Causes Of Breast Cancer: How Did This Happen
When youre told that you have breast cancer, its natural to wonder what may have caused the disease. But no one knows the exact causes of breast cancer. Doctors seldom know why one woman develops breast cancer and another doesnt, and most women who have breast cancer will never be able to pinpoint an exact cause. What we do know is that breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cells DNA.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
In addition to medical interventions, you may want to consider complementary therapies, particularly to help manage symptoms as well as side effects from treatment.
Acupuncture, massage, meditation, mindfulness, and visualization may help reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, and improve mood.
Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer: Brca1 And Brca2
In some cases, particularly if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, a doctor may suggest genetic testing for two of the most common gene mutations known to increase risk for developing these cancers: BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inherited BRCA gene mutations cause about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers and about 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers. There are other genes implicated in breast cancer risk, though they are much rarer than the BRCA mutations.
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Dont Forget About You
Ultimately, the best thing you can do is for yourself. If you learn something new this October and take steps to manage your own risk for breast cancer, then its one more victory.
You start with these small steps:
- Know your risk factors. Risk factors include being a person who is AFAB, being a person who is older than 50 years of age, and differences in your BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 genes.
- Exercise regularly. This can be as small as getting out of the house and walking once a day. If you live in an urban setting, you can simply walk to do your daily errands.
- Eat well. Look for foods rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, like broccoli, berries, pears, spinach, etc.
Keeping up general health can help us avoid illness, though, of course, its never a guarantee. Which is why the most important thing is to get screened.
Remember, mammograms save lives. Those who detect their breast cancer earlier have a much higher chance of survival.
Considering Complementary And Alternative Methods
You may hear about alternative or complementary methods that your doctor hasnt mentioned to treat your cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture or massage, to name a few.
Complementary methods refer to treatments that are used along with your regular medical care. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctors medical treatment. Although some of these methods might be helpful in relieving symptoms or helping you feel better, many have not been proven to work. Some might even be harmful.
Be sure to talk to your cancer care team about any method you are thinking about using. They can help you learn what is known about the method, which can help you make an informed decision.
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Susan G Komen Center For Public Policy
Since our early days, Komen has worked to mobilize communities to take action on issues that affect people with breast cancer and their loved ones. We cannot do it alone. The Center for Public Policy is powered by you.
Learning about public policy issues can empower you to become a strong advocate for change. Together, we can ensure the voices of women and men with breast cancer are heard by lawmakers and government agencies across the U.S.
Action at all levels of government is vital for making the broad, lasting changes we need to save lives and end breast cancer forever. We need your help. Real change requires a chorus of voices.
Learn more about becoming an advocate and make your voice heard.
Place Your Hands On Your Hip
Strip to the waist and stand before a mirror. You will need to see both breasts at the same time. Stand with your hands on your hips and check the overall appearance of your breasts.
Look at the size, shape, and contour.
Note changes, if any, in the color or texture of the skin on your breasts as well as on your nipples and areolas.
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Linda Nolan Shares First Breast Cancer Symptoms As She Warns Of ‘foolish’ Mistake
Linda Nolan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, six years after her older sister Anne, 72, and four years before sister Bernie who tragically died from the disease
Pop legend Linda Nolan has become as well known for speaking openly and honestly about her breast cancer battle as for her 50-year career in showbiz.
The star, who found fame as one fifth of The Nolans one of the most successful girl groups of all time, selling over 30 million records worldwide with hits such as Gotta Pull Myself Together, Attention To Me and their 1980 hit Im In The Mood For Dancing first learned she had cancer in 2006. Her devastating diagnosis came six years after her older sister Annes and four years before sister Bernies.
Bernie tragically died from the disease in 2013, aged just 52, while Anne, 72, has since received the all-clear. Linda, 63, is still continuing her cancer journey and takes each day in her stride.
Whether its dealing with losing her hair, or the many other debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, the Dublin-born singer insists shes living with cancer, not dying from it.
Here, the former Celebrity Big Brother star gives us an update on her condition and explains why its vital to get checked if youre concerned something may be wrong
How are you feeling, Linda?
That must have been very frightening
How do you manage to stay positive with this hanging over you?
Do you think people are more open about discussing cancer these days?
What I Wish People Knew About Metastatic Breast Cancer
Recurrent breast cancer is breast cancer that returns after initial treatment it may occur months or years after your initial treatment. The highest risk of recurrence is during the first two years after treatment, though the majority of patients won’t experience recurrence.
There’s currently no cure for metastatic breast cancer but with treatment to control it, many patients with the disease now live productive, fulfilling lives for years.
If your type of cancer is found to be sensitive to hormones, you may need hormone therapy, which interferes with the body’s ability to produce or use hormones, in order to slow or stop the growth of tumors.
Hormone therapy for cancer is not the same as hormone therapy for menopause.
Hormone therapy treatments include medications called selective estrogen receptor modulators , which block hormones from attaching to cancer cells aromatase inhibitors, which stop the body from making estrogen after menopause and Faslodex , which targets estrogen receptors for destruction.
Removal of the ovaries or medications that stop the ovaries from making estrogen may also be recommended.
Biologic targeted therapy uses drugs that can alter the behavior of breast cancer cells.
Immunotherapy uses medications to stimulate the body’s immune response in order to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. Immunotherapy may be used for some forms of breast cancer.
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Risk Factors You Can Change
Being physically active can help lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
- Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Being overweight or having obesity after menopause. Older women who are overweight or have obesity have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those at a normal weight.
- Taking hormones. Some forms of hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can raise risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Certain oral contraceptives also have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
- Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
- Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a womans risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.
Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.
How Does The Bebalanced Approach Differ From Treatment With The Synthetic Drug Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is the oldest and most-prescribed selective estrogen receptor modulator . Since its approval in 1998, tamoxifen has been used to treat millions of women and men diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. But is Tamoxifen your best choice when it comes to cancer treatment? Maybe not.
Listed on breastcancer.org are the long list of side effects Tamoxifen can cause. It states, Tamoxifens selective estrogen activation effects can cause some serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, and endometrial cancer.
The most common side effects of tamoxifen are:
- increased tumor or bone pain
This is because, unlike natural hormone balancing which increases progesterone levels to balance out estrogen, it only lowers estrogen levels. Estrogen is an important hormone that is helpful for numerous functions in the female body. It is only when it becomes out of balance that PMS and menopausal symptoms occur. This is precisely why the side effects of Tamoxifen mimic that of a hormone imbalance. 8,9
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Family History And Inherited Genes
Some people have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general population because other members of their family have had particular cancers. This is called a family history of cancer.
Having a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer increases the risk of breast cancer. This risk is higher when more close relatives have breast cancer, or if a relative developed breast cancer under the age of 50. But most women who have a close relative with breast cancer will never develop it.
Some people have an increased risk of breast cancer because they have an inherited gene fault. We know about several gene faults that can increase breast cancer risk and there are tests for some of them. Having one of these faulty genes means that you are more likely to get breast cancer than someone who doesnt. But it is not a certainty.
Two of these faulty genes are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These are not common. Only about 2 out of every hundred of breast cancers are related to a change in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Ionising radiation includes tests such as x-rays and CT scans and treatment such as radiotherapy.
Komen Advocates In Science Program
Komen established its Advocates in Science Program to build skilled, knowledgeable and broadlynetworked breast cancer research advocates and actively engage them throughout the research process, where they bring the patient voice to Komens and other organizationsresearch programs in all areas of breast cancer research.
Learn more about the Komen AIS program.
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Your Time Is Currency
Volunteering has the potential to make an enormous difference in peoples lives. The American Cancer Society is always looking for volunteers, but getting involved can also be on a more personal level.
If you know someone who is fighting breast cancer, driving to appointments, helping with shopping, and tidying their house can make a vast difference. If you can give someone the time and space from their responsibilities to focus on their recovery, even if it doesn’t make a tremendous difference to you, it could to them.
What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
CDCs Dr. Lisa Richardson explains the link between drinking alcoholic beverages and breast cancer risk in this video.
Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older.
Some women will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Most women have some risk factors, but most women do not get breast cancer. If you have breast cancer risk factors, talk with your doctor about ways you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer.
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Are There Complications Of Breast Cancer
Possible complications from breast cancer treatment include:
- Lymphoedema in some cases, removing your lymph nodes may cause swelling, discomfort and pain in the arm, shoulder and upper body.
- Early menopause certain treatments, especially chemotherapy and hormone therapy, can cause menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, joint pain, or a change in sex drive, to occur earlier than usual.
- Anxiety and depression research shows that anxiety and depression are common among women with breast cancer. One study found that up to 50 per cent of women with early breast cancer may experience anxiety and/or depression in the year after diagnosis.
How Can I Be Sure That My Cancer Will Be Detected Before It Has Spread
While you cant prevent breast cancer altogether, there are certain things you can do to reduce your risk of discovering it at an advanced stage. For example:
- Get routine mammograms. The American Cancer Society recommends having a baseline mammogram at age 35, and a screening mammogram every year after age 40.
- Examine your breasts every month after age 20. Youll become familiar with the contours and feel of your breasts and will be more alert to changes.
- Have your breasts examined by a healthcare provider at least once every three years after age 20, and every year after age 40. Clinical breast exams can detect lumps that mammograms may not find.
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Being Overweight Or Obese
Women who are overweight after their menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who are not overweight. Men also have an increased risk of breast cancer if they are overweight or obese. For both men and women, the risk increases as more weight is gained.
Body mass index is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out whether you are a healthy weight. For most adults, an ideal is between 18.5 to 24.9. Being overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. Obesity means being very overweight with a BMI of 30 or higher.
Try to keep a healthy weight by being physically active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women. The risk increases with each extra unit of alcohol per day. The number of units in a drink depends on the size of the drink, and the volume of alcohol.
The latest UK government guidelines advise drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Breast Cysts
While most breast cysts are noncancerous or benign, they can become large, uncomfortable and painful. Breast cysts are essentially fluid-filled sacs resulting from the glands being filled with fluids. They can develop in a woman regardless of age, but will typically start as the hormone levels fluctuate before the menstrual cycle starts. In any case, the tissue in the breasts is highly sensitive to these changes. Instead of the fluid being drained out of the body normally, this excess fluid results in the formation of cysts. While most cysts will naturally disappear on their own, you can use the following simple home remedies to reduce the size of your cyst or to get rid of the cyst altogether.
Hot Rice Compress
As one of the most simple, effective, and common home remedies, using a hot rice compress will relieve you of your cyst. Start by placing uncooked rice in a sock and then tie up each end in order to properly seal the contents. Warm the sock in either the microwave, oven, or a pan. Finally, apply the rice compress to your painful breasts for relief. Make sure you dont get the compress too hot because it can result in burns. The rice will naturally mold around the breast and the cyst, helping the cyst resolve its size. By using the compress on a regular basis, it will provide relief from the discomfort and pain associated with these masses. Most importantly, the hot rice compress will prevent the formation of the cyst.
Cabbage Leaf Application
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How To Check For Breast Cancer
Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
It’s important that every woman knows how to do a breast self-examination , as it can help in early detection of breast cancer, such as lumps, nipple changes, and more.
Being familiar with what is normal for you will make it easier to recognize any new developments. Furthermore, knowing what’s not normal for anyone can help prompt you to bring such issues to your doctor’s attention, should you notice them during your BSE.
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