Breast cancer is considered to be a malignant disease, mainly seen among the women who have crossed the age of 40, though quite a few men have also been found to be affected by this illness. It is a painful disease and now regarded to be the second highest fatal cancer among women. But early detection and the latest treatment of breast cancer can now save plenty of women suffering from this deadly disease, thus preserving these women’s health.
Symptoms of breast cancer:
- The first symptom of breast cancer is a thick lump of tissues in the breast or in the armpit, which may be painless itself, but causes pain and extra softness in the breast tissues, surrounding the lump.
- Sometimes a part of the breast tissue may become compressed to give a flat or indented appearance on the breast, which can be taken as a symptom of breast cancer, even in the absence of any pain or irritation.
- Often the color, size, shape and even the temperature of the affected breast may change on a bit developed stage of this disease. In some cases, the surface of the cancerous breast may become slightly orange and uneven in very advanced phase of this cancer.
- Some visible changes can be noticed in the nipple of the concerned breast, like retraction or depression on the nipple surface, a burning or itching sensation in the nipple and rarely a formation of scales-like rash over the nipple skin.
- At times, strange discharge is seen to be flowing out of the cancer-affected nipple; which may be clear like water, or contain drops of blood in it or have a muddy appearance.
Diagnostic processes for detection of breast cancer:
- Initially the doctors perform a clinical examination, by trying to feel the presence of any lump in the breasts using only their fingers. The women can examine their breasts themselves too, by running their fingers over the breasts pressingly, so that any abnormalities in shape or size of the breasts can be easily felt.
- The mammogram is the most reliable and concrete examination for the diagnosis of breast cancer. Here the breasts are compressed between two plates and the image of the breast tissues are taken by passing x-rays through the squeezed breast tissues, where the presence of any lump or cancerous cells can be detected easily.
- The accurate pictures of the breast tissues can also be taken by passing ultrasonic sound waves (sonography) or magnetic resonance through the breast tissues.
- Biopsy is the ultimate test for the presence of cancer in the breast tissues. Here a small portion of the affected breast tissues is taken out with a fine or larger needle, to test that tissue part minutely under a powerful microscope. Biopsy is done only when mammogram confirms some abnormalities and in more serious, advanced cases.
Treatment Procedures for Breast Cancer
Until now, surgery has been considered the best option for the treatment of breast cancer, as the cancerous lump or the total affected breast is removed from the body, saving the life of the concerned woman from the disease. Certain medications like chemotherapy, hormone blockage therapy and monoclonal antibodies are used for further treatment of breast cancer, even after surgery. Radiation is another useful process of destroying all cancerous cells of the affected breast.
Thus, all of today’s knowledge and advancements about breast cancer and its treatment processes can evidently cure the affected women and men, from this disease. Ageing healthy is a concern for all of us, especially if we’re over the age of 40, so physicals and mammograms for women at least once a year are necessary.
If you have further concerns about breast cancer or breast health, our team of physicians at www.askthedoctor.com is here to help find you treatment. We wish you well and hope to be of any assistance, any time!