biopsy. Hormonal therapy works against these receptors (which cause cancer to spread).
Targeted therapy does not have side effects like chemotherapy. This therapy does not affect the healthy cells or tissues adjacent to the cancerous part.