There are many myths attached to breast cancer. Some think that any lump in breast is a breast
cancer but to the contrary most of them are benign. Similarly it was a popular belief earlier that breast-feeding decreases one’s risk of the cancer but that has been now found to be untrue. Some say that mammography makes the breast cancer widespread but it’s not true. Similarly there are many other myths, which need to be cleared in mind of the general mass for the proper detection and management of the tumor.
Breast cancer can be detected in an early stage if women are taught to self-examine their breast. In case of detection of any breast lump or of any slightest suspicion, mammography should be done to rule out any tumor. Mammography is a good tool to diagnose this type of cancer.
The incidence of breast cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. It is said that every 2-3 minutes one woman is diagnosed a breast cancer.
Although the cause is not fully understood but it is hypothesized that there are various factors such as genetic and environmental. The environmental factors are increased age, obesity, smoking and having the first child at late age.
The findings that denote a cancer are single, non-tender and firm to hard mass with ill-defined margins. This can be later confirmed by mammography and biopsy. After the cancer has been diagnosed staging is done to find out the best treatment option as well as the prognosis.
The management of breast cancer rests basically on two things. The first is the treatment and second is the counseling. The treatment can further be divided into three: medical, radiation, and surgery. The medical treatment consists of drugs such as tamoxifen, which is an anti estrogen, aromatase inhibitors such as aminoglutethimide and monoclonal antibodies such as trastuzumab. But similar to other drugs they have their own side effects profile. The side effects associated with tamoxifen are increased vaginal bleeding, endometrial cancer and cataracts. The aromatase inhibitors have the side effects of leg cramps, jaundice and weight gain while the monoclonal antibodies may cause sterility or certain birth abnormalities.
Generally the radiation and surgery are the modalities, which are needed for the treatment to ward off the body of the cancerous growth.
This is one of the most important parts of the treatment both before and after the surgery. The patients are to be taught that this is only another disease, which has treatment available, and persons can lead a normal life after that.
Latest research is being done on both the surgery and the medicine. For the surgery, surgeons are trying to find out the best way of surgery so that post surgery the patients have minimal disabilities. Similar medicines with lesser side effects are being researched.
Breast Cancer, what you should know about Testing and Diagnosis
The chance, that breast cancer is found early, it is more likely to be treated successfully. Checking for cancer in a person who does not have any symptoms is called screening.
Screening -Tests for breast cancer include, among others, clinical breast exams and mammograms and there is a very important base in the health-service for women.
The doctor or other health care professional can check the breasts and underarms for lumps, during a clinical breast exam, which could be a sign of breast cancer.
“The mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast and that can often detect cancers that there are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel them. “
A lot of studies show's that mammography screening has reduced the number of deaths from breast cancer. But also, some other studies have not shown a clear benefit from mammography. So you can't get a 100% results!
But, to day there are no other ways to check out the breast cancer with a good percentage. Concerning that, the Scientists are continuing to examine the level of benefit that mammography can produce. The National Cancer Institute recommends the following:
• you are a woman in your 40s, you should have mammography screening every one to two years.
• you are a woman age 50 and older, you should have mammography screening every one to two years.
• If you are a woman who is at higher than average risk for breast cancer, you should seek expert medical advice about whether to begin screening before age 40 and how often to have screening mammography.
What will be this "more testing"? The doctor will call it a “Biopsy”. The procedure which is
needed is to take a small amount of fluid or tissue must remove from the breast to make a diagnosis. A doctor might perform fine needle aspiration, a needle or core Biopsy, or a surgical
This tissue goes to in the lab, this tissue will be checked on the pathologist examines under the microscope and the results let him see if any of the cells are cancerous.
In the last time, the Doctors are studying another new type of surgical biopsy that removes less breast tissue. This new type is called an image-guided needle breast biopsy, or stereotactic biopsy.
With this new system - If approved for general use, we can await, that the result's are much more efficient and clearly, so that the doctors would become an important surgical tool.
The last technical review - With the magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and ultrasound we
have two other techniques which the researchers think might detect breast cancer with greater accuracy and with lower risk!
Other new techniques used to find cancer include a new way of reading mammograms called digital mammography.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, and ultrasound are two other techniques which researchers think might detect breast cancer with greater accuracy.