National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place every October, is an annual campaign promoting education about breast cancer and looking into its causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Every October since 1985, groups of people, organisations, and towns have come together to demonstrate their support for the numerous breast cancer survivors. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good opportunity to think back, help others who are affected both near and dear, educate yourself and grow as a community towards fighting breast cancer. Even though it can be difficult at times, talking about breast health can be a critical step in raising awareness of breast cancer.
The breast is composed of a variety of tissues, from fatty tissue to dense muscular tissue. When a woman has just given birth, milk is transported to the nipple through ducts and glands in the breasts.
Healthy cells in the breast alter and grow out of control to produce a mass or sheet of cells called a tumour, which is how cancer starts. A tumour may be malignant (cancerous), which means it has the potential to grow and spread to other body parts.
Benign refers to a tumour's ability to grow but not to spread. Although breast cancer typically spreads to adjacent lymph nodes, it can also invade other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, liver, and brain, via blood arteries and/or lymph nodes.
Cancer is a general word for a group of disorders in which the body's healthy cells are invaded and grown upon by abnormal cells. Breast cancer begins as a collection of cancer cells in the breast tissue, which can later infiltrate nearby tissues or spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
The basic units of tissue, cells, are where cancer first manifests itself. The breast and other areas of the body contain tissue. The process of cell growth can occasionally go awry, resulting in the formation of new cells when the body doesn't require them and the improper demise of damaged or old cells. When this happens, a cell accumulation frequently creates a tissue mass known as a lump, growth, or tumour.
When cancerous tumours form in the breast, breast cancer results. By separating from the primary tumour, these cells can invade blood arteries or lymphatic vessels, which branch into various body areas. The process of cancer cells spreading throughout the body and beginning to harm additional tissues and organs is known as metastasis.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime? While you can’t exactly prevent cancer, it is important to be proactive about your health.
Below, the several stages are described using this methodology.
Stage 0 or stage zero refers to a condition when the disease is contained to the ducts of the breast tissue and has not progressed to the breast's surrounding tissue. Non-invasive cancer is another name for it.
refers to a tumour that is invasive, small, and has not yet reached the lymph nodes.
Lymph nodes have been affected by the disease, and cancer there is larger than 0.2 mm but less than 2 mm in size. Either no sign of a breast tumour is present, or the breast tumour is 20 mm or less in size.
The disease has progressed to one to three lymph nodes despite the absence of a tumour in the breast.
The tumour has migrated to one to three lymph nodes and is 20 mm or less in size.
The tumour is 20 to 50 mm in size and has not yet migrated to the lymph nodes.
The tumour has progressed to one to three lymph nodes and ranges in size from 20 mm to 50 mm.
Despite being above 50 mm in size, the tumour has not yet migrated to the lymph nodes.
Any size tumour has reached 4 to 9 lymph nodes. Other body parts have not been affected by its spread.
The tumour has spread to the chest wall, resulting in swelling or ulceration, or inflammatory breast cancer has been identified. Other body parts have not been affected by its spread.
A tumour of any size that has reached 10 or more lymph nodes, or the lymph nodes under the collarbone, is considered to be in stage IIIC. Other body parts have not been affected by its spread.
The tumour, which can be of any size, has metastasized to distant lymph nodes or the chest wall as well as the bones, lungs, brain, and liver. Most frequently, it is discovered following an earlier diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer.
However, no one is certain of breast cancer's precise causes. Most breast cancer patients will never be able to pinpoint a specific cause, and doctors rarely know why one woman gets breast cancer while another does not. What is certain is that DNA damage to a cell's nucleus is always the root of breast cancer. When breast cancer is first discovered, many patients may not exhibit any physical changes (signs) or symptoms.
One should consult a doctor if one experiences one or more of the following symptoms:
Please speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about changes you notice, even ones that are not on this list but are nonetheless concerning. At KindlyHers we have experts who can help you with detect breast cancer at an early stage. Click here to book a FREE SESSION.
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Breast cancer is more common in some women than others due to various risk factors.
You can prevent some risk factors, such as drinking alcohol. However, the majority of risk factors (such a family history of breast cancer) cannot be prevented. When a cell's DNA is damaged, cancer develops. The cause can be hereditary, environmental, or a mix of the two.
Women are about 10 times more likely than males to have breast cancer.
Women beyond the age of 55 are most likely to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer as opposed to women of younger age.
Caucasian women are diagnosed with breast cancer more frequently than women of other races. This however does not mean that one should take things lightly if they are non-Caucasian.
Women are at a higher risk due to obesity with scientific reason yet unknown.
Your risk of developing breast cancer is increased if your mother, sister, father, or child previously had breast or ovarian cancer. If your relative has a diagnosis before the age of 50, your risk goes up.
Breast cancer risk is also increased by early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (beyond age 55), having your first child later in life, and never giving birth.
Gene mutations (BRCA1 and BRCA2) can raise your risk for breast cancer. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, you might think about doing a genetic test to find breast cancer.
Living a sedentary lifestyle with minimal exercise can raise your risk of developing breast cancer.
A diet low in fruits and vegetables and heavy in saturated fat can raise your risk of breast cancer.
Drinking alcohol frequently can raise your risk of developing breast cancer. The danger increases with the amount of alcohol you consume.
Receiving chest radiation therapy before the age of 30 raises your risk of developing breast cancer.
“60-70% of people with breast cancer have no connection to these risk factors at all, meanwhile other people with risk factors will never develop cancer”
There are numerous treatments and cures for breast cancer. The type of breast cancer and the extent of its spread will determine this. Multiple types of treatments are frequently given to patients with breast cancer. To treat breast cancer, medical professionals from various specialities frequently collaborate. from operating surgeons to medical oncologists who use individualised medicine to treat cancer.
A procedure where cancerous tissue is removed by doctors.
Use specific drugs to reduce or eradicate cancer cells. The drugs may be taken orally, administered intravenously, or occasionally both.
Prevents hormones that cancer cells require for growth from reaching them.
Collaborates with the immune system of your body to combat cancer cells or to manage the negative effects of other cancer treatments or cures.
Destroying the cancer cells using high-energy beams that are comparable to X-rays.
As breast cancer is a seriously common cancer among older women, it is important to raise awareness by making sure you get yourself checked with your doctor. It is never a bad idea to get checked. Early detection of breast cancer simply means early and simpler treatment courses. Multidisciplinary diagnostics and treatment therapies are required as proper courses of action for dealing with breast cancer. Treatment options include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and more. During this October, let us make breast cancer an issue of education, increased awareness and non-stigma with enough care, love and happiness in the general community.
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