Cancer is the mutation of genes that control the growth of cells. Uncontrolled cell growth becomes invasive. It spreads rapidly, and it sucks up the resources of the body. Breast cancer is one of the most invasive cancers in the world. Even though both men and women can be affected by it, women are more susceptible to the disease. So it’s very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and always look for the signs. The risk of developing breast cancer can be contained by following a few general rules. But once the tumor’s presence is detected, it’s important to treat cancer quickly.
What Are The Causes Of Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer refers to the development of breast cells or lumps. Breasts consist of connective tissues, milk-producing glands or lobules, milk ducts, and fat. It starts in the lobules or milk ducts. Cells have a definitive lifespan but they don’t follow the general rule here. Invasive cells start to grow abnormally, and unlike healthy cells, they do not meet their usual ends. As a result, malicious cells accumulate quickly and form tumors. The genetic mutation kick starts the process resulting in the swollen glands and ducts.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and the most common type of cancer in women. That being said, not all women are at risk of developing breast cancer, and some might never develop it even after being at risk.
The lethal effect of breast cancer on women is always a worrying sign. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant and look for signs. The mortality rate has drastically improved in the last few years but it’s still important to detect it sooner than later. So here are a few symptoms for you to keep an eye on –
- Breast lump or a swollen area on and around the breast that doesn’t feel normal
- Rash on and around the nipples
- A certain redness on the breasts or under armpits
- An inverted nipple
- Flaking of the skin on and around the breast
- A fluid discharge from nipples (often blood)
Are You At Risk?
We are yet to pinpoint the exact causes of breast cancer. But we can determine the risk factors so that you can be aware of them.
- Being a Woman
Women are automatically at a bigger risk than men when we are talking about breast cancer. So if you’re a woman, it’s important to try and follow a lifestyle that discourages the development of the disease.
- A history of breast cancer
If you have had the misfortune of developing breast cancer or noncancerous breast lumps in the past, you’re at a higher risk than the rest.
- The Genes of the Family
Even if you don’t have any history of it, the family may not be so lucky. You inherit genes from your parents, and if a close relative has had a case of breast cancer in the past, you already have a higher chance of developing it.
Breast cancer is notorious for being more lethal to older patients. A woman in her 50s, 60s, or 70s runs a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer than a woman in her 20s.
- Dense Breast Tissue
Breast density is measured by the density of the breast tissues in comparison to fat tissues. If you have a higher density of breast tissue, then you run a higher risk of developing cancer.
- Body Weight
Overweight or obese women are more at risk of developing breast cancer. High sugar intake may also be a reason.
- Exposure to Radiation
If you have gone through any radiation treatment in the past you are at risk of developing the disease.
- Alcohol Consumption
A serious alcoholic is more susceptible to develop breast cancer than a non-alcoholic.
Treatments of breast cancer depend on multiple factors. The course of treatment is influenced by the stage of cancer. If it is detected at a later stage and has spread too much, the treatment will be more intense. Apart from that, the patient’s age and health, ability to withstand the treatments, and the type of the disease influence the treatment. Nonetheless, breast cancer treatments include these –
Surgery is the first and most obvious way to treat breast cancer. There are different types of surgery. Lumpectomy involves removing the lump and tissues around it. Mastectomy involves removing affected glands, ducts, and nipples. Sentinel node biopsy includes removing the Sentinel lymph nodes to stop the spread of the tumor.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy may be needed after the surgery. It targets the affected area to prevent the development of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment intended to stop the development of cancer. Chemotherapies are normally used along with other treatments.
- Hormone Therapy
In a lot of cases, hormone therapy is used. If the cancer is sensitive to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be targeted to prevent its development.
How To Prevent Breast Cancer?
There’s no confirmed way to prevent breast cancer. But you can always try to follow and maintain a lifestyle that doesn’t encourage the disease. Following a few steps can help you detect breast cancer at a very early stage. You should do what you can do, and that is always a good start. These include:
- Regular screening, especially for older women
- Regular breast examination at home
- Staying away from alcohol and drugs
- Following a healthy diet full of nutrients
- Regular exercise
- Keeping the body weight at check
Breast cancer is a widespread disease globally affecting millions of people. Even if there’s no confirmed way to prevent the disease, treatment strategies have improved by leaps and bounds. The mortality rate is lowering each year, and with proper care, people can recover easily. It’s crucial to be aware of the disease and be vigilant about the symptoms. Half of the battle is won by detecting it early. If you’re at risk, you should get yourself checked quickly. Get in touch with breast cancer awareness authorities for more help.