Can I Be Screened For Breast Cancer
BreastScreen Australia offers a free screening program for women at risk of breast cancer:
- If youre aged between 50 and 74 years, youll be invited to access a free mammograms every 2 years. This is because nearly 4 in 5 breast cancers occur in women aged over 50.
- If youre aged between 40 and 49 years or over 75 years, you are also eligible but wont be contacted about it.
- Women under 40 years of age are usually not offered breast screening because the density of their breast tissue makes it harder to detect cancers on mammograms.
Younger women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or women with breast cancer diagnosed in the last 5 years may also benefit from breast screening. For more details, call BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50 or visit their website.
Understanding Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
Several breast cancer risk assessment tools have been developed to help people estimate their chance of developing breast cancer. The best studied is the Gail model, which is available on the National Cancer Institutes website at www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool. After you enter some personal and family information, including your race/ethnicity, the tool provides you with a 5-year and lifetime estimate of the risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Because it only asks for information about breast cancer in first-degree family members and does not include their ages at diagnosis, the tool works best at estimating risk in people without a strong inherited breast cancer risk. In addition, it cannot be used by patients who have a personal history of breast cancer to determine their risk of developing a new breast cancer. For people with a personal history of breast cancer or a strong family history of breast cancer, other ways of determining their risk of breast cancer may work better. People with a strong family history of breast cancer risk should consider talking to a genetic counselor.
It is important to talk with your doctor about how to estimate your personal risk of breast cancer and to discuss risk-reducing or prevention options .
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.
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Taking Charge: Who Gets Breast Cancer
There are no rules about who gets this disease. The two most significant risk factors are being a woman, and increasing age. However, there are other factors that may increase your risk, and some that may lower it.
The development of breast cancer may be influenced by factors that affect the levels of female hormones that circulate in your body throughout life. These factors include the age when you began your menstrual period, the number of times you have been pregnant, your age at first pregnancy, whether you have breastfed your children, and your level of physical activity.
Who Is Mainly Affected By Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, second only to skin cancer. Its most likely to affect women over the age of 50.
Though rare, men can also develop breast cancer. Approximately 2,600 men develop male breast cancer every year in the United States, making up less than 1% of all cases.
Transgender women are more likely to develop breast cancer compared to cisgender men. Additionally, transgender men are less likely to develop breast cancer compared to cisgender women.
What age does breast cancer occur?
Breast cancer is most often diagnosed in adults over the age of 50, but it can occur at any age.
What race is most affected by breast cancer?
Overall, women who are non-Hispanic white have a slightly higher chance of developing breast cancer than women of any other race or ethnicity. Women who are non-Hispanic Black are almost as likely as non-Hispanic white women to develop the disease. Statistically, women who are Asian, Hispanic or Native American are the least likely to develop breast cancer.
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A Family History Of Breast Cancer
Having someone in your family with breast cancer doesnt automatically mean your own risk is increased. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk.
However, a small number of women and men have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history.
Causes Of Breast Cancer And Symptoms
Now that you know what exactly breast cancer is, you must also know the breast cancer causes. This is what we term as the risk factors. It is very important to know the major causes of breast cancer that everyone ignores. This is bound to help you take precautionary measures and protect yourself.
In fact, you may also make suggestions to close ones on what may potentially lead to breast cancer.
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Stage 2 Breast Cancer
- Stage 2A. The tumor is smaller than 2 cm and has spread to 1 to 3 nearby lymph nodes, or its between 2 and 5 cm and hasnt spread to any lymph nodes.
- Stage 2B. The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes, or its larger than 5 cm and hasnt spread to any lymph nodes.
Caroline Myss: The 4th Chakra Connection
A leading authority in holistic health, and author of many books about the human energy field, Dr Caroline Myss makes a correlation between the bodys energy chakras and the stresses that can disturb the flow of life energy, leading to illness.
- There are 7 chakras, starting from the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. Each chakra supplies life energy to its surrounding organs.
- The chest/breast area is served by the 4th or heart chakra. The heart chakra is associated with love, forgiveness and compassion qualities of the heart.
- Breast cancer is caused by a disturbance in the energy flow in this chakra.
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What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
There are several different types of breast cancer, including:
Can cancer form in other parts of the breast?
When we say breast cancer, we usually mean cancers that form in milk ducts or lobules. Cancers can also form in other parts of your breast, but these types of cancer are less common. These can include:
- Angiosarcoma. This rare type of cancer begins in the cells that make up the lining of blood or lymph vessels.
- Phyllodes tumors. Starting in the connective tissue, phyllodes tumors are rare. Theyre usually benign , but they can be malignant in some cases.
What Causes Breast Cancer
Many different things can affect your chances of getting breast cancer.
Theres no single cause. It results from a combination of the way we live our lives, our genes and our environment.
We cant predict who will get breast cancer. And we cant confidently say what might have caused someones breast cancer.
There are, however, some things you can do to lower your chances of getting it.
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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.
What Are The Breast Cancer Stages
Staging helps describe how much cancer is in your body. Its determined by several factors, including the size and location of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to other areas of your body. The basic breast cancer stages are:
- Stage 0. The disease is non-invasive. This means it hasnt broken out of your breast ducts.
- Stage I. The cancer cells have spread to the nearby breast tissue.
- Stage II. The tumor is either smaller than 2 centimeters across and has spread to underarm lymph nodes or larger than 5 centimeters across but hasnt spread to underarm lymph nodes. Tumors at this stage can measure anywhere between 2 to 5 centimeters across, and may or may not affect the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage III. At this stage, the cancer has spread beyond the point of origin. It may have invaded nearby tissue and lymph nodes, but it hasnt spread to distant organs. Stage III is usually referred to as locally advanced breast cancer.
- Stage IV. The cancer has spread to areas away from your breast, such as your bones, liver, lungs or brain. Stage IV breast cancer is also called metastatic breast cancer.
Breast Exam By Your Doctor
The same guidelines for self-exams provided above are true for breast exams done by your doctor or other healthcare professional. They wont hurt you, and your doctor may do a breast exam during your annual visit.
If youre having symptoms that concern you, its a good idea to have your doctor do a breast exam. During the exam, your doctor will check both of your breasts for abnormal spots or signs of breast cancer.
Your doctor may also check other parts of your body to see if the symptoms youre having could be related to another condition.
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.
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Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Everyone wants to know what they can do to lower their risk of breast cancer. Some of the factors associated with breast cancer being a woman, your age, and your genetics, for example can’t be changed. Other factors being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking cigarettes, and eating unhealthy food can be changed by making choices. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options possible, you can empower yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.
The known risk factors for breast cancer are listed below. Click on each link to learn more about the risk factor and ways you can minimize it in your own life. If a factor can’t be changed , you can learn about protective steps you can take that can help keep your risk as low as possible.
The Mystery Of Breast Cancer
For most of the common cancers, a major cause has been identified: smoking causes 90% of lung cancer worldwide, hepatitis viruses cause most liver cancer, H pylori bacteria causes stomach cancer, Human papillomavirus causes almost all cases of cervical cancer, colon cancer is largely explained by physical activity, diet and family history.
But for breast cancer, there is no smoking gun. It is almost unique among the common cancers of the world in that there is not a known major cause there is no consensus among experts that proof of a major cause has been identified.
Yet, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women worldwide. The risk is not equally distributed around the globe, though. Women in North America and Northern Europe have long had five times the risk of women in Africa and Asia, though recently risk has been increasing fast in Africa and Asia for unknown reasons.
Was it something I ate? Supermarket aisle via www.shutterstock.com.
Is Diet To Blame?
Up until about 20 years ago, we thought it was all about diet. As people abandon their local food sources and begin to eat highly processed foods with lots of fats, the hypothesis went, breast cancer was thought to be more likely to develop.
This hypothesis was logical because when researchers analyzed countries’ per capita fat consumption and breast cancer mortality rates, they found a strong correlation. In addition, rats fed a high-fat diet are more prone to breast tumors.
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Social Injustices Lead To Unequal Exposures
Just as environmental factors have been largely ignored as possible risk factors for breast cancer, so have the complex issues of social inequities political, economic and racial injustices. The extent and type of toxins were exposed to often depends on where we live and work. Poorer communities both urban and rural shoulder an unequal share of the burden.
The social determinants of breast cancer likely contribute significantly to the development and mortality rate of the disease, and these involuntary factors are shown to be of greater impact on women of color and low-income women, since these populations are at greater risk for exposure to toxins and social injustice-related stresses.
Low-income women are also less likely to have access to healthy foods and quality healthcare. Compelling research and simple intuition tells us that true reduction of both breast cancer incidence and death from the disease requires a better understanding of how the complex tangle of the environmental and social factors, genetics and personal behavior results in different outcomes for different ethnic and economic groups.
Risks For Breast Cancer
A risk factor is something that increases the risk of developing cancer. It could be a behaviour, substance or condition. Most cancers are the result of many risk factors. But sometimes breast cancer develops in women who dont have any of the risk factors described below.
Most breast cancers occur in women. The main reason women develop breast cancer is because their breast cells are exposed to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones, especially estrogen, are linked with breast cancer and encourage the growth of some breast cancers.
Breast cancer is more common in high-income, developed countries such as Canada, the United States and some European countries. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Breast cancer mostly occurs in women between 50 and 69 years of age.
Your Race And Ethnicity
White and Black women have the highest risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latina womens breast cancer rates fall in between two major groupings while American Indian and Alaska Native women are on the lowest end of risk.
While white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than Black women overall, they tend to be diagnosed at an older age . Black women have the highest breast cancer rates among women under age 40. Black women make up a higher percentage of triple-negative breast cancer cases.
What to do: If your race or ethnicity places you at higher risk, make sure you follow all screening recommendations to improve your chances of catching cancer early.
The Use Of Drugs To Suppress The Brcas Genes
There have been manufactured drugs for people who have traces of these genes after test to take to prevent these genes from activating. One of the most commonly drug used in the orthodox form of healing today is the Tamoxiten. Another recommendation is by mastectomy .
The function of this drug and its related is to lower the production of estrogen which is known to be associated with breast cancer.
I agree to the fact that knowing your status to these types of genes are very good, but using the above mentioned processes as the prevention means is also another subject for discussion for another time for the sake of what we are discussing now.
But studies have shown that a substantial number of people who use these types of drugs end up getting other forms of diseases such as stroke, uterine cancer,cataracts,deep vein thrombosis, other breast related problems etc. This is just like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Yet it is believed that its positives outweighs the negatives. I am not the one to tell you that. It is up to your conscience to determine it.
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Causes Of Breast Cancer
When breast cells grow abnormally, they will start to divide at a more rapid pace than healthy cells and grow to become a lump or a mass. Once this happens, breast cancer occurs. The cancer will typically develop in the milk-producing ducts, which is called invasive ductal carcinoma. There are various factors that could increase ones risk of developing breast cancer, such as lifestyle, hormonal, and environmental factors. Certain genes can also pose as risk factors to develop inherited breast cancer. Doctors believe that 5% to 10% of breast cancers can be attributed to gene mutations that have been passed on through family.