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Understanding & Awareness about Breast Cancer

According to health agencies, breast cancer is rapidly spreading over the world due to carelessness and unawareness about breast cancer disease. There are lot of reasons that we victimize this disease very easily. Breast Cancer is going to be the 2nd major disease in America. Here we are going to present awareness, symptoms, types, risk factors, fears, treatment and side effects of breast cancer. You can manage all of your fears by yourself if you act upon all the instruction given below:

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Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Initially, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small for you to feel or to cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own. Often, an abnormal area turns up on a screening mammogram (X-ray of the breast), which leads to further testing.

In some cases, however, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. So it's important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.

According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:

  • swelling of all or part of the breast
  • skin irritation or dimpling
  • breast pain
  • nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • a nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • a lump in the underarm area

These changes also can be signs of less serious conditions that are not cancerous, such as an infection or a cyst. It’s important to get any breast changes checked out promptly by a doctor.

 

Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer can begin in different areas of the breast — the ducts, the lobules, or in some cases, the tissue in between. In this section, you can learn about the different types of breast cancer, including non-invasive, invasive, recurrent, and metastatic breast cancers. You can also read about breast cancer in men.

  • DCIS — Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
  • IDC — Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
  • IDC Type: Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast
  • IDC Type: Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast
  • IDC Type: Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast
  • IDC Type: Papillary Carcinoma of the Breast
  • IDC Type: Cribriform Carcinoma of the Breast
  • ILC — Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer
  • LCIS — Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
  • Male Breast Cancer
  • Paget's Disease of the Nipple
  • Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast
  • Recurrent and Metastatic Breast Cancer

 Breast Cancer Risk and Risk Factors

You may be familiar with the statistic that says 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer. Many people misinterpret this to mean that, on any given day, they and the women they know have a 1-in-8 risk of developing the disease. That’s simply not true.

In reality, about 1 in 8 women in the United States — 12%, or about 12 out of every 100 — can expect to develop breast cancer over the course of an entire lifetime. In the U.S., an average lifetime is about 80 years. So, it’s more accurate to say that 1 in 8 women in the U.S. who reach the age of 80 can expect to develop breast cancer. In each decade of life, the risk of getting breast cancer is actually lower than 12% for most women.

People tend to have very different ways of viewing risk. For you, a 1-in-8 lifetime risk may seem like a high likelihood of getting breast cancer. Or you may turn this around and reason that there is a 7-in-8, or 87.5%, chance you will never get breast cancer, even if you live to age 80. How you view risk often depends on your individual situation — for example, whether you or many women you know have had breast cancer, or you have reason to believe you are at higher-than-normal risk for the disease — and your usual way of looking at the world.

Even though studies have found that women have a 12% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, your individual risk may be higher or lower than that. Individual risk is affected by many different factors, such as family history, reproductive history, lifestyle, environment, and others.

So many women you know may have had breast cancer — friends and neighbors, coworkers, relatives. It seems as if every time you turn around, breast cancer is being talked about in the newspaper or on TV. You may be fearful of developing breast cancer for the first time or of receiving a diagnosis after a mammogram or other testing. If you’ve had breast cancer, you may be fearful of a possible recurrence or even of the possibility that breast cancer could take your life.

Even though you may have some of these fears, you are not necessarily going to get breast cancer. If you have had breast cancer before, it doesn’t mean that the cancer will recur. Still, it's normal to have concerns about a disease that you hear about and see around you relatively often — and that you may have experienced yourself or through a loved one. Don't let the discussion of fear in this section feed into your own fears.

The fear of breast cancer is unlike any other — psychologists and other experts agree on that. The fear can take many different forms, depending upon where you are in the breast cancer experience. Understand that many of your fears are shared by others. While fears are normal, they are uncomfortable to live with. We'll help you figure out how you can manage fear so you can focus on living a happy and healthy life.

 Treatment & Side Effects

Planning Your Treatment 

What types of treatment are available, the most likely sequence of treatments, treatment options by cancer stage, and fitting treatment into your schedule.

 Getting a Second Opinion

Reasons for getting a second opinion about your treatment plan, how to go about getting one, and what to do once you’ve got it.

 Surgery

Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), mastectomy, and lymph node dissection, and what to expect from each. Also included: Prophylactic surgery and breast reconstruction.

 Chemotherapy

How chemotherapy works, who should get it, different types and combinations, and side effects and how to manage them.

 Radiation Therapy

How radiation therapy works, who it's for, advantages, side effects, and what to expect when you get it.

 Hormonal Therapy

The link between hormones and breast cancer and how different groups of drugs — including ERDs, SERMs, and aromatase inhibitors — can affect that link. Also covered: Side effects of hormonal therapies.

 Targeted Therapies

How they work, who should get them, how they're given, side effects, and major studies.

 Complementary & Holistic Medicine

How complementary medicine techniques such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga could be a helpful addition to your regular medical treatment. Includes research on complementary techniques and ways to find qualified practitioners.

 Drugs for Treatment and Risk Reduction

A reference list of drugs used to treat and reduce the risk of breast cancer, including how they work, to whom they are typically given, and side effects.

 Treatments for Pain

Ways to treat cancer- and treatment-related pain, including types of medications and tips on talking to your doctors about pain.

 Treatment Side Effects

A reference list of side effects and ways to manage them.

 Lymphedema

All about lymphedema, including who is at risk, what to watch out for, how to reduce risk of lymphedema flare-ups, and how to find a lymphedema therapist.

 Clinical Trials

What clinical trials are and how they work, why they're important, and how to find trials that may be appropriate for you.

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