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Key Information About Breast Cancer

Updated on June 7, 2019
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Overview

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. It is the most frequent cancer among women.

Almost 30 percent of primary breast tumors metastasize to other organs, with bone among the most frequent metastatic site.

Breast cancer is impacting 2.1 million women each year. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer.

Diagram Showing Ductal Carcinoma in Situ

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

Causes

Normal breast cells become cancerous because of mutations in the DNA, and although some of these are inherited, most DNA changes related to breast cells are acquired during one's life.

The risk increases with age. At 20 years, the chance of developing breast cancer in the next decade is 0.6 percent. By the age of 70 years, this figure goes up to 3.84 percent.

Women who have inherited genetic changes to certain genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at higher risk of breast cancer.

Regularly drinking alcohol is associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Long-term use of estrogen and progesterone increases the risk of the disease.

Breast cancer cells can have receptors - which hormones attach to and which allow the tumour to grow.

Symptoms

Lump/swelling in the breast, change in skin color, skin dimpling, change in size or shape, fluid discharge from nipples, inverted nipples, and constant pain in breast or armpit are some known symptoms of breast cancer.

Normal (Left) Versus Cancerous (Right) Mammography Image

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Treatment

Most women with breast cancer will have some type of surgery to remove the tumor. For those with early-stage breast cancer, mastectomy may be one treatment option.

Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), in which only the tumor is removed from the breast, may be another option.

Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to target and kill cancer cells. The goal is to kill any cancer that might be left in or around the breast.

Adding ribociclib to hormone therapy significantly increases the overall survival in relatively younger women with advanced breast cancer.

Ribociclib, marketed by Novartis as Kisqali, is one of three FDA-approved cyclin inhibitors,which block proteins which control cell.

For those who have undergone successful treatment for breast cancer, endocrine therapy — better known as hormone therapy — is often the go-to recommendation to ensure the cancer does not return.

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Prevention

Ensure that your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Do yoga daily. Eat healthy, natural food. Avoid alcohol. Do not smoke.

Breastfeed. Do not take birth control pills. Avoid post-menopausal hormones and medicines like tamoxifen and raloxifene.

Bhekasana Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

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