Everything You Need To Know About Breast Cancer

Health & Medical Blog

Breast cancer is a common issue for many people. Like any form of cancer, catching breast cancer early is ideal so you can begin treatment early. If you would like to know more about breast cancer, including how it's treated, keep reading.

Who Is at High Risk for Breast Cancer?

There are multiple factors that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. In some cases, genetic mutations increase your risk. If this is the case, breast cancer is likely common in the family. Other risk factors include getting older, having dense breasts, and previous treatments using radiation therapy. In addition, those who started their periods early and/or had menopause late may have a higher risk because they've been exposed to specific hormones for longer.

Some risk factors are related to your life habits, such as living a sedentary lifestyle and eating an unhealthy diet. Risk factors you can change include not being active, being overweight (especially after menopause), taking estrogen/progesterone, and drinking alcohol.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Cancer often forms without any symptoms except for a growing mass. In many cases, these masses are well hidden inside your body, but with breast cancer, you often feel the mass. This is the leading sign of breast cancer. The mass is most concerning if it is suddenly new or has changed. The breast may also swell (with or without a lump), and the skin can begin to dimple.

Many possible symptoms deal with the nipple, including abnormal nipple discharge, nipple pain, and changes in the nipple. Depending on the location and extent of the cancer, the lump nodes near the breasts may swell.

What Are the Treatments for Breast Cancer?

There are many treatments for breast cancer. Depending on your situation, you may need multiple options to fight the cancer. Local treatments include surgery and radiation, and they only treat the affected area, leaving the rest of the body alone. If surgery is required, breast-conserving surgery saves most breast tissue but removes the tumor. A mastectomy removes the entire breast.

Systemic treatments affect the whole body, which can lead to a host of side effects. These treatments include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted drug therapy, and immunotherapy. Chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs) may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to remove any residual cancerous cells.

Hormone therapy uses a treatment that prevents breast cancer from bonding to estrogen and progesterone, so they can't grow. Targeted drug therapy is like chemotherapy because it uses special antibodies to fight the cancer. Last, immunotherapy helps promote your body to naturally fight the cancer cells.

If you fear you have breast cancer, it's time to speak with your doctor immediately. Breast exams, mammograms, and other tests can be used to diagnose your cancer, so treatment can begin ASAP. If you would like to know more about breast cancer treatments, contact a provider in your area.


29 June 2022

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