Breast cancer: Symptoms, prevention & treatmen

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Alarmingly, the incidence of breast cancer is rising rapidly in India, pushing cervical cancer to the second spot. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. It can occur either in the ducts that move milk from the breasts to the nipples or in the tissue where the milk is formed. Breast cancer is curable and the chances of the success of the treatment shoot up if the detection of the same happens in the early stages. For this, the symptoms must be thoroughly examined.

Symptoms 
– Painless swelling (lump) in the breast or the armpit region
– Nipple retraction
– Nipple discharge
– Change in size and shape of the breast and the nipples
– Change in the look of the skin surrounding the nipples and the breast region, looking reddish in colour

Prevention of breast cancer 
Self-examinations are important, once a month, to check the presence of any lump formation and in case any lumps or abnormatlities are found a doctor should be consulted immediately. Also a woman must undertake yearly mammogram X-rays after the age of 40. However, if there is a family history, then the mammogram is better done from the age of 35. It is believed that a mammogram can detect breast cancer at least three years before it can be palpable by clinical examination. In case of females with dense breasts, MRI should be preferred over mammogram.

Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer 
After the diagnosis, the treatment of the same depends on many factors which include the type and stage of the cancer and also if the cancer cells in the breast have affected other body parts as well. With the advent of multimodality treatment, it is now possible to conserve the affected breast in majority of cases. Read more…  

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