As the causes of breast cancer aren't fully understood, it's not known if it can be prevented altogether.
Some treatments are available to reduce the risk in women who have a higher risk of developing the condition than the general population.
Regular exercise and a healthy, balanceddiet are recommended for all womenas they can help prevent many conditions, including Coronary heart disease , diabetes and many forms of cancer .
Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet, and although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who:
Use our healthy weight calculator to check if you're a healthy weight.
It's also been suggested that regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by as much as a third.
If you've been through the menopause , it's particularly important that you're not overweight or obese . This is because these conditions cause more oestrogen to be produced by your body, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Studies have shown women who breastfeed are statistically less likely to develop breast cancer than those who don't.
The reasons aren't fully understood, but it could be because women don't ovulate as regularly while they're breastfeeding and oestrogen levels remain stable.
If you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, treatment is available to reduce your risk.
Your level of riskis determined by factors such as your age, your family's medical history and the results of genetic tests.
You'll usually be referred to a specialist genetics service if it's thought you have an increased risk of breast cancer.Healthcare professionals working at these servicesshould discuss treatment options with you.
The two main treatments are surgery to remove the breasts (mastectomy) or medication. These are described in more detail below.
A mastectomy is surgery to remove the breasts. It can be usedto treat breast cancer and reduce the chances of developing the condition in the small number of women from high-risk families.
By removing as much breast tissue as possible, a mastectomy can reduce your risk of breast cancer by up to 90%.
However, like all operations, there's a risk of complications, and having your breasts removed can have a significant effect on your body image and sexual relationships.
If you want to, you can usually chooseto have a breast reconstruction either during the mastectomy operation or at a later date.
During breast reconstruction surgery, your original breast shape is recreated using either breast implants or tissue from elsewhere in your body.
An alternative is to usebreast prostheses. These are artificial breasts that can be worn inside your bra.
An alternative to mastectomyis a nipple-sparing mastectomy, where the whole mammary gland is removed, but the skin envelope is preserved. This is not widely available at the moment, but it's being used more often and can achieve excellent results.
Side effects of tamoxifen can include hot flushes and sweats, changes to your periods , and nausea and vomiting.
Your chances of giving birth to a child with birth defects increase while you're taking tamoxifen, soyou'll be advised to stop taking it at least two months before trying for a baby.
The medication can also increase your risk of blood clots, so you should stop taking it six weeks before having any planned surgery.
Tamoxifen and raloxifene aren't currently licensed for the purpose of reducing the risk of breast cancer in women with an increasedrisk of developing the condition.
However, they can still be used if you understand the benefits and risks, and your doctor believes the treatment will be helpful.
Breast cancer (cancer of the mammary glands) is a condition that has been known since ancient times, and exhibits itself as one of the most prevalent conditions of the modern world. This is one of the most common types of cancer, and is often one of the main causes of death for women worldwide. Cancers of the mammary gland usually affect females, and is 100 times more likely to occur in women rather than men.
The first symptom of breast cancer most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most Breast lump (90%) aren't cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by your doctor.
Read about the causes of breast cancer, which aren't fully understood. There are some risk factors that are known to affect your likelihood of developing breast cancer, however.
If you notice a lump in your breast or any change in the appearance, feel or shape of your breasts, see a doctor. If you have suspected breast cancer, either because of your symptoms or because your mammogram has shown an abnormality, you'll be referred to a specialist breast cancer clinic for further tests.
Surgery is usually the first type of treatment for breast cancer. The type of surgery you undergo will depend on the type of breast cancer you have. Surgery is usually followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy or, in some cases, hormone or biological treatments.
Most women with breast cancer have an operation as part of their treatment. Getting back to normal after surgery can take some time. It's important to take things slowly and give yourself time to recover.
As the causes of breast cancer aren't fully understood, it's not known if it can be prevented altogether. Some treatments are available to reduce the risk in women who have a higher risk of developing the condition than the general population.
This is the story of Emma Duncan who was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in four years, once in each breast. "Now I just want to stay cancer free" she says.
Breast cancer (cancer of the mammary glands) is a condition that has been known since ancient times, and exhibits itself as one of the most prevalent conditions of the modern world.
Any woman should be able to perform regular self-examinations. It is recommended to perform this examination when you are taking a shower, or in front of the mirror, holding both arms above and behind the head in order to examine the shape and size.
In the majority of cases, breast cancer is not accompanied by any sort of pain or obvious symptoms. At times, when touching a small nodule present some pain may be felt, which is why continuous, routine self-examinations are highly recommended, especially for age groups at risk.
In the majority of cases, the disease develops in complete absence of clinical symptoms. Since it is a mostly asymptomatic disease, it is rendered even more dangerous.
During palpation using the fingertips, you may feel a round mass, usually ranging from the size of a hazelnut to the size of a walnut, or even larger. The nodule can be firm or soft, with an uneven surface, separated from the tissue around it, or attached to the tissue around it and mobile.
The most common types of breast cancer include Non-invasive breast cancer and Invasive breast cancer. Less common are Morbus Paget, Erysipelas, and Occult carcinoma of the breast.
The causes of breast cancer remain unknown. Despite this, there are several risk factors that all patients should be aware of such as age, family history, weight, giving birth, breastfeeding, and lifestyle habits.
It is important to conduct a thorough examination of both breasts as well. During the examination of the patient, the scale of the tumor (how far it has already spread, or whether it has spread) is ascertained.
Since the causes of breast cancer are not known, prevention is difficult. Nevertheless, several risk factors (weight, physical activity, less alcohol) are important to note, since they can be controlled and minimized
Treatment of breast cancer is highly complex, and is predominantly dependent on how early the cancer is diagnosed, and at what stage it is detected.