Breast cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the breast. Cancer occurs as the cells start developing out of hand. Sections of the breast cancer usually form a tumor that can also be seen on an x-ray or perceived as a lump. Breast cancer happens almost exclusively in women, but it is still rare for men to develop breast cancer.
It is important to note that most breast lumps are benign, not malignant. They aren’t life-threatening, but certain forms of benign breast lumps may raise the risk of breast cancer in a woman. Women should get every breast lump or alteration examined to decide whether it is benign or malignant (cancer) and whether it could affect the potential cancer risk.
Breast cancer can cause symptoms in several different ways. While many of these symptoms are identical, some may be different. The most common signs for breast cancers include:
- A breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Pain in the breast
- Pitted red skin all over your breast
- Swelling in your breast, or part of it
- Unlike breast milk, a nipple discharge
- Bloody flushing from your breast
- Peeling, scaling, and skin flaking on your nipple or breast
- A sudden, unexplained shift in your breast shape or size
- Inverted nipple
- The change in skin tone on your breasts
- A bump or swelling behind your arm
The standard therapies and treatments used for breast cancer are:
The type of surgery used depends upon the cancer diagnosis and also individual preferences. These include Lumpectomy, Mastectomy, Sentinel Node Biopsy, Axillary Lymph Nodes Dissection, and Reconstruction.
High-powered radiation beams are used, with radiation therapy, to destroy and kill cancer cells. Most radiation therapies use radiation from external rays. This technique uses a big outboard motor.
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Chemotherapy is a medication used to destroy cancer cells. Some people may undergo chemotherapy alone, but this form of treatment is mostly used in combination with other procedures, in particular surgery.
- Hormone Blocking Therapy
Doctors use hormone-blocking therapy to avoid the return of hormonally induced breast cancers following surgery. For people who are not appropriate candidates for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, hormone-blocking treatment may be the only alternative.
- Use of Medications
Some therapies are intended to target particular defects or mutations within cancer cells. Herceptin, for example, can block the production of the HER2 protein in your body. HER2 helps breast cancer cells develop, so taking a drug to reduce the development of this protein will help slow the growth of cancer.
While there are risk factors you can’t control, following these measures can help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer:
- Breast cancer risk may be affected by lifestyle factors. For example, obese women have a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
- Getting frequent mammograms does not eliminate breast cancer, but it does help to diminish the likelihood that it will go undetected.
- If you’re at risk for this mutation, explore your diagnosis and prophylactic treatment options with your doctor.
- Breast examinations are another way to look for symptoms of breast cancer, in addition to mammograms.
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