The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer. Participate in this awareness campaign by wearing pink to show your support and care.
Breast cancer often is diagnosed when you feel a breast lump or have an abnormal mammogram. Cancer is named according to its place of origin. A small tumor growing in your breasts, near it or in the armpits can lead to breast cancer. When this is detected at early stages, it is treatable and survival rate is high.
Breast cancer starts mostly either in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal carcinoma) or in the lobules which are small sacks that help to make breast milk (lobular carcinoma). Different types of breast cancers grow and spread at different rates. So, it is recommended to get your breasts checked, even if you have the slightest doubt.
There are few risk factors that are not in our hands while certain other risk factors are related to our lifestyle.
Simply born as a woman is the main risk factor for breast cancer. While men can also have breast cancer, it is almost a hundred times more common in women because men have decreased secretion of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone which promote breast cancer cell growth.
Certain inherited genes, old age, family history, personal history of breast cancer, dense breast tissues, early menstruation (before age 12) and late menopause (after 55 years) are certain other inevitable risk factors.
Unhealthy lifestyle practices such as consuming excess alcohol, being obese/overweight, lack of physical activity, women having their first child after 30 years of age, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, radiation exposure and unhealthy diets increase the risk of breast cancer.
Almost two-thirds of the women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50 years of age.
Common symptoms of breast cancer include:
Physicians recommend women, especially over the age of 40, to get a mammogram (x-ray of the breast) done once in a while to study any changes in the breast. Breast ultrasound and imaging are also done in certain cases.
When these tests indicate that you might have breast cancer, doing a breast biopsy becomes mandatory. Undergoing a biopsy itself does not confirm cancer, but is only a precautionary measure. Cells from the suspicious area are removed using a needle or incision, depending on multiple factors, and sent to the lab for the presence of any cancerous cells. The results may take a few days or a weeks’ times. But doing a biopsy is the only sure way to detect breast cancer.
Every individual diagnosed with breast cancer needs different treatment procedures depending on its type and stage. Treatment in most cases involves removing breast cancer with surgery along with some radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Once the breast is removed with surgery, reconstructive breast surgery is done to give both your breasts the same shape and size. Breast implants might be done for this or the doctor might move tissues from other parts of the body to your breast.
After surgery, a set of simple regular exercises can ease muscle stiffness and help you move around normally. It is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes and bra to avoid irritation around the treatment area. Also, use deodorants, creams and skin lotions that have been specifically recommended by your doctor to prevent any irritation or rashes.
Breast cancer needs utmost care, effective diet options while undergoing radiation/chemotherapy and healthy lifestyle practices. A registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com is the best person who can understand your requirements and plan a nutritious diet plan suiting your health conditions.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.