Sadly, breast cancer is a disease that affects thousands of women worldwide. As we grow older, it is essential that we regularly check our bodies and do all that we can to detect this disease as early as possible.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease that affects more than 3.8 million women in the US alone. The disease occurs when the cells in the breast grow out of control.
If you can detect the disease in its early stages, you have a higher chance of recovery. Therefore, the importance of checking your breasts regularly cannot be stressed enough. You are trying to identify any lumps or thickened breast tissue that may have occurred recently.
Make sure to have a good feel around your breasts and armpits. It can often help to look into a mirror as it may help you identify any changes that are out of the ordinary.
If you notice any changes that you are concerned about, consult with your doctor at your nearest convenience.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are several symptoms associated with breast cancer. Usually, the first noticeable signs are lumps or any areas of thickened breast tissue.
It is important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous, but it is crucial that you get them checked to be safe. Other symptoms include a change in the shape/size of your breasts, unusual discharge from your nipples, a rash around your nipple, dimpling on the skin of your breasts and a lump/swelling in either of your armpits.
If you detect any of these symptoms, it is advised that you book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Although there are symptoms that people can experience from this condition, some women who may have breast cancer often show no signs or symptoms at all. Therefore, it is important that you attend regular breast cancer screenings.
This can help you identify the condition in its early stages so you can work to treat it as soon as possible.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
If you have concerns regarding your health, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible. They will start by assessing your symptoms. If you need to undergo some tests, you will likely be referred to a breast cancer clinic. Here, you may need to undergo an MRI or a biopsy.
An MRI is a scan that produces detailed images of the inside of your body. It can be used to detect any tumors that may be growing inside of your breast. It may sound daunting. However, it is a painless and non-invasive procedure. You can learn more about a whole body MRI screening from this helpful guide by Ezra.
A biopsy is another test that may be requested. This process involves taking a sample of cells from your breast using a needle. The cells are then tested to confirm whether they are cancerous.
The results from these tests will allow your doctor to diagnose whether or not you have breast cancer. The thought of undergoing tests like these can be daunting. However, they could end up saving your life, allowing you to treat the condition in its early stages before it becomes more severe.
How Do You Treat Breast Cancer?
There are several treatments for breast cancer, and some may work better for you than others. The most common treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy and hormone therapy. Your doctor will help you decide on the best course of action to treat your condition.
They will consider a few things, such as the stage and grade of your cancer. This refers to how big the cancer is and how far it has spread throughout your body. They will also consider your general health and whether you have experienced menopause. Menopause is a point in time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. You can learn more about it through various online resources.
You may only have to undergo one of these treatments. However, you can also go through a combination of them, depending on the current stage of your condition. This is something that your doctor will discuss with you.
What Can I Do to Minimize My Risk?
There are some things that you can do to assist breast cancer prevention. It all starts with healthy habits. You may be surprised to know that significant lifestyle changes, like maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active, have all been proven to help.
Excessive alcohol consumption is something that you should avoid. This doesn’t mean that you can no longer enjoy a drink from time to time, but you must start to limit yourself. The more alcohol you drink, the more you increase your risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial. For some, the idea of exercise can be daunting, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Start by finding a workout routine that you can try in the comfort of your own home.
From one quick Google search, you can access thousands of free workouts. You certainly don’t need to be a fitness expert to find a routine that fits your busy lifestyle. Healthy changes to your everyday life are crucial if you want to minimize your risk.
What You Should Do If You Have Any Concerns
As previously discussed, many women show no symptoms when they have breast cancer. Therefore, you should always attend regular screenings and make a doctor’s appointment if you have any concerns. Although you may have no symptoms, you may have a family history of breast cancer that concerns you.
Informing your doctor will help them monitor your health closely, and they may request some extra tests to be safe. It is always worth opening up the discussion with your doctor if you are concerned. Identifying the disease early will allow you to start treatment in the hopes of assisting a quick recovery.