- 1 What is breast cancer?
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a cancer that affects the cells of the breast, making them grow in an uncontrolled way.
Whom does breast cancer mainly affect?
It is a disease that affects mainly women, from 50 years old onwards.
It is the leading cause of death among women between 45 and 55 years old. It is a disease that increases with age and affects mainly white women.
In a much smaller percentage it may occur in men.
Consequences of breast cancer
It is a type of cancer that, in addition to destroying the tissues of the breast, can spread throughout the body via blood or lymph, and can produce a metastasis in any other parts of the body.
Symptoms of breast cancer
It is a disease that affects mainly women, from 50 years old onwards
At first, it is asymptomatic in most cases. Other symptoms that may appear are:
- Lumps under the skin that may hurt or not
- Lumps in the armpits
- Pain in the nipples
- Nipples which secrete fluids
- Irritated, tight or red breast skin
- Breast skin of a different color
Causes of breast cancer
No one knows exactly which are the main causes of breast cancer. However, there are a number of factors that may predispose to the development of these tumors, although these factors actually influence a very low percentage, given that around 80% of diagnosed cases are not directly related to these risk factors. Among the main ones are:
- Age: The risk of developing breast cancer increases as women get older.
- Heredity: People with relatives who have suffered from this disease are more likely to develop breast cancer. This kinship influences when it is direct, ie the patient was the mother, daughter or sister of the previous patient.
Breastfeeding protects women againts breast cancer
- No children or no breastfeeding: Women who have not breastfed are more likely to suffer from this disease than those who have done it. Also women who had no offspring or who had her first after 30, are also more likely.
- Menstruation: An advanced menstruation or a very late menopause are factors that influence the development of breast cancer.
- Breast abnormalities: Those who have had a history of breast abnormalities are more likely to develop the disease.
- Obesity and alcohol: There is a fairly demonstrated between obesity and the chances of developing breast cancer. Recent studies seem to suggest that there is a connection between the type of fat ingested and the disease, although this theory is not accepted by all specialists. Alcohol is a proven risk factor.
- Contraceptives and estrogen?: Prolonged use of contraceptives is not related to the development of this disease, however prolonged use of estrogen in menopausal women appears to be a risk factor.
Importance of early diagnosis of breast cancer
Since we do not know the real causes that determine the onset of the disease, the best prevention is to diagnose it early.
Advanced detection when no metastasis has occurred, allows a cure in more than 90% of the cases.
How to detect a breast tumor early? :
Among the key measures we have to detect a tumor in the breast, there are the following:
- Self-examination: women should perform a self-exam at least once a month. In this exploration the following should be taken into account: palpation of the chest and armpits for possible lumps in them, abnormal breast size, redness of the breasts skin, possible changes in the appearance of nipples and secretion from them, increase of their size, bleeding from the nipple or certain changes in its shape.
- Mammograms and ultrasounds: Mammograms allow early detection of breast cancer (up to 90% of cases). An annual mammogram is recommended for people with risk factors. This should take place annually in people over 50 years of age. If there are no risk factors, one should be prompted every two years in women over 40 years of age.
It consists in the realization of three X-ray images that offer a view of the front of the breast and their two sides. If we observe the presence of a lump, ultrasound can discover if the enlargement observed is solid or liquid, in the latter case it is normally a cyst.
- Biopsies: These are the main methods used to extract a sample of the breast when the presence of a lump or malformation in the breast through mammography or ultrasound has been discovered.
Breast cancer treatment
For further treatment of breast cancer there are many aspects considered, such as the size of the tumor, the involvement of lymph nodes and the possible metastasis to other organs. The usual treatment is surgery. This may affect only the tumor and a small portion of the surrounding tissue.
Sometimes the process will require more drastic interventions such as mastectomy, which involves removing the breast from the chest muscle and the affected lymph nodes under the arm.
Later, the patient may undergo radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hormone treatment.
Natural treatment for breast cancer
The natural treatment for breast cancer is based on some natural resources that can be complementary to the ordinary treatment. Among them we have:
– Medicinal plant remedies for breast cancer
– Suitable diet for breast cancer
More information on breast cancer.