How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
During your regular physical examination, your doctor will take a thorough personal and family medical history. He or she will also perform and/or order one or more of the following:
- Breast examination: During the breast exam, the doctor will carefully feel the lump and the tissue around it. Breast cancer usually feels different than benign lumps.
- Digital mammography: An X-ray test of the breast can give important information about a breast lump. This is an X-ray image of the breast and is digitally recorded into a computer rather than on a film. This is generally the standard of care .
- Ultrasonography: This test uses sound waves to detect the character of a breast lump whether it is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass . This may be performed along with the mammogram.
Based on the results of these tests, your doctor may or may not request a biopsy to get a sample of the breast mass cells or tissue. Biopsies are performed using surgery or needles.
After the sample is removed, it is sent to a lab for testing. A pathologist a doctor who specializes in diagnosing abnormal tissue changes views the sample under a microscope and looks for abnormal cell shapes or growth patterns. When cancer is present, the pathologist can tell what kind of cancer it is and whether it has spread beyond the ducts or lobules .
These 5 Strategies Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women. Even though the five-year survival rate87 per centhas vastly improved over the past three decades, one in eight women can still expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Many risk factors are out of our control: were more likely to develop the disease the older we get, for instance, or the taller we are, although this link may have to do with factors such as childhood diet that contribute to height in adulthood. But current research is finding that we can, to some extent, shape our own odds.
Its incredibly important that people know they are not powerless, says Susannah Brown, senior scientist at the World Cancer Research Fund in London, U.K. There are steps they can take to help reduce their risk. Earlier this year, WCRF partnered with the American Institute for Cancer Research to analyze more than 100 studies drawing on data from millions of women around the world. They found strong evidence of lowered breast cancer risk with simple lifestyle interventions. Its never too late to get healthier, says Brown. But the earlier you start, the better.
Here are five ways to lower your risk for developing breast cancer.
Foods And Beverages To Avoid
While certain foods may protect against breast cancer, other foods may increase your risk.
As such, its best to reduce your intake of the following foods and beverages or avoid them altogether:
To lower your risk of breast cancer, steer clear of refined carbs, added sugar, alcohol, fried foods, processed meats, and fast food.
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Avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is used to treat symptoms of menopause caused by sharply declining estrogen levels, such as hot flashes, sleep disruption and vaginal dryness. It involves taking supplemental estrogen by pill or patch, sometimes in combination with the hormone progestin. But experts estimate that HRT, which exposes postmenopausal women to increased estrogen, causes 15 per cent of new cases of breast cancer. HRT is to be avoided if at all possible, except for extreme cases when women are really suffering with menopause, says Friedenreich.
Its important to have a conversation with your health care provider, adds Chirrey. Talk about the risks and benefits of HRT. Depending on your symptoms, a physician may suggest local estrogen therapy, which uses low-dose vaginal estrogen, released by a cream or ring, and carries a much lower risk because very little estrogen will get into your bloodstream. If you do opt for hormone replacement therapy, use it for as short a period as possible, and no more than five years. The elevated risk of breast cancer dissipates a few years after stopping HRT.
How Can I Prevent Breast Cancer
Doctors still are not certain how to prevent breast cancer.
Regular aerobic exercise may offer some protection. Studies have found that women who exercised vigorously and often were only half as likely as non-exercisers to get breast cancer. This has been demonstrated primarily in younger, pre-menopausal women. Exercise also can help women with breast cancer better tolerate the side effects of treatment and recover faster after surgery. It can also have a better impact on survival.
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Medicines To Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Prescription medicines can be used to help lower breast cancer risk in certain women at increased risk of breast cancer.
Medicines such as tamoxifen and raloxifene block the action of estrogen in breast tissue. Tamoxifen might be an option even if you havent gone through menopause, while raloxifene is only used for women who have gone through menopause. Other drugs, called aromatase inhibitors, might also be an option for women past menopause. All of these medicines can also have side effects, so its important to understand the possible benefits and risks of taking one of them.
To learn more, see:
Avoiding Risk Factors And Increasing Protective Factors May Help Prevent Cancer
Avoiding cancerrisk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.
NCI’sBreast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool uses a woman’s risk factors to estimate her risk for breast cancer during the next five years and up to age 90. This online tool is meant to be used by a health care provider. For more information on breast cancer risk, call 1-800-4-CANCER.
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Limit Or Avoid Alcohol
Studies show that there is a link between moderate and heavy alcohol use and breast cancer. Alcohol is known to raise estrogen levels in your blood. This makes it more likely for you to get cancer again. If youâre a cancer survivor, itâs best to avoid alcohol altogether.
If you do choose to drink, make sure to limit it to only one drink a day to lower your chances of your cancer coming back.
How Does Breast Cancer Cause Death
The most common cause of death was metastatic disease to various organs, accounting for 42% of all deaths. Infection was the second most common cause of death however, only 27% of the patients with infection had significant neutropenia. In patients dying of hemorrhage, only 9% were thrombocytopenic.
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Who Gets Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women other than skin cancer. Increasing age is the most common risk factor for developing breast cancer, with 66% of breast cancer patients being diagnosed after the age of 55.
In the US, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, and it’s the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54. Only 5 to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are “sporadic, meaning there is no definitive gene mutation.
Peaches Apples And Pears
Fruits specifically peaches, apples, and pears have been shown to safeguard against breast cancer.
In a study in 75,929 women, those who consumed at least 2 servings of peaches per week had up to a 41% reduced risk of developing ER breast cancer .
Interestingly, a test-tube study revealed that polyphenol antioxidants from peaches inhibited the growth and spread of a breast cancer cell line .
Furthermore, a study analyzing data from 272,098 women linked apple and pear intake to a lower risk of breast cancer ” rel=”nofollow”> Share on Pinterest
Beans are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Specifically, their high fiber content may protect against breast cancer.
A study in 2,571 women found that high bean intake reduced breast cancer risk by up to 20%, compared with low bean intake .
Additionally, in a study in 1,260 Nigerian women, those with the highest intake of beans had up to a 28% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared with those with the lowest intake .
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The Cause Of Breast Cancer
While the toxins and carcinogens in our bodies along with poor food choices are a probable cause of breast cancer, wearing a bra can create an environment for those toxins to build up. This build-up could eventually lead to cancer.
In their book, Dressed to Kill, Sydney Ross Singer and his wife Soma make the profound statement that:
When we realize that the body already knows how to prevent cancer, we see that all we really have to do is support the body in doing what it does naturally.
When our bodies are supported with proper nutrition and functioning properly we can keep cancer cells and all kinds of other illness at bay.
Treatment focuses on what the doctor can do to stop cancer once it has begun prevention focuses on what the body can do to stop cancer cells before they get out of hand, and examines ways to assist the body in maintaining its stand against disease. Sydney Ross Singer
Instead of having a treatment mentality when it comes to cancer and other health issues, why dont we have a prevention mentality?
When we support our lymphatic system by ditching our bras and reducing toxic exposure, I believe we can reduce our chances of developing this disease in a major way!
Grade 3 Breast Cancer Life Expectancy
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How The Breast Cancer Staging Process Starts
The breast cancer staging process begins with diagnostic testing. Depending on previous screening results, if any breast cancer symptoms are present, and other factors, your doctor may recommend one of the following tests:
- Diagnostic mammogram A mammogram involves using an X-ray to take photos of your breast tissue at different angles. To do this, your breasts are gently compressed between two plates so the X-ray can be taken.
- Ultrasound An ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test that bounces soundwaves of your breast tissue to create a picture of the inside of your breast.
- MRI An MRI is another non-invasive imaging test that uses radio waves and a magnetic field to create an image of your breast tissue. This can help doctors determine the size and placement of tumors.
- Biopsy A biopsy removes small masses and growths from your breast so they can be examined under a microscope by a pathologist and determine if theyre cancerous.
If cancer is detected, a CT scan may be ordered to look for any distant metastasis or local invasion to other organs. And youll likely be connected with a breast surgeon right away, either through a nurse navigator or your doctor.
Breast Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Breast
The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.
Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless, watery fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels carry lymph between lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fightinfection and disease. Groups of lymph nodes are found near the breast in theaxilla , above thecollarbone, and in the chest.
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Symptoms Triggers How To Cope
Breast cancer recurrence is when cancer comes back after treatment and after a period of time when it could not be detected. Anyone who has had breast cancer can be at risk of recurrence. Its most likely to happen within the first few years but can also happen many years later.
Most people who have a breast cancer diagnosis will never experience a recurrence. But the risk is well worth making follow-up screenings an essential part of your healthcare going forward.
In this article, well look at some signs of recurrence, how treatment differs from your initial treatment, and answers to other questions you might have about breast cancer recurrence.
The signs and symptoms of recurrence depend on where breast cancer returns. Early on, you might not have any obvious symptoms. Sometimes, recurrence is discovered through routine follow-up scans or bloodwork.
Surgery For High Risk Breast Cancer
Surgery to remove both breasts may be a possible option for women at very high risk. This is known as a bilateral risk reducing mastectomy. Bilateral means both sides and mastectomy means removal of the breast.
It is important you meet a genetic counsellor before you make a decision about having surgery. They will talk about your own personal risks and explain other options, for example screening for high risk women. Your surgeon and specialist nurse will tell you about the surgery. They will also talk about your feelings and any concerns you may have.
During the operation the surgeon removes as much breast tissue as possible but its not possible to remove it all. So, although surgery lowers your risk it does not go away completely.
You may be able to have breast reconstruction during the surgery, or at a later date. This is surgery to make new breasts using tissue from elsewhere in your body or implants.
Choosing to have risk reducing surgery can be a difficult time for you and your family, so it is important to ask questions. Your doctors and nurses will support you when making your decisions and throughout your treatment.
Speak to your doctor if you have family members with breast cancer and you think you might be at risk of developing it.
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What Does Cancer Grade Mean
Breast cancers are given a grade according to:
- How different the cancer cells are to normal breast cells
- How quickly they are growing
The grade of a cancer is different to the cancer stage.
A cancers grade is determined when a doctor looks at the cancer cells under a microscope, using tissue from a biopsy or after breast cancer surgery.
Treatments To Reduce Your Risk
Your level of risk is determined by factors such as your age, your family’s medical history, and the results of genetic tests.
If you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, treatment is available to reduce your risk.
You’ll usually be referred for specialist genetic testing if it’s thought you have an increased risk of breast cancer. Healthcare professionals at these services should discuss treatment options with you.
The 2 main treatments are surgery to remove the breasts or medicine.
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Can I Ever Be Sure The Cancer Will Never Come Back
No, its not possible to guarantee that once you have completed cancer treatment the cancer will never come back. Although your doctor may say, The cancer is gone or I think I removed all the cancer or I see no evidence of any cancer, the fact remains that theres always a chance that there are some cancer cells left in your body that survived, even though they cant be seen or found with any test used today. Over time, these cells can begin to grow again.
While you dont want to ever think about the chance of having a second cancer one thats not related to the first cancer this is also possible. Having one cancer doesnt make you immune to having a second or even a third different cancer.
What Is The Importance Of Early Breast Cancer Detection
The various types of cancers behave differently, with distinct rates of growth and patterns of spreading to other areas of the body. Some cancers are “favorable” and treatable, while others are highly aggressive.
Compared to other cancers, breast cancer is on the more treatable end of the spectrum if diagnosed early. It is considered a “favorable” cancer because it can be detected early by breast examination or by mammography. Pancreatic cancer, for example, is on the lethal end of the spectrum of cancers. Pancreatic cancer is often difficult to detect until it is very far advanced.
Studies have clearly shown that the smaller the size of the breast cancer when detected, the better the chance of a surgical cure and long-term survival. The likelihood of a cure is also higher if the cancer is removed before it has spread to lymph nodes and other organs such as the lungs, liver, bones, and brain.
Currently, mammography and breast examinations serve as the foundation for screening for breast cancer. It is extremely important for a woman to have regular breast examinations as well as mammograms to detect early breast cancer.
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