Breast Cancer

Brest Cancer

The most common Cancer that occurs in women is the Breast Cancer .It is the second most common cause of Cancer deaths in women in the U.S.The abnormality seen on a mammogram,a lump or change in the cosistency of breast tissue is a warning sign of disease.Though there is a lot of awareness of Breast Cancer risk,still it is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 45-55.The primary risk factors for Breast Cancer are believed to be genetic and hormonal.The options available for Breast Cancer treatment are surgery,radiation therapy,chemo therapy and hormonal therapy.

As in the case of other tumors,breast tumors may be benign or malignant.Benign tumors can be removed easily without any invasion to other tissues around them and they do not spread to other parts of the body.Malignant tumors are serious and life-threatening.Though they can be removed surgically,they may grow back and damage the near by tissues and organs.The cancerous cells from the malignant tumor metastasize(spread to other parts of the body).These cells are transported to other organs through the blood stream or the lymphatic system.The Cancer cells of breast are found in the lymph nodes near the breast.The common metastasis of Breast Cancer are bones , liver , lungs and brain .

Factors influencing Breast Cancer : Breast Cancer is not contagious.The exact reasons are not known as to why it affects some women and does not affect some.

* Age plays as an important risk factor as Breast Cancer is diagnosed mostly in women over the age of 60 years.

* Menopause is a factor which causes Breast Cancer .

* A women who had Breast Cancer in one breast has an increased risk of getting Cancer in the other breast.

* Family history

* Gene changes

* Reproductive and menstrual

* Infertility in women

* Women who are under hormonal replacement therapy with estrogen plus Progastin.

* It is most common in white women than in Asian or African Americans.

* Women with dense and fatty breasts are at a higher risk of Breast Cancer .

* Obesity is also a risk factor where there is lack of physical activity.

Of all the above mentioned risk factors many of them can be avoided except the heriditary and genetic causes.

Symptoms :

* A thickening or lump near the underarm area.
* A change in the texture of the breast and the nipple.
* A change in the shape of the breast.
* A nipple turned inward into the breast.
* The skin of the breast may be swollen and scaly.
* Discharge in the nipple.

Since the Breast Cancer does not cause pain in the early stages,a woman should consult a doctor if she has any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Diagnosis :

Breast Cancer diagnosis includes many procedures.As soon as you notice any symptom that suggests Cancer,it is wise to consult a doctor.In the preliminary test the breasts are felt with hands for any lumps.If the lumps are smooth,round and movable they are likely to be benign.But is they are irregularly shaped and firmly attached with in the breast they are melignent.
The next procedure is a mammogram where a clearer and more detailed images of the abnormal areas can be screened.

Ultra sound :As in an ultrasound the waves bounce of tissues the images show whether a lump is solid or filled with fluid.The fluid filled sacs are called cysts and they are not Cnacerous.

MRI :MRI can be used along with a mammogram for detailed pictures of Breast tissues.

Biopsy :To remove the tissue for examination fine-needle aspiration core biopsy and surgical biopsy are used in which the tissue is finely aspirated and checked for Cancer cells.When a sample of a lump is taken it is incisional biopsy.When the entire lump or the area is taken it is the excisional biopsy.
In the primary stages it is very easy to cure this disease.

Treatment :
There are many treatment options for Breast Cancer .They are surgery,radiation therapy,chemotherapy,hormone therapy and biological therapy.In many cases a combination of therapies are used.Depending on the stage of the disease the choice of the treatment is chosen. Breast Cancer treatment may be local or systemic.Local therapy includes surgery and radiation therapy.As the name suggests,local therapy is used to control the disease in the specific areas.Systematic therapy includes chemotherapy,hormone therapy and biological therapy.Unlike local therapy,systemic therapy is administered into the blood stream so that it can control the Cancer throughout the body.
Both the therapies have their own side affects as in treating the Cancer cells,often damage is done to the healthy cells.
Though Cancer treatment is painful,supportive care is essential to relieve the side affects of the treatment and to ease emotional disturbances.