With October being observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, much awareness is being dawned through education and research by thousands of organizations worldwide to fight this disease that claims many lives every year.
Breast cancer is most dreadful, accounting for 30 percent of female cancers and 14 percent of deaths due to cancer. Breast cancer has been known since ages. But women in the past,hesitated to accept the probability of having the disease and more importantly lacked knowledge about the course of illness. This led to the late disclosure of initial alarming symptoms. However, morbidity and mortality have declined in the recent years owing to increasing awareness about the importance of early detection through screening techniques and availability of advanced treatment options.
Breast is made up of three main parts namely lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules are the milk producing glands. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. The connective tissue ( fibrous and fatty tissue) serves to hold everything together.
Most breast cancers begin in the ducts or lobules, where the cells of the breast proliferate beyond control. When cancer cells from the breast spread elsewhere in the body through blood/lymphatics, it is said to have metastasized/widespread.
Also Read: Stop Breast Cancer before it starts!!!
Risk factors involved are classified as follows:
1. Non Modifiable(Factors that cannot be changed) :
2. Modifiable(Factors that can be changed):
Tips to reduce the risk:
Current recommendations are to screen women annually between ages 45 to 54.From then on, screening every two years is suggested.Women at high risk of developing breast cancer such as those with a positive family history and with gene mutations should be screened earlier starting at age 30.
Eventhough screening techniques cannot prevent , they serve to identify cancer in the initial stages , when it is easier to treat.
Abnormal findings detected through screening techniques doesn’t necessarily point to the diagnosis of breast cancer but need further evaluation by the following methods as advised.
Breast ultrasound : To look at internal breast structure as part of detailed evaluation of the abnormalities detected through screening.
Biopsy: Removal of tissue or fluid from the suspected area and sent for pathological examination and interpretation.
So, Beware and Be Aware!!!
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