What you need to Know about Breast Cancer Symptoms
02-08-2017 | Posted By: Kritika Jain | 2928 View(s)
A body remains healthy when factors like cell formation in the body, and cell growth and death, are properly controlled by the natural system of the body. Sometimes these natural systems are unable to function aptly, and cell growth becomes uncontrollable. The death of the body cells doesn’t happen at the expected normal rate, yet the cell division goes on. So the number of cells increases, and this eventually forms a lump or compact tissue mass. This is known as cancer. In the case of breast cancer, out of control cell, division and growth happen in the breast, and this gradually forms tumours. These tumours (lumps) might take years to grow; but, some grow fast as well and the Breast cancer symptoms become pronounced.
Many women die due to breast cancer as they never go to the doctors for diagnosis. Sometimes patients get diagnosed with this disease when it’s too late. Things like this happen because most do not have any idea about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Many people do not even take an interest in becoming aware of the facts about such diseases unless they become a prospective patient.It’s very important for all individuals to educate themselves about the possible Breast Cancer Symptoms that they hear about frequently, as these can be potential threats to anyone’s health.
The subject is broad and requires thorough understanding. But even a crash course can be helpful for understanding the various breast cancer symptoms.
These days Breast Cancer has become quite common, and a lot of Ladies are found to be having Breast Cancer Symptoms. In fact, this menace has become so rampant that one-third of the global cases of Breast cancer is reported from only Three countries Namely India, China and the United States of America. Far more cases of Breast Cancer were reported amongst Indian Women as compared to the other leading cancer-Cervical Cancer. However, the good news is that there has been a decrease in Death Rate because of it. As per World Health Organisation data The rate of increase of breast cancer cases in India, is so rampant, that if we do not act now, it can become a source of major concern in the next twenty years and the Big question is what needs to be done to Prevent Breast Cancer Cases in our Country !
Breast Cancer occurs in that part of the duct that supplies milk to the body. The main concern is that a tumour can spread to other body parts also. The type of lifestyles we adopt is a major factor which accelerates this problem in females. Now it is possible to get cured of it until it reaches a certain stage.
Mostly when women go through their menopause, their body undergoes several hormonal changes, and at this time there is a higher risk of breast cancer. Taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause too increases the chances of Breast Cancer along with exposure to Radiation Therapy to the Breast or Chest Region.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Lumps or Swellings
A lump (tumour) formation in any part of your breast and armpit (underarm) can be one of the initial symptoms of breast cancer. A lump can also be formed in the area that surrounds the collarbone. When a lump feels more like something solid with uneven edging, it can be a cancerous tumour. Sometimes lumps form and just disappear; but if a recently formed lump continues to exist even after one’s next period is over, it can be a symptom. A lump that gradually increases in size can be one of the later symptoms of breast cancer.
However, tumours can also be formed due to many other medical conditions hence all lumps are not cancerous. Instead of a lump, there can also be tenderness, swelling, and thickening in (or close to) these above mentioned (breast and armpit) areas.
Pain in any part of one’s breast can be disturbing. And with it, if a lump is also noticed in the breast area, one might panic. Here you need to know that breast pain is not always among the general symptoms of breast cancer. It is a rare symptom. In fact, lumps without pain should be taken seriously as a symptom.
Yet, if prolonged breast pain is experienced and it continues even after one’s next period is over, there is something to worry about. Vaginal pain is also a symptom of breast cancer and happens to be a later sign of this disease. So visiting your doctor is necessary in both cases (pain or no pain).
If you feel that the pores of your breast skin have enlarged, and the skin surface of your breast has become reddish or like that of an orange peel (peau d’orange), you might have noticed a symptom.
Sometimes dimple-like formations can appear in any part of one’s breast. One or both nipples get inverted in many cases. A nipple might also be turned a little inward if not entirely inverted. The breast, the nipples and even the areola area in some women can become scaly.
The shape and size of one’s breast can change in an odd manner. One might notice that only one side of the breast has shrunk unusually. Also, one of the breasts might swell in an abnormal way. This change is considered as a symptom mostly when the changes are recent; because many women naturally have asymmetrical breasts (one side might be a little bigger than the other side).
There can be red, yellow, brown coloured and even clear discharges occurring from anyone breast. Red coloured discharges contain blood must be taken seriously. Rashes might appear on any part of the breast, on nipples, and the area that surrounds the nipple (areola). Itching can also be felt. Breast veins of some women become visible and some experience unintended weight loss.
Male Breast Cancer Symptoms
Though, very rare, but even men can be diagnosed with this disease (breast cancer) anytime in their life. Like women, aged men are more at risk.
For men, too, lumps are one of the early and common signs of breast cancer. Their breast tissues can get thickened. A nipple can get retracted or inverted. The nipple might look scaly or reddish. Nipple discharge can also be a symptom in men. Other breast cancer symptoms found in men are skin irritations, rashes, swelling and itching on one’s breast.
Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer
Weight gain can be one of the reasons for Breast cancer. So, it is essential to keep a check on the weight and the fat which we consume daily. We should cut out junk food and opt for a Healthy and Nutritious diet that mainly includes green vegetables and salads.
“Harvard researchers found in a study that women who had the highest carotenoid levels in their blood had a 19% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, carrots, and red peppers.”
So go for the Veggies and Fruits. They can be of great help to Prevent Breast Cancer.
High Cholesterol levels too can be bad news and should be kept in check to prevent Breast Cancer. Though the short-term use of drugs to lower cholesterol can have a positive impact on its prevention but the long-term usage of such drugs can have a negative impact.
According to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center-Women who take drugs that lower cholesterol levels for more than a decade face a much higher risk of developing invasive ductal carcinoma, or IDC, the most common type of breast cancer.
3. Keep Yourself Physically Active
Physical activities are necessary for many reasons and also helps to prevent Breast Cancer. So, include some walking, running and yoga in your daily routine to reduce the risks of breast cancer. Physical exercises will also help you to keep a check on your weight. So, be physically active and exercise regularly because it is the key to healthy life. You must exercise to stay healthy and fit.
In a study, it was found that women who exercise for four or more hours a week have a lower risk of breast cancer.
4. Say ‘No’ to Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is very harmful as it can lead to breast cancer. So, if you consume alcohol on a regular basis make sure to reduce its intake slowly and gradually and leave it eventually.
5. Avoid Unhealthy Chemicals
Use of Canned Food and Drinks should be avoided to the maximum possible extent. It is also recommended not to use plastic containers in the microwave as they contain chemicals which can increase breast cancer risk. Also, High temperature barbecuing, grilling or frying meat can trigger the production of acrylamide that can increase the cancer risk so try to cook meat gently and make an effort to avoid preserved meats as well.
6. Vitamin D Intake
One of the ways to lower the risk of Breast cancer is to have exposure to Natural Sunlight as it is one of the best sources of Vitamin D.If, not Supplements should be taken to ensure that the body does not have any deficiency of Vitamin D.
7. Working in Night Shifts
Danish Researchers claim that Women who work at least three-night shifts a week for 6 years or more are twice as likely to develop breast cancer. However, the study needs to be established, and further research is going on this subject.
8. Browse your Family History.
Go through your family history to find out if anybody suffered from this issue. About 5 to 10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary, passed on from one generation to the other via a variety of mutated genes and a word of caution- Your father’s family is as important as your mother’s.
If the answer is “yes” then you need to take all possible precautions. Ensure timely Health Check-Ups and Visit the doctor to ensure complete safety. As the saying goes ‘Prevention is better than cure’.
9. Limit the use of ‘Birth Control Pills.’
If you have got into your thirties and regularly consume birth control pills, then it increases your chances of having breast cancer. The sooner you stop taking the pills, the better it would be to reduce your chances of having breast cancer. In general, the use of Pills should be avoided to the max possible extent once you get into 30’s
Women who get pregnant before the age of 20 are said to be at a lower risk of Breast cancer as compared to those who did not have and children till the age of 35 or had their first child after that age.
11.Feed your Baby
Breastfeeding is one of the ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Mothers who Breastfeed the child possess less threat of developing breast cancer as compared to those who don’t.
12. Go for ‘Breast Screening.
Going for breast screening like regular checkups to keep a check on the risk. In case you observe any changes in your breast area do not hesitate to Visit a good Gynaecologist and get it examined at the earliest. You might be suggested a Mammography Test
One of the ways to prevent Breast Cancer is to learn whether you have dense breasts or not which essentially means having more tissues than fat in your breast which is quite common in young women. This makes cancer detection harder through a mammogram and increases cancer risk.
Remember self-examination and self-awareness might lead to early detection of Breast Cancer Symptoms which can help in timely medical help and lead to precious lives being saved. Should you face any such issues do not waste time and do not hesitate to Visit a good Gynaecologist at the earliest who could be a great help in putting all your doubts if any about the issues at rest.
Since there is no standardisation for measurement of Breast Density, it is the doctor who can be the best judge to take a call. All in all, you still need regular checkups in case you have a lower density, but in the event of a higher density you can ask your Doctor to include MRI or an Ultrasound in the screening regiment or possibly moving over to digital mammography as the case may be to see abnormalities in a dense breast tissue.
All in all, you still need regular checkups in case you have a lower density, but in the event of a higher density you can ask your Doctor to include MRI or an Ultrasound in the screening regiment or possibly moving over to digital mammography as the case may be to see abnormalities in a dense breast tissue.
For Breast cancer detected early, the prognosis is often excellent. The Five Year survival rate for breast cancer that’s found early and confined to the breast is 99%, says the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Concluding from the Above-Screening does not Prevent Breast Cancer but it sure helps you to get an early diagnosis in case of a problem and God forbid if anything undesirable or unwanted is detected the chances of getting cured is bright, and the likelihood of getting cured completely is much higher.