You know hearing lots about young ladies being diagnosed with breast cancer can be disheartening and questions like what could be the reason keep springing up by the hour.
Let’s get to know more about this dreaded cancer. Meanwhile, this post is inspired by someone I know who beat breast cancer and permit me to say, I am happy and to everyone out there beating cancer, you are a star.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is cancer of the cells of the breast and it has been documented as leading cancer after Skin Cancer. This cancer is not exclusive to women alone, the Male gender can equally suffer from this cancer with high prevalence in women.
There are various types of breast cancer and it’s best one finds out the specific type to aid in proper treatment.
Just like every other cancer, it starts with abnormal growth of breast cells down to their rapid growth, accumulation and eventually forming Breast Lump with the ability to spread to other parts of the body.
Various factors are involved in the development and they include sumarringly environmental and genetic factors.
- Being female. Women are much more likely than men to develop breast cancer.
- Increasing age.
- A personal history of breast conditions.
- A personal history of breast cancer. Assuming a history of breast cancer in one breast has occurred, chances of breast cancer in the other breast are there, this being the reason why it’s advised to take out the two breasts in event of cancer in one.
- A family history of breast cancer. May be mother, sister or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly at a young age, one’s risk is increased. Still, the majority of people diagnosed with this cancer have no family history of the disease.
- Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed from parents to children. The most well-known gene mutations are referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
- Radiation exposure. This is mostly seen when an individual has received radiation treatments to the chest as a child or young adult, hence the risk is increased.
- Obesity. Being obese increases risk as well.
- Beginning menstrual cycle at a younger age. Beginning menses before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer according to researchers.
- Beginning menopause at an older age.
- Giving birth to the first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Having never been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than women who have had one or more pregnancies.
- Postmenopausal hormone therapy. Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer decreases when women stop taking these medications.
- Drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Someday I hope to blog about the dangers associated with alcohol to both sexes.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms are quite similar to those seen in Breast Lump and they are
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- A newly inverted nipple
- Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
- Redness or pitting of the skin over the breast, like the skin of an orange.
Diagnosing is quite similar to aforementioned
- Breast Examination
- Breast Ultrasound
- Breast MRI
This is basically surgery after it’s been confirmed to be cancerous.
It could either be
- Lumpectomy which is the removal of the cancer
- Mastectomy is the removal of entire breast tissue
- Removal of several or limited lymph nodes which aids to curtail its spread to nearby organs.
- Sometimes Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are utilized in breast cancer treatment.
While breast cancer can be treated and the survival rate especially when diagnosed early is high, it can equally be prevented by
- Routine breast cancer screening ie mammogram
- Exercise: Be physically active
- Choosing a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, cutting off all junk if possible.
- Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.
- Moderating alcohol intake level or abstaining from alcohol intake.
- Chemo prevention where one can take estrogen-blocking medications.
- Preventive surgery which is an option for ladies that are at risk of breast cancer having watched and observed your family history. This is because breast cancer is hereditary.
- Reduction in radiation exposure
- Limiting post menopausal hormone therapy.
- No smoking or quitting if one smokes.
Possible Home Remedies
Saw this somewhere and decided to add
- Grapes: Grapes contain a compound called proanthocyanidins that reduces the body’s estrogen production. These results in the effective treatment of breast cancer, as is evident from the clinical trials performed on several breast cancer patients. The study showed that the extract of grapes affects breast cancer tumors that are hormone-sensitive. A drug called doxorubicin was also found to enhance its anti-tumor activity by consuming grapes juice or extract everyday as a supplemental treatment.
- Green Tea: Prepare herbal green tea by boiling some amount of tea leaves in a glass of water till it reduces to half. This has anti-inflammatory properties and is very effective against breast cancer formation.
- Low-calorie diet: Research suggests that a low-calorie diet may slow down the spread.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is known for its health benefits. It also reduces the risk of cancer. A recent research study suggests that hydroxytyrosol, a major component of olive oil may help prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
- Soybean: This is one of the known dietary elements that are considered to be an absolute must for breast cancer patients. According to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, it contains phytoestrogens and several other entities that block cancerous cells from using estrogen. It also contains isoflavones needed for the prevention of cancer at its early stages. It can be taken either as sprouts or as a cooked vegetable.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D intake has been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. This can be found in milk, eggs, and cod liver oil, but not in cheese and yoghurt.
- Wheatgrass: This widely praised type of health grass is known to be advantageous to cancer patients. Wheatgrass, when taken in the form of juice or raw is shown to regress cancer cells’ growth as demonstrated by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. It has the ability to enhance the immune system, and rids your body of toxins and waste products.
This dreaded cancer kills quite fast, go for routine or encourage your spouse to go for a routine mammogram to stay alive.
A family without women isn’t always easy. Stay alive ladies!!!
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