How to Safeguard yourself from Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common breast cancer in women which originates in the breast tissue. It occurs in humans, both men and women and also in other mammals. According to statistics, it is the second most common cause of death in women. 1 in 8 women is at a risk of developing breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer is proved to increase with age, i.e women over 50 are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Though women in their 20s and 30s are comparatively at a lower risk of developing breast cancer, care should be taken to avoid the manifestation of breast cancer. How to Safeguard yourself from Breast Cancer.
The following are the details about How to Safeguard yourself from Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer Types-
- Ductal Carcinomas – These originate from inner lining of milk ducts
- Lobular Carcinomas – These originate from the lobules that supply ducts with milk
Causative and risk factors of Breast Cancer-
- Genetic factors – Genetic changes in breast cancer susceptibility genes namely, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes
- Lifestyle and Diet – High fat diet, Excessive alcohol intake, Long term Smoking, Working in Shifts, Lack of Physical activity can lead to the development of breast cancer.
- Medical Conditions – Diabetes, fibrocystic breast changes can increase ones risk of developing breast cancer
- Hormonal Factors – Early Menarche and Late menopause can cause breast cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer-
You should be on a continuous look out for the presence of following symptoms, the absence of which rules out the presence of breast cancer
- Look out for lumps in the breast – Presence of lumps is the most common manifestation of breast cancer. Check for presence of any lumps in your breast, especially after the menstruation period. Though all lumps may not be cancerous, it is better to go for a mammogram if you sense any lumps.
- Dimpling of skin – Check with your Gynaecologist if you observe any dimpling of the skin over your breasts.
- Nipple Retraction – If your nipple is pointing inwards instead of outwards, it might indicate breast cancer.
- Discharge from Nipple – If you observe blood stained discharge or any other kind of discharge from the nipple, better get it checked to rule out breast cancer.
You are at a high risk of developing breast cancer, if-
- You have a family history of breast cancer
- You are obese
- You are childless
- You had early menarche or late menopause
- You had you first child after crossing 30 years of age
- You are continuously exposed to ionizing radiations or organochlorine pesticides like DDT.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis-
The following needle examinations are done to diagnose breast cancer :
- FNAC – Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology
- Trucut Needle Biopsy
Treatment methods of Breast Cancer-
Breast cancer is treated by the following 4 methods:
1. Surgery – Surgery done is of two types, namely,
- Mastectomy – In this procedure, the entire breast tissue is removed along with the tumor
- Conservative breast surgery – In this procedure, only the tumor is removed. This is only possible in women who are in early stages of breast cancer.
4. Hormonal Treatment
Safety Precautions and tips to prevent/ save yourselves from breast cancer-
- Carry out Breast Self Examination (BSE) after menstruation. If you have reached menopause, examine your breasts on a weekly basis. Go to a doctor if you sense any lump.
- Go for a yearly mammogram and regular check ups to catch the disease in early stages so as to promote effective treatment.
- If you come under the high risk category (as mentioned above), you should undergo screening and appropriate investigations
- Exercise regularly and reduce your intake of high fat diet and avoid alcohol
- Safeguard yourselves from radiation exposure and organochlorine pesticides
- Include lots of vegetables in your diet and increase your dietary intake of Vitamin A, C and Beta Carotene by eating carrots, beetroot and fruits.
The above are the details about How to Safeguard yourself from Breast Cancer.