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  • Paridhi Rao

Breast Cancer Month


Every year, October is considered to be breast cancer awareness month. So what is breast cancer? Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women. It can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women.


Types of Breast Cancer

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

  • Invasive breast cancer (ILC or IDC)

  • Triple-negative breast cancer

  • Inflammatory breast cancer

  • Paget disease of the breast, etc


Certain factors that can increase your risk of getting breast cancer:-

  • Being female - women are more likely to develop breast cancer as compared to men

  • Increasing age - risk of getting breast cancer increases with age

  • Beginning your period at a younger age - Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer

  • Having your first child at an older age - Women who give birth to their first child after the age of 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer

  • 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


Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:-

  • 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


Treatment


  • Exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week

  • Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer

  • Become familiar with your breasts through breast self-exam for breast awareness. Women may choose to become familiar with their breasts by occasionally inspecting their breasts during a breast self-exam for breast awareness

  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this

  • Choose a healthy diet. Women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer


Ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer

  • Preventive medications (chemoprevention). Estrogen-blocking medications, such as selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors, reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a high risk of the disease.

  • Preventive surgery. Women with a very high risk of breast cancer may choose to have their healthy breasts surgically removed.


Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.


 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470

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