Hey, guys and girls! Here is another silent killer condition that affects one of the attractive and sensitive parts of the female body. The breast!!
Yes! It is so vital when it comes to reproduction and love-making you know!!
Yeah, it’s for feeding organ for the newborns as well as a pleasurable zone to reach orgasms when having sex. The men also fancy teasing, sucking and playing with it during love-making.
The breast starts to develop when the young lady is growing there it serves as an indicator for puberty.
The human breast also known as the mammary gland is associated with many benign health conditions like fibrocystic breast change, nipple discharge, trauma, breast pain, breast abscesses and intraductal papillomas with breast cancer the most common malignant condition that haems the breast.
Now let’s begin…
WHAT IS BREAST CANCER?
Breast cancer is referred to as a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast. It affects 2.1 million women each year being the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among women. In 2018, it was observed that 627,000 women died from breast cancer – that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women. While breast cancer rates are higher among women in more developed regions, rates are increasing in nearly every region globally. (WHO,2019)
TYPES OF BREAST CANCER
Actually, there are two main types of breast cancer depending on the part of the breast where if the first affects. Here we go;
#1 Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes or ducts that move the milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancers are of this type.
#2 Lobular carcinoma starts in the part of the breast called lobules that produce milk.
Please, the males beware of this! Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, just that it’s far common in women. After skin cancer, it’s the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the USA. It affects one in eight women during their lives.
Causes of Breast Cancer
The actual cause of breast cancer has still not be discovered. There is said to be unknown. But there are several factors that subject an individual to be at risk of this life-threatening malignant tumours.
Here are some notable factor risk factors;
- Age and gender – Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. Most advanced breast cancer cases are found in women over age 50.
- Race- White women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Family history of breast cancer
- Genes- The most common Gene defects are found in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Gene.
- Menstrual cycle- Women who got their period early before 12 years or went through menopause late after 55 years
- Alcohol use
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) especially during the menopausal stage.
- Women who have never had children or who had them only after age 30
Hello my ladies, let’s take note of the following sides and symptoms so that we can detect cancer as early as possible. The first noticeable sign is breast lump in the breast that is hard, has uneven edges and usually does not hurt. Note: know how it feels when palpating normal beast structures. Most breast cancer is noticed by this strange lump.
- Changes in the size, shape or feel of the breast or nipple
- Discharge from the nipple, may be bloody, clear to yellow, green and look like pus.
Symptoms of advanced breast cancer may include:
- Bone pain
- Breast pain or discomfort
- Skin ulcers
- Swelling of one arm(next to the breast with cancer)
- Weight loss
Two most commonly used screening approaches include a physical examination by a qualified healthcare provider and mammography, these two can offer early detection while eliminating other probable lesions that can equally affect the breast. But then other diagnostic tests that can be carried out are as follows
# Breast MRI
# Breast ultrasound
# Breast biopsy
# CT scan of the breast
STAGING OF BREAST CANCER
Now breast cancer as in any other cancer undergo a lot of growth phase and each stage comes with a specific extent of metastasis or spread. These phases are termed as stages.
Staging of any cancer is really important because it helps the health care team to identify and recommend the best treatment available, offer a prognosis and compare the results of various treatment regimens.
Stage I__ Tumors are less than 2cm in diameter and confined to the breast.
Stage II__ Tumors are less than 5cm, or tumours are smaller with mobile axillary lymph node involvement.
Stage IIIa__ Tumors are greater than 5cm or tumours are accompanied by enlarged axillary lymph nodes fixed to one another or to adjacent tissue
Stage IIIb__ More advanced lesions with satellite nodules, fixation to the skin or chest wall, ulceration, oedema, or with supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodal involvement
Stage IV__ all tumours with distant metastasis
Other classification methods include Histopathology, the grading system, receptor status and DNA assay.
In general, breast cancer treatment depends on various factors like the extent of spread and prognosis of the situation. Though surgery is the most used approach multi-treatment approaches like chemotherapy and radiotherapy is needed.
Medicines used in the neoadjuvant cancer therapy includes hormones blocking agents, chemotherapy and monoclonal agents.
Radiation therapy is also used to destroy cancerous tissue.
the main goal of surgical treatment is to eradicate the local presence of the cancer
Surgical procedures used in the treatment of breast cancer include Breast-conserving procedures
* Wide excision
* Partial mastectomy
* Segmental mastectomy
Non-breast conserving procedures-
* Axillary lymph node dissection
* Total / simple mastectomy
* Modified radical mastectomy
* Radical mastectomy.