Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent conditions of the modern world. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.
About one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There is a good chance of recovery if it's detected in its early stages.
For this reason, it's vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always get any changes examined by their GP.
In rare cases, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
Most Breast lump aren't cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by your doctor.
You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:
Breast pain is not a symptom of breast cancer.
However, there are certain factors known to increase the riskof breast cancer.
After examining your breasts, your GP may refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic for further tests.This might include breast screening (mammography)or a biopsy .
There are several different types of breast cancer, which can develop in different parts of the breast.
Breast cancer is often divided into:
Other less common types of breast cancer include:
It's possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the bloodstream or the axillary lymph nodes. Theseare small lymphatic glands that filter bacteria and cells from the mammary gland.
If this happens, it's known as secondary, or metastatic, breast cancer.
Mammographic screening, where X-ray images of the breast are taken, is the most commonly available method of detecting an early breast lesion.
However, you should be aware that a mammogram might fail to detect some breast cancers.
It might also increase your chances of having extra tests and interventions, including surgery, even if you're not affected by breast cancer.
Women with a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer may be offered screening and genetic testing for the condition.
As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, all women who are 50 to 70 years old are invited for breast cancer screening every three years.
Women over the age of70 are also entitled to screening and can arrange an appointment through their GP or local screening unit.
The NHS is in the process of extending the programme as a trial, offering screening to some women aged 47 to 73.
If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to nearby parts of the body.
Breast cancer is treated using a combination of:
Surgery is usually the first type of treatment you'll have, followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy or, in some cases, hormone or biological treatments.
The type of surgery and the treatment you have afterwards will depend on the type of breast cancer you have. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment plan with you.
In asmall proportion of women, breast cancer is discovered after it's spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancer).
Secondary cancer, also called advanced or metastatic cancer, isn't curable, so the aim of treatment istoachieve remission (symptom relief).
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stageit's at andthe treatment you're having.
How women cope with their diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. You can be reassured that there are several forms of support available, if you need it.
As the causes of breast cancer aren't fully understood, at the moment it's not possible to know if it can be prevented.
If you're at increased risk of developing the condition, some treatments are available to reduce the risk.
Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet. Although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who:
It's been suggested that regular exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as a third. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can also improve the outlook for people affected bybreast cancer.
If you've been through the menopause, it's particularly important that you're not overweight or obese.
This is because being overweight or obese causes more oestrogen to be produced, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.
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.