A Complete Guide to know breast cancer
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of the cells lining the milk ducts and glands. The lobule consists of two types of cells: epithelial cells, which line the inside surface of the milk-producing gland, and connective tissue cells called fibroblasts which form the walls of the milk-producing alveoli. These cells grow together into small clumps known as nodules. Some of these nodules may become malignant tumors. Malignancy means they do not stop growing but keep dividing rapidly. They also invade nearby tissues and spread throughout the body.
How do you detect breast cancer in the early stages?
The first step in detecting breast cancer is finding one or more lumps on your body. Bumps in the nipple area should not cause concern because these are common occurrences among women. However, if there is any change in size or shape of a lump, see your doctor immediately.
What age can you get breast cancer at?
Women younger than 40 years old can develop breast cancer. Most cases happen between ages 50 and 69. About 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed each year affect women aged 20–39. Breast cancer is most often found in people over 50 years old. 90% of all cases occur in women between 40 and 70 years of age. Because of its high incidence rate, breast cancer is considered “the second leading killer of American women behind heart disease.”
What are the 12 signs of breast cancer?
Here are the twelve significant warning signs of breast cancer. Some of them may seem obvious, but others may surprise you. Remember, even though you don’t experience all of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you won’t develop breast cancer later in life. So pay attention to each sign listed below.
1. Sudden weight gain or loss
This happens when tumors grow too large. As a result, their ability to absorb nutrients decreases, causing rapid weight loss. Other times, tumors release hormones into the bloodstream that stimulate appetite and fat storage. Sometimes, both happen simultaneously.
2. Painful breasts
Breast tenderness occurs when the tissues around the nipple become irritated. Tenderness often comes and goes without rhyme or reason. In addition, many people complain of soreness, burning, tingling, numbness, or heaviness in the affected areas. All of these sensations indicate inflammation. Inflammation is part of the healing process. But if left untreated, it can lead to severe complications like infection.
Swelling is another sign of inflammation. Usually, swelling appears at one end of the breast first. If not treated promptly, it can spread throughout the entire area.
4. Nipple discharge
Nipples normally secrete fluid. When there is an abnormal amount of lactate present, it is called “milk duct blockage.” Milk duct blockages occur more frequently among women who have recently given birth. They can cause painless red streaks down the milk ducts, which look like minor scratches. Lumps within the nipples are common occurrences.
5. Lump under the skin
Lump under the armpit, shoulder blade, collarbone, chest wall, armpit, groin, lower abdomen, or pubic region. A lump can appear anywhere along the course of a lymphatic vessel. The most common site is near the axillary vein. However, they can also form inside the body.
6. Change in shape or size of the breast
The breast begins to feel stiff and swollen. It becomes more significant than average. Or it shrinks suddenly after having been enlarged before. These changes could be related to hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause.
7. Dimpling of the skin
Dimples are tiny depressions that resemble dimpled golf balls. They occur because the tissue beneath the surface of the skin has thinned out. They can be painful and challenging to treat.
8. Hardening of the breast
Hardened breast tissue means that the cells lining the mammary glands have thickened up. This makes it harder for fluids to flow freely from the gland.
9. Red spots on the skin
Red dots are commonly seen on the upper outer portion of the breast. They are generally harmless and disappear spontaneously over time.
10. Blood-stained sputum
Bloody mucus indicates bleeding in the lungs. Bleeding can be caused by lung disease, heart problems, or other conditions.
Hoarseness may occur due to laryngeal edema. Edema usually results from coughing, sneezing, laughing, crying, singing, yelling, talking loudly, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, eating spicy foods, exercising vigorously, or being exposed to cold weather.
12. Changes in bowel habits
Changes in bowel movements include diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, and blood in the stool.
How to check for the lumps in your breast at home?
The critical thing to remember is to keep an eye out for changes in your breast tissue. If you notice anything unusual such as:
• A new painless lump
• An increase in the number of lumps
• Any other symptoms including swelling, redness, discharge, dimpling, skin irritation, itching, or thickening of nipples.
See your doctor right away! Your doctor can examine you thoroughly and recommend further tests depending upon the results of their examination.
How do I know whether my symptoms mean I have breast cancer?
There are no specific signs or symptoms that tell you you have breast cancer. Symptoms depend on where the tumors grow. Some cancers don’t produce any noticeable symptoms until later stages.
Can a blood test detect breast cancer?
It depends on the type of cancer being tested for. There are two main categories of cancers – those caused by viruses and those due to genetic mutations. Viral infections cannot usually be diagnosed through blood testing alone. Genetic modification can sometimes be identified through screening programs.
How do you feel after a breast cancer diagnosis?
You may be feeling anxious, angry, or sad. You might also have questions about your treatment options and the future of your health care needs. You must know what to expect from your doctor and yourself during this time. This guide will help explain some things about breast cancer so you can make informed decisions about how best to cope with it.
What are the treatments to treat breast cancer?
Treatments vary depending upon the stage of your illness. Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment depends on:
• How far the tumor has grown
• Whether the tumor has invaded nearby organs
• What type of surgery was performed
• Other medical tests such as biopsy
How do I accept breast cancer?
Acceptance means learning to live with the fact that you have been given a life sentence. Approval does not imply that you should ignore all feelings associated with having breast cancer. The most effective way to deal with these emotions is to talk them out with someone who cares about you. Talking about your feelings helps reduce stress and anxiety.
It’s important to understand that surviving breast cancer is a critical stage for women. It’s a time when women need to feel empowered and supported by their loved ones. They need to feel confident that they can continue with their daily activities and enjoy life as much as possible.