Breast cancer – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Cancer is a deadly disaster that can occur to the human race. One of them is breast cancer, which
mostly occurs in women. Studies show that thousands and thousands of women are diagnosed
with the disease yearly.

And it is the second most prominent cause of death, but there are more than 3 million breast
cancer survivors, according to the survey.

Considerable support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped a lot in the advancement of the diagnosis and treatment.

Due to this, the survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this
disease is progressively declining. It is achieved due to the factors such as earlier diagnosis.

Modified approach to treatment by the top breast cancer hospitals and a better knowledge of the
disease also helped fight the disease.

You will acknowledge the entire information about the breast cancer is as follows:

Breast Cancer: An Overview

It originates in your breast tissue, and it occurs when breast cells mutate and grow,
creating a tissue mass called a tumour. They occupy and develop in the tissue that surrounding
your breast.

It can also spread over to other body parts and form new tumours. This process is called
metastasis. Normally, the cancer forms in the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Lobules are the
milk-producing glands, and ducts are the trails that bring the milk from glands to the nipple.

They can also occur in your breast’s fatty tissue or fibrous connective tissue. The non-diagnosed
cancer cells often enter other healthy breast tissue. And they will travel to the lymph nodes in the
axilla, known as the underarms.

Finally, the affected cells enter the lymph nodes, and it has access to a passageway to move
around the other parts of the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer can fluctuate for each person. You may notice changes in the
size, shape or outline of your breast.

There will be visible masses or lumps inside the breast, which may feel like a small pea shaped bump inside the skin. It might persevere through your menstrual cycle.

Finally, you will observe changes in the look or feel of your skin on your breast or nipple, such
as dimpled, scaly or inflamed. The perceptibility of redness of your skin on your breast or nipple
indicates cancer. Some bloody fluid or colourless fluid discharge may occur from your nipple. In

some cases, people will be asymptomatic too. But regular health checkups may help you keep
you out of trouble.

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

To diagnose the symptoms that you have are caused by cancer tissues or a benign breast
condition, certain tests are performed. Your consultant will ask you to undergo a complete
physical checkup with a breast examination.

They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to analyze the reasons for causing your
symptoms. They are listed below:

  • Breast Ultrasound:

The ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of the affected tissues. It can help the doctor discriminate between a solid mass, such as a tumour or a benign cyst.

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  • Breast Mammogram:

A mammogram is an efficient way to diagnose breast cancer. If your consultant is doubtful that you might have a tumour or apprehensive spot, he may request a mammogram.

  • Breast Biopsy:

If the breast cancer leads to more suspicion based on tests like a mammogram or an ultrasound, they might go for the breast biopsy option.

  • Sentinel Node Biopsy:

This surgery involves removing few lymph nodes that receives spread of infected cells from the tumour. These lymph nodes will be tested and there is no need for additional surgery to remove more lymph nodes if they don’t have cancer cells.

Various Treatments for Breast Cancer

Today women are more aware of breast cancer and its treatment due to various awareness programs
run by NGOs and Governments. Quality and affordable breast cancer treatment in India and Turkey have
made the treatment accessible to the masses.

People have several treatments for breast cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and
targeted therapy, or hormone therapy. Your doctor will define your cancer’s size, stage, and
grade through the test results.

The cancer status refers to how possible it is to grow and spread throughout your body. After all
that, you can discuss your treatment options with the consultant.

Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery is one of the most common treatments for breast cancer. Several types of surgery may be
used to remove it. They are:

  • Lumpectomy and Mastectomy

In Lumpectomy, they remove the tumour and some surrounding tissue, leaving the rest of the
breast intact. Whereas in the Mastectomy, a surgeon removes an entire breast. In a double
mastectomy, they tend to remove both the breasts from the body.

  •  Axillary lymph node dissection

If lymph nodes are removed during a sentinel node biopsy and contain cancer cells, they may
remove additional lymph nodes too.

  • Contra lateral prophylactic mastectomy

Even when the breast cancer is present in only one breast, some people request to have a
contra lateral prophylactic mastectomy. In this procedure, the doctor will remove the healthy
breast to lower the risk of developing breast cancer again.

  • Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered radiation beams to target and kills cancer cells in specific
areas. Most radiation treatments use external beam radiation. They use massive machines in
order to get a good vision of the internals during therapy.

This type of radiation treatment is known to be brachytherapy. This therapy advances cancer
treatment and enables doctors to illuminate cancer inside the body.

To conduct brachytherapy, the surgeons should place radioactive seeds, or pellets, inside your body near the tumour site. The seeds stay there for a short period and efficiently destroy harmful cancer cells.

  •  Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Some people may undergo
chemotherapy alone, but this treatment is often used along with other medicines, especially in
surgery. This is called adjuvant therapy.

Others may have chemotherapy first to shrink cancer, called neoadjuvant therapy, and then
undergo surgery. But unfortunately, chemotherapy has many unwanted side effects, like head
balding to various health problems.

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  • Hormone therapy

If the type of breast cancer you have, shows sensitivity to the injected hormones, your doctor
may start you on hormone therapy. These hormones are Estrogen and progesterone, two female
hormones capable of stimulating the growth of cancerous tumours.

Hormone therapy’s mechanism is blocking your body’s production of the estrogen and
progesterone or blocking the receptors of hormones on the cancer cells. This can help slow or
possibly stop the growth of your cancer.

Bottom Line

Breast cancer is common in women who didn’t have any children compared to women who have
children. Those women without children might later suffer from breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.

The chances are higher in proportion to the number of moon cycles they have. It is very
important to be aware of breast cancer prevention measures.

So that you can save yourself and also other women, be updated on these measures and live a long, healthy life.

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