THE BASICS ABOUT BREAST CANCER.
Breast cancer is often detected as a strange lump though about 80 percent of such lumps are benign, or self-contained, many being fluid-filled sacks called cysts. Breast begins with a renegade cell that divides uncontrollably, gradually forming a tumor. A tumor turns malignant, or cancerous, when its cells invade other tissues. Some tumors grow quickly; others may take up to ten years before they are detected.
A thin needle is sometimes use to take a tissue sample from the lump.
If the tissue sample contained cancer cells. Surgery is perform o remove the tumor and the surrounding breast tissue and to determine the tumor’s stage (size, type, and spread) and grade (speed of growth). After surgery, many patients have additional treatment aimed at preventing the recurrence or spread of the cancer. This is because cancer cells can break away from a tumor, travel through the bloodstream the lymphatic system, and start growing again making it more deadly if it spread to vital organs like the brain, the liver, the bone marrow or the lungs.
Radiation and chemotherapy can be used to destroy stray cancer cells around the site and throughout the body. And if the breast cancer is the form that fed on estrogen, anti-hormonal therapy is use to hinder the growth of new cancers. If the test reveals the cancer before it spread beyond the milk duct, lumpectomy is given to save the breast. Some had chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor. In other cases, some surgeons remove the tumor and only the sentinel lymph node, the first node into which the fluid from the tumor drains. Since it held no cancer cells, additional nodes are left intact. This reduces the risk of lymphedema, an uncomfortable swelling of the arm that can occur when many lymph nodes are removed.
The causes of breast cancer remain a puzzle. Still, scientists have unearthed important clues. Some believe that breast cancer results from a complex, multistage process, beginning with a faulty gene that causes cells to misbehave—to divide furiously, to invade other tissue, to evade capture by immune cells, and to launch stealthy attacks on vital organs. In between 5 to 10 percent of cases, women are born with genes that predispose them to breast cancer. However, it seems that in many cases, healthy genes are damaged by outside agents—radiation and chemicals being among the prime suspects. A woman’s risk may be raised if she began menstruating very early in life or went into menopause later than normal, if she had a late pregnancy or no pregnancy at all, or if she had hormones replacement therapy. Obesity may increase risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, whose ovaries have stopped producing hormones. Other risk factors include high level of the hormone insulin and low levels of sleep hormone melatonin, a condition often affecting night workers.
SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER.
Early detection is crucial. Experts strongly urge women to watch for changes in their breasts and lymph nodes. Here are some signs to watch out for:
*A lump or thickening anywhere in the armpit or breast.
*Any discharge other than breast milk from the nipple.
*Any change in the color or texture of the skin.
*An abnormally pushed-in or tender nipple.
IF YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER.
Expect to spend a year or more focusing on treatment and recovery.
If possible, choose competent doctors who respect your needs and beliefs.
Decide whom to tell, and when. This will allow your friends to show their love and to pray for you.
Cope with emotional strain through prayers and up-building meditation.
Talk with others who have had breast cancer that will be encouraging to you.
Try to focus on today’s concerns, not tomorrow’s.
Budget your energy. You need sufficient rest.
Ignorant is not a bliss, be informed and share this information with others.