Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2022

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October is more about spreading awareness of the ailment. It requires an impetus for eliminating hurdles to care for the people it impacts. It’s time to persuade people that one in eight women in their lifetime will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It also needs to remove the disparities that exist across genders, races, and ethnicities.

Routine screenings assist in the detection of precancerous and cancerous breast tissue that may be existing in otherwise robust individuals. With formal diagnoses and treatment in the preliminary stages, breast cancer can be one of the most treatable kinds of cancer.

Breast Cancer

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The major types of breast cancer:

Ductal carcinoma: 

It’s the most familiar type of breast cancer and starts in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that transmit milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple). Ductal carcinoma may be either in noninvasive condition (DCIS) or invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC).

Lobular carcinoma:

This cancer initiates in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast and may be either lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS, noninvasive) or invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC). LCIS rarely becomes invasive, but having it in one breast heightens the threat of creating invasive cancer in either breast.

Inflammatory breast cancer:

A category of breast cancer in which the breast appears swollen, red, and feels warm. The redness and warmth arise because the cancer cells obstruct the lymph vessels in the skin.

Triple-negative breast cancer:

This denotes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or large numbers of HER2/neu protein. It’s also labeled ER-negative PR-negative HER2/neu-negative breast cancer.

Recurrent breast cancer:

It can be recurring when treatment doesn’t kill all the cancer cells.

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Symptoms of breast cancer:

The most prevalent signs of breast cancer include:

  • Clot or lump in the breast or armpit (underarm).
  • Inflating or thickening of all or portions of the breast.
  • Discomfort or dimpling of breast surface.
  • Continuous breast pain.
  • Scaliness, redness, or hardness of breast skin or the nipple.
  • Inverted nipple or release (different from breast milk).
  • Any shift in the volume or contour of the breast.

Why should anyone with no history pay attention to breast cancer?

Certain factors increase the chances of getting breast cancer. But not all with an inherited modification or being overweight or taking menopausal hormones to get breast cancer. Mostly older females are at higher risk. But rarely some men do get breast cancer and some young ladies also get breast cancer. 

Even people who are active, eat right, exercise, and have no family history of the illness, are in danger of acquiring breast cancer. With more than 279,000 women and men in the United States expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, alone, chances are anyone can be inflicted by breast cancer.

(Image credit: Chamberlain University)

Who’s at threat of getting breast cancer?

Especially women confront an increased risk. Below are a few of the threatening factors linked with it:

  • Age – Incidentally, women over 50, but adults of any age can develop breast cancer nowadays. Periodic mammograms are suggested for women ages 40 and above.
  • Family History – Some cases of breast cancer are provoked by inherited genes. If breast cancer transmits in your family, you may be more at risk.
  • Birth Control – The study discloses that taking birth control pills can stimulate the risk of cultivating breast cancer.
  • Hormone Therapy – Some post-menopause hormone medications increased a woman’s likelihood of developing breast cancer.
  • Diet and Exercise – Being overweight and lack of exercise have both been correlated to elevated breast cancer stake.
  • Alcohol – Having more than two alcoholic drinks a day has been directly related to breast cancer in women.

Breast cancer screening:

Guidelines for its screening are formulated by the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging. The following three tests are commonly used in detecting Breast cancer.

  • Mammography: A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to observe and assess breast changes. Its detection capacity depends on tumor size and breast tissue density. 
  • Ultrasound: Breast ultrasound is frequently used along with mammography for high-risk women who cannot withstand MRI and women with thick breast tissue.
  • MRI: A breast MRI is utilized to probe high-risk people and collect more information about doubtful areas found on a mammography or an ultrasound.

According to the American Breast Cancer Foundation, healthcare providers can deal with breast cancer in many different ways. Each individual’s treatment relies on the stage of breast cancer and the plan their doctor proposes. 

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How can it be cured?

There are five types of treatment :

1). Surgery

2). Radiation therapy

3). Chemotherapy

4). Hormone therapy

5). Targeted drug treatment

As no two patients are similar and cancer types can vary, every patient must discuss the harms and benefits of breast cancer treatments. You, your physician, and your family can and must make a conscious decision about the best treatment choice for you.

-Shashi Thakur

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