Tag Archive | "breast cancer"

Breast Cancer in Young Women

Perhaps one of the most dreaded conditions that can affect women is breast cancer. Year by year the number of those affected with breast cancer are increasing by the number. And what is scary is that those affected are getting younger. Even women in their early twenties are diagnosed to have the condition.

Although it sounds strange that breast cancer affects young women in their twenties, but it is true. Younger women can have the condition especially if she has all the risk factors that make her prone to have the condition.

Here are the common risk factors associated with breast cancer in young women:

  • Family history of cancers especially that of the breast. Young women are very much prone especially if her family members like mother and sisters have cancer.
  • Obesity. It is associated with many conditions, breast cancer is included. There are so many young women who are obese now a day which makes them prone to acquire cancer especially on the breast.
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking
  • Inactivity and no exercise
  • Genetic anomalies

Because young women think that it is impossible for them to catch breast cancer at their age, they often ignore the symptoms that they are feeling. Oftentimes when the cancer is detected, it is on the advanced stage already making it hard to manage.

Common symptoms associated with breast cancer in young women:

  • Changes in breast size and mass. A young woman may notice that her breasts gradually change its size. She may notice that her brassier won’t fit anymore because it can either be neither too fit nor too loose.
  • Nipple changes are very common in breast cancer in young women. She may find out that her nipples suddenly became inverted when originally it was not the case.
  • The breasts have change in appearance. The skin of the breasts may have scaling and have reddish or pinkish color.
  • The presence of lumps is one of the earliest sign that a young women can experience when she has breast cancer.
  • Breast discharges also happen to those young women diagnosed to have breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a dreaded condition and young women who have those predisposing factors may find it impossible to prevent the condition because for them they think that they are predestined to have the condition. But the best way to combat breast cancer is by preventing its occurrence. Living a healthier lifestyle, eating the right kinds of food, exercise, and regular check-ups with the doctor for breast examination will help in detecting and preventing the condition.

Cancer knows no age and younger persons are equally prone to have the condition just like older people do so might as well prevent it from affecting you before it takes your dear life.

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Aspirin and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the leading cause female mortality and morbidity worldwide. In the United States alone, it has been estimated that one in eight females can have breast malignancy in their lifetime. That is a sad fact, because as we all know cancer is one of the most feared conditions that can affect women.

Breast cancer does not develop overnight. It takes months and years to mature and affect the person. That is why it is very important for every woman to know what the earliest signs are so that she can go to the doctor immediately. Here are the most common signs of breast cancer that every woman should be mindful of:

  • Feeling of lumps in the breast including the surrounding areas
  • Dimpling of the breasts
  • Scaling of the breasts
  • Discharge on the breasts that can either be puss or blood
  • Nipple that suddenly became inverted
  • Sudden change of breast appearance

Just like in any condition, prevention is really better than cure. There are a lot of ways on how a person can prevent from breast cancer from affecting. Here are the ways how:

  • Eat healthy! Avoid eating processed foods and those that were grown with a lot of chemicals. If you are fond of eating these kinds of foods then you are increasing your risk of having breast cancer.
  • Avoid radiation like that of X-rays and other machines.
  • Maintain a normal weight. Being overweight can increase the risk of getting cancer of the breasts.
  • Perform regular self breast exams five days right after your menstrual periods. This is the best way to check if you have any abnormalities in your breast.
  • Have regular check-up with your doctor especially if you are already forty and above.

One of the new discoveries in medicine is the use of aspirin as prevention for breast cancer. We all know that aspirin is used to treat fever and some heart conditions but with regards to preventing breast cancer from happening, that is something new to our ears.

Aspirin helps lower a woman’s risk of having breast cancer because of its anti inflammatory properties that helps lessen inflammation of the breasts. Aspirin also has properties that inhibit tumors like that of the breasts from developing and causing more damage to the surrounding breast tissues.

Although aspirin has this benefit in preventing breasting, still it is best to see the doctor first before taking the medication.

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Dealing with the Pains of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer has plagued many women and has taken the lives of countless mothers, daughters and sisters in our families. The grief and pains of knowing that our loved one is suffering from such as an ordeal is surely devastating. With the advancement in medical technology breast cancer prognosis continues to rise towards its positive treatment and decreased remissions. Medical advances have shown that with early diagnosis and regular treatments, breast cancer can be managed and a patient can still experience years of fruitful life.

Contrary to common belief breast cancer can occur to both men and women but is more common to women as they have hormones that lead to the development of the breast. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States.

The symptoms that every woman should watch out for when they reach 20 years of age are the following.

  • A lump in the breast even if it does not hurt should be reported to your doctor for further evaluation.
  • Any discharge from the nipple.
  • Change in breast size or shape
  • Dimpling or any demarcation in the breast
  • Inverted nipples
  • Redness or rash in the breast

The cause of breast cancer is still unknown just like any cancer that occurs in the body. The cells multiply abnormally and this causes the tumors or outgrowths. It can form a benign tumor which is only located in one area and can be easily removed and treated. But once it has metastasized into the blood or other organs it will be harder to treat. Research shows that genetics play a major role in the risk of getting breast cancer. If breast cancer runs in the family then extra precaution and self screening should be implemented for early diagnosis and treatment. Other risk factors for breast cancer are exposure to radiation, obesity, alcohol and advancing age.

If you experience any of the above symptoms of breast cancer it is advisable to contact your doctor to schedule for a check up. As women age it is also advisable to have mammogram screening done yearly especially if you reach the age of 40 and up. Preventive measures are taken especially in older women and this includes a healthy diet and exercise.

A support group is another important aspect when dealing with breast cancer. Its diagnosis is very difficult for the patient especially those who are diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer since their prognosis does not reflect much hope for the patient. At this time the patient needs support from his family, friends and loved ones to endure treatment and recovery. Treatment involves surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Undergoing a series of treatment is very painful and the patient will really suffer from the side effects of the treatment. At some point some patient wishes death instead of going through all of the pains. This is where emotional support is mostly needed as the patient needs hope that she can survive and surpass her life challenge. Breast cancer support groups are available to help if family is not present.

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Health Knowledge Check: 5 Myths about Breast Cancer

To all women, how much do you know your breasts? More to the point, how much do you know breast cancer, one of the leading causes of deaths among women? Knowledge is power, they say, and when it comes to getting educated on breast health and cancer prevention, it couldn’t be any truer. Here are some misconceptions about breast cancer, and the truth about them:

 Myth #1: If it’s breast cancer, you must feel a lump. 

Here’s the truth – about ten percent of breast cancer patients did not feel any pain or lumps before they were diagnosed. In fact, eight percent or so of lumps felt in breasts are actually just fibroadenomas, which are not cancerous in nature. Any change in the breast or nipple may be indicative of cancer. Flaky nipple skin, swollen node in the underarm, pain or soreness, changes in nipples, sudden change in size and shape of breasts, an “orange peel” appearance anywhere in the breast, nipple or areola, and any abnormal nipple discharge may all be signs of breast cancer, with or without the presence of a lump.

 Myth #2: Breast cancer is predominantly hereditary.

To date, researchers have not figured out the exact causes of breast cancer. Sure, there are suspicions that genes are the culprit, but it has become even more apparent that lifestyle plays a major role in its development. Simply put, here’s a fact to remember: Just because no one in your family had it doesn’t mean you are completely free from risks.

 Myth #3: If your breasts are small, your risk for breast cancer is also small.

The size of a woman’s bra does not have anything to do with her tendency for breast cancer. All women’s breasts are anatomically the same – all of them have lobules or milk ducts. This is the part of the breasts that create milk and transport it to the nipples. This is also the part where cancer cells begin to develop. Breast size is determined by the amount of fats and fibrous tissue that a woman has in her breasts, but these have nothing to do with cancer cells. Therefore, any woman must have regular mammograms, especially if she is forty years old or older. 

Myth #4: Birth control pills are a major contributor to breast cancer.

This simply has not been established by definite evidence. If it has, then doctors would have surely stopped prescribing them to women a long time ago. Studies in the last century have pointed out a possibility of a link between contraceptive pills and the risk of breast cancer, but it’s also worth considering the developments made on pills since then. Most pills today contain lower hormone doses, therefore lower risk. Again, birth control pills, on their own, are not enough to put a woman at risk for developing breast cancer.

 Myth #5: Wearing a bra often can cause breast cancer. 

This may have been purely coincidental, but there aren’t enough clinical evidences to prove that the underwire of bras cause cancer. There was some attempt to explain why wearing bras can heighten a woman’s chances of getting the big C, and it suggested that bras restrict lymph fluid from draining freely from the breasts, but there’s no scientific evidence. Thinner women who do not wear bras may have lesser risk, but it’s not because of their aversion for bras, but their thinner stature. Obesity and excessive body fats have been proven to increase one’s risk for breast cancer.

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Dealing with Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in many women in the world. It ranks second from skin cancer as the most prevalent cancer in the world. Research shows that approximately one woman dies of cancer out of nine who will suffer from it.

Until now the cause and treatment for breast cancer has not been developed yet. If early diagnosis is made there is a fair chance that it can be treated by surgery and radio therapy and life can extend for five more years.

In order to diagnose breast cancer in its early stage is to have the following:

  1. Breast Examination – physical examination of women aged 20 to 40 years should take this exam regularly. Older women who are above 40 years should get examined yearly as they are more prone to breast cancer.
  2. Mammographya radiological exam of the breast, with very small doses of X rays showing any growths and abnormalities will screen the woman and is an excellent method in diagnosing breast cancer.
  3. Self ExaminationThis method of self examination is very advisable especially for older women who are at risk. It should be done 10 days after the menstrual period and should be performed at the same day and same time. It can be done while in a shower preferably with soap to enhance the feel of any lumps or irregularities in the breasts.

As women we should watch out for early signs and symptoms that may suggest breast cancer.

  • Lumps and palpable tumors in the armpit area and breasts or next to it. Look out for painful, hard and irregularly shaped lumps. Make sure to take note of it to tell it to your doctor for further examination.
  • A dense area in the breast or a depression on the skin
  • Breast changes whether in size or shape
  • Wrinkles, marks, discolorations, depressions, or red breast skin.
  • Pain
  • Secretions other than milk

Should any of these signs and symptoms appear, better consult your doctor immediately.

Don’t panic as not every change in your breast may automatically equate to cancerous cells. Most inflammations and breast tumors are benign, non-cancerous growths. To be 100 percent sure you have to be seen by your doctor for a further diagnostic exams and biopsy if needed.

Some points to remember

  1. Breast cancer can appear at any age even though the risks are higher when you are older, breast cancer can still afflict young women and in rare cases men.
  2. The risk is doubled at the age of 70 compared to women in their 50s.
  3. There are approximately 70% of women who has breast cancer didn’t have the disease in their genes nor any one in their family is suffering from one.
  4. Early diagnosis can increase the chances of survival
  5. Mammography is the ideal screening test for detecting breast cancer at the early stages. It is advisable for all women starting in their 30s to get a mammography



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