Anyone gets sick at some point in their life and may acquire severe health conditions such as heart diseases, lung diseases, cancers, and other diseases. With this said, some diseases haunt specific genders due to the differences in an individual’s body structure like women, who is the target for breast cancer just like how testicular cancer is in men.
Did you know? Breast cancer is the most invasive cancer found in women and is the second leading cause of women’s death after lung cancer. This might sound scary, but because of the advances in screening and treatment, the survival rates for this disease have improved dramatically since 1989. Amazing right? Learn more as we discuss how breast cancer awareness has reduced the risk of this disease in women.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. In this case, the cells usually form a tumor which can often be felt as a lump around the breast’s area or be seen on an x-ray machine. The tumor is malignant, meaning it is cancerous, and if it grows and invades the surrounding tissues or metastasize (spread) to distant areas of an individual’s body, then that’s the time when breast cancer is starting to develop.
Additionally, breast cancer happens almost to entirely women, given that the women’s body structure naturally has breasts; however, men can get breast cancer too.
What are Breast Cancer’s Symptoms?
Just like any other diseases, you can experience symptoms of breast cancer whenever it is starting to develop. With its first symptom — the thickened tissue area in the breast, or lump in the breast or armpit— you may be aware of the breast cancer is lurking within your body or not.
Other symptoms of breast cancer include the following:
- A pain in the armpit of breast wherein it does not change with the monthly cycle
- Redness of the skin of the breast
- A rash around on or one of the nipples
- Discharge from a nipple (might contain blood)
- Flaking, peeling, or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple.
What are the Causes and Risk of this Disease?
The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be discovered by the researchers. However, the culprit in making breast cancer happen is due to the excessive cell growth because of cells multiplying uncontrollably.
As for the breast cancer’s risk factors, studies show that it can be modified, such as alcohol consumption, while other factors cannot be influenced like a person’s age. However, there are also several risks factors the might endanger you or your loved one’s life. Here are the following risk factors for this disease:
Age. As what was stated beforehand, uncontrollable influential factor such age increases the chance of having breast cancer as one gets older.
Family History. If you have any relatives that have suffered this disease, then you might be in for a doubled risk.
Personal History. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast, then it is possible for you to also have the disease on the other side of the breast too.
Menstruation. Studies had shown that women who started their periods at a younger age (before 12) or women who went through menopause later after 55 years old have a slightly increased risk.
Breast Tissue. There’s a higher risk of breast cancer if a woman’s breast tissue is dense.
Are There Any Treatments?
Breast cancer has different kinds. Thus the treatment for this disease depends on the following: type of breast cancer, stage of cancer, sensitivity to hormones, patient’s health, age, and preferences. As a start, here is the list of treatment for breast cancer:
Surgery. If surgery is needed to treat the disease then it might be of the following:
- Sentinel node biopsy
- Axillary lymph node dissection
Radiation Therapy. In radiation therapy, there will be controlled doses of radiation targeted at the tumor to destroy the cancer cells. The patient that is suffering from this disease might undergo this treatment from around a month after surgery, together with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a prescribed cytotoxic drug which is used to kill cancer cells. It can also help treat cancer that has spread to the other parts of the body, which can reduce some symptoms.
Medication. Your doctor may prescribe medications to destroy specific types of breast cancer. For example, trastuzumab (Herceptin), bevacizumab (Avastin), lapatinib (Tykerb), and anastrozole. The health care provider administers these medications for different purposes.
True, hearing about breast cancer is scary. However, you need not to be scared if you only know what to do and how you should act towards it. With this said, learning more and being aware of breast cancer would surely help in lengthening the survival rate of an individual suffering this disease. Lastly, breast cancer’s costs are no joke, which is why you should go for things that can lighten up the burden, like having anastrozole coupons which can be used in your local pharmacies.