What does the breast look like?
The breast is made up of glands called lobules that can make milk and thin tubes called ducts that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple. Breast tissue also contains fat tissues, connective tissue, lymph nodes, and blood vessels.
What do your breasts mean to you?
They can mean different things to different people. For any woman, they may be linked to her identity as a woman, her sense of femininity, intimacy or to her roles as a mother or sexual partner.
When you hear the term Breast Cancer what does it mean?
What are the types of Breast Cancer?
The most common type of breast cancer is a ductal carcinoma, which originates in the cells of the ducts. Breast cancer can also arise in the cells of the lobules and in other tissues in the breast. Ductal carcinoma in situ is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of the ducts but they haven’t spread outside the duct.
Breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the ducts or lobules to surrounding tissue is called invasive breast cancer. In inflammatory breast cancer, the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin.
How common is Breast Cancer?
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in India. One out of every two women diagnosed with breast cancer dies of it. Although most of the cases are seen in females, there is a 1% chance of its occurrence in males.
GLOBOCAN 2018 Data:
What causes Breast Cancer?
A single reason that causes breast cancer is not yet known. However, we do know that it occurs as a result of a gene mutation. This can be contributed by a number of Risk Factors:
- Being female
- Having a family history of Breast Cancer
- Being overweight or obese after menopause
- Consuming alcohol
- Getting older
- Genetic Factors: 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary. BRCA1 or BRCA2 are the most common cause of hereditary Breast Cancer.
- Personal history of Breast cancer
- Previous chest radiation
- Hormone replacement therapy
What can you do?
Know your risks:
- Talk to your mother’s and father’s families about your family health history
- Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer
Know what is normal for you:
- Know how your breasts look and feel
- Look at and feel your breasts: a regular self-breast examination
- Report changes to a doctor
Breast Cancer – Early Signs and Symptoms:
- are offered to people who feel fine and who have no reason to suspect a breast problem
- are different from tests that are done to evaluate a problem in the breast, which are called diagnostic tests
Ways of screening:
- Clinical Breast Exam (a physical exam done by a doctor)
- Imaging tests:
- Breast Ultrasound
- Mammography (annual/biennial after 50 years of age)
- Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (for women with high risk)
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Reduce your risk of breast cancer!
Possible strategies for primary prevention:
- Early pregnancy
- Avoid long-term use of estrogens and menopause medicines
- Avoid weight gain
- Replace saturated fat with olive oil and other oils high in MUFA
- 5 servings of fruits/vegetables a day
- >3 hours of physical exercise every week
- Limit alcohol consumption
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
In a biopsy, cells are removed from the area of the breast where an abnormality was found and studied in a lab.
Breast Cancer Stages:
- Stage 0 – Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
- Stage 1 – Early Breast Cancer
- Stage 2 – Early Breast Cancer
- Stage 3 – Locally Advanced
- Stage 4 – Metastatic Breast Cancer
After the treatment is completed the individual has to meet the doctor once every 6 months till 5 years, and once a year after that.Dr.