Friday, July 6

BREAST CANCER  Every Women Must Know Today

(Watch Video Below)
In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. It is, in fact, the most common malignancy problem that is affecting women in North America and Europe today. It is estimated that 226,870 women will be diagnosed with and 39,510 women will die of cancer of the breast in 20121.
(The following information is based on NCI’s SEER Cancer Statistics Review)

How Breast Cancer is Acquired? 

Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors in the breast grow and start to affect other tissues in the body. There is still no clear indications how tumors are created but what is often observed is that cancerous cells usually comes from ducts or glands. 

Although women’s health organizations advise women to massage the breast daily and to feel for any lumps, it may a long time before a cancerous cell get big enough for us to feel it. By that time, it may already be too late. Doctors make use of mammograms for their diagnosis.

About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with these mutations have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and they are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age (before menopause). An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations

In men, about 1 in 10 breast cancers are believed to be due to BRCA2 mutations, and even fewer cases to BRCA1 mutations.

What Are the Risk

All women are actually at risk, with the risk increasing with the presence of some risk factors that are already part of the natural cycle, for example, aging. Family history of breast cancer can also significantly affect the prognosis as heredity has been found to play a role. Women who got their periods before they were 12 years old and those who never had or had children after 30 years old are also more likely to develop breast cancer.

A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it

There are also risk factors that medical science can help alter such as hormonal problems through replacement therapies. Women are also advised to decrease their consumption of alcoholic drinks, exercise every day and decrease the use of birth control pills. Breastfeeding has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer development. 

Although there are some factors that women can avoid to prevent breast cancer from developing, cause and effect relationships between these factors and breast cancer is still debatable. For women who are already at high risk, doctors often recommend a drug called Tamoxifen, which is known to decrease the risk by as much 50 percent when taken in five years. Still, Tamoxifen has side effects such as hot flushes, vaginal discharges and sometimes even blood clots. Taking the drug can also lead to pulmonary emobolus, stroke and uterine cancer, although these are all isolated cases. 

Another avenue that women can go to is Vitamin A, which some studies show to be effective in decreasing the risk. Still, research is still in the initial stages and nothing has been proven yet. Other things that are being linked to the breast cancer fight are phytoestrogens, which can be found in soya, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. 

But until something concrete is found in research, the only thing that women can do to ensure that they are safe from breast cancer is early detection. This can be done through daily self-examinations as well as annual check ups and mammogram tests. It is also important that women know the beginnings of breast cancer. Here are some of the signs that they should watch out for. 

Lumps in the breast and in the underarms
Scaling of the skin of the breast and of the nipple
Redness in the skin of the breast and of the nipple
Changes in the size of their breasts
Discharges from the nipple

Watch Breast Cancer Video Here:

If these signs are observed, it is best to consult a specialist so that you can know whether you have breast cancer or not.
Good News!
In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US. Treatments are improving.