Our body is made up of cells. Cells grow, die and are replaced with new ones but when a cell begins to grow out of proportion, multiplies itself without dying, groups together it becomes cancer.
Cancer is an abnormal growth like tumour that grow in the different part of a human’s body. In this case, we are looking that the cancer that grows on the breast. Breast cancer is more common to women than men although in rare cases some men do come down with breast cancer. Breast cancer can affect one, both part breast and even spread to other parts of the body.
What predisposes some people to cancer than others?
The following factors makes certain people prone to cancer than others.
- Family history: Some women come from a family where a family member has had it. This is a risk factor because of the connection in terms of DNA. What may have led to cancer in the other family member may reoccur.
- Age: The higher the age the higher the chances of having breast cancer. As women get older, they are more at risk for breast cancer. Teenagers, women in their twenties and thirties are less likely to get breast cancer. This is not to say there are no exceptions to the rule.
- Food and lifestyle: If you tend to eat a lot of fatty food, drink alcohol, smoke with no exercise habit then there’s a higher chance you will develop breast cancer.
- Exposure to Radiation: exposure to radiation treatments on your chest as a child increases your risk of breast cancer
- Obesity: Being overweight increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Beginning your period at a younger age. When a child begins her period before she is 12 years old it increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Beginning menopause at an older age: If menopause began at an older age, are more likely to develop breast cancer.
- Having your first child at an older age: Giving birth to your first child after age 30 increase the risk.
- No pregnancy: Women who have never been pregnant have a higher chance of getting breast cancer than those who have had one or more pregnancies.
- Hormone therapy medications: Women who take postmenopausal hormone therapy medications are more likely to have breast cancer and this risk reduces when they stop.
What Are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
Normal a woman’s breast has tissues so that when you touch it looks like a lump which should be painless. But there are clear signs of the likely presence of breast cancer.
- A thick breast lump that feels different from the other surrounding tissue
- The size, shape or appearance of the breast changes
- Dimpling of the skin around the breast
- The nipple of the breast becomes inverted
- The areola of the breast begins to peel, scale, or flake
- Redness of the skin over your breast.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
Breast cancer treatment depends on the extent of the spread of the cancer tissue. Usually doctors use any of these methods to treat breast cancer.
- Lumpectomy: This involves the removal of the cancerous tumour through surgery. This is done when the cancerous tissue is small and its discovered early in one part of breast.
- Mastectomy: This involves the removal of the entire breast that is affected because the cancerous tissue has spread into other parts of the body.
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy: This is the use of high energy X ray to kill the cancerous cells after lumpectomy and mastectomy has been carried out.
How do you prevent breast cancer?
Doctors, scientist and researchers are still working hard to find a cure to breast cancer . While that is still ongoing there are ways you can help yourself to prevent it from occurring and to nip it in the bud early if it occurs.
- Have a regular mammograms check and monthly breast self-exams
- Avoid alcohol
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce postmenopausal hormone therapy
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Choose a healthy diet and lifestyle