What Is Breast Cancer? A Guide For All Women
Cancer is the group of cells with an abnormal rate of cell division and multiplication. These cells have a tendency to spread to different body organs and tissues via a process known as metastasis. Cancer occurs when changes, called mutations, take place in genes that regulate cell growth. A breast cancer, as the name suggests, is a type of cancer which develops in the breast cells. Although the problem can affect both females as well as males, it is quite rare in the case of the latter. As per the best doctors in Pune, the reason behind this is the difference in the physical build-up of both the sexes.
Doctors specializing in the best oncology treatment in Pune suggest that breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in women. Typically, the cancer forms in the lobulesor ducts of the breast. A lobule is a gland which is responsible for milk production while the ducts form the pathway to bring the milk from lobules to the nipples. Apart from this, there is a probability that cancer mightoriginate in the fatty connective tissues of the breasts as well. The affected cancer cells often travel to different parts of the breast tissue and later affect the lymph nodes under the arm. Lymph nodes formulate the primary pathway which allows these cancer cells to travel to various parts of the body.
What are the symptoms that you need to look out for?
Let’s take a look at some of the major symptoms of breast cancer which should not be taken for granted. In the initial stage, the symptoms might not be clearly evident and the tumour might be too small to notice, but abnormality might be visible in a mammogram which is performed at the best hospital in Pune. You might also feel a lump which was not there previously, although it is pertinent to note thatnot all lumps are cancerous.
There can be various different types of breast cancer each differentiated by the site of origin and their respective symptoms. Some common symptoms associated with breast cancer include:
- Pain in the breast
- Pitted red skin all over the breast
- Swelling in some or all the parts of the breast
- A breast lump or tissue thickening which might feel different from other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
- Bloody discharge from nipples
- A sudden change in the shape and size of the breast with no specific reason.
- A lump or swelling under the arms
- Peeling, flaking skin around the nipples of breasts.
If any one or two of the above-mentioned symptoms are present, it does not necessarily mean that the person has breast cancer. It is important to keep paranoia at bay when it comes to any such disease. A good step would be to consult a doctor in case of doubt. It is always advised to seek medical assistance in such situations. In fact, you can find the best cancer hospital in Pune where you can get yourself evaluated.
Staging of breast cancer
Breast cancer is usually divided into two stages on the basis of the size of the tumour and the extent to which it has spread. To find the stage of cancer, doctors need to know whether
- Cancer is invasive or non-invasive
- Evaluate the size of the tumour
- Determine if the cancer cells have reached the lymph nodes
- Assess whether cancer has spread to nearby tissues or not.
Usually, a mammogram is recommended during the initial stages along with breast ultrasound which helps the doctors to evaluate and assess the internal structures even better. In cases of doubt, doctors might suggest an MRI and breast biopsy.
For treating breast cancer, it is important to determine the stage. Several types of surgical options are available to treat breast cancer, such as lumpectomy, mastectomy, axillary lymph node dissection, sentinel node biopsy, and contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. High-intensityradiation therapy can be used to killcancer cells. Chemotherapy can also be used to target cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy alone may prove to be helpful, however, some patients might also require it as a side treatment along with surgery.
The best way to avoid such distress is to be cautious and look at the early signs and symptoms and seek regular medical help.