Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects approximately 12% of women in their lifetime, making it the most common cancer type in females. It usually starts as a tumor in the breasts. While it is rare in males, breast cancer can also affect men. Typically, the symptoms of breast cancer are not visible in the early stages and can be detected by using screening mammograms. Once detected, treatment is always necessary.

Types Of Breast Cancer

While there are many types of breast cancer, they are divided into two main groups: invasive and noninvasive. Invasive cancer is the type that spreads to other parts of the breast, while noninvasive or in situ, is cancer that hasn’t spread from the tissue it originally started.

Breast Cancer Stages

Breast cancer is divided into different stages depending upon the size of the tumor or tumors, or by the extent of the spread. To categorize breast cancer, a doctor will require to know:

• How small or big the tumor is
• Whether the cancer is noninvasive or invasive
• If it has spread to the surrounding organs or tissues
• Whether or not the lymph nodes are involved

Breast cancer can be divided into 5 stages from 0 to 5.

Signs and Symptoms

Breast cancer doesn’t usually cause any symptoms or signs. However, it can produce detectable and visible changes in your breasts in some instances. Some breast cancer signs can be similar to those of other medical conditions, and it’s critical to go for a thorough medical examination if you notice the signs. They include the following:

• A lump
• Breast pain
• Yellow or milky discharge
• Nipple changes
• Change in appearance in the shape or size of your breast
• Itching
• Skin changes

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

In addition to doing a breast exam, your doctor will also conduct a thorough physical examination to determine whether the symptoms are due to breast cancer or if it’s as a result of a benign breast tumor. A doctor may also request you to undergo more diagnostic tests to know what’s causing those symptoms. There are two tests that are used in diagnosing breast cancer and they are:

• Mammogram
• Ultrasound

Breast Cancer Treatment

The stage your breast cancer is at, the extent of the spread, and the size all play a huge part in the kind of treatment that you will need. Treatment options include surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and the use of medications.

Conclusion

Breast cancer usually starts in the breast as a tumor. It can remain in the original tissue or spread to the nearby organs and tissues. While women are the most at risk, it can sometimes also affect men. Mammogram and ultrasound tests are done to diagnose the condition. If the tests are positive, you can be treated by a range of options including surgery to remove the cancerous cells, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy among other options