Breast Cancer Care

Information and resrouces on Women's Health towards Breast Cancer. Information On Breast Cancer, and how you have a great chance to be a Breast Cancer Survivor.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Breast Cancer Awareness

The breasts are important for the woman. The will be how the mother will give milk to a newborn baby. This is because the nutrients are better than any other solution produced in the market. This also has antibodies which makes the infant resistant against harmful bacteria and diseases.

When there is an overgrowth of cancer cells in the body, the chances are very high that the patient has breast cancer. When the patient has been diagnosed, action must be taken immediately so that this does not spread to other parts of the body which could already be too late.

Breast cancer is ranked second only lung cancer as the highest number of fatalities among women. Every year in the month of October, the world recognizes those who have fallen to this disease as scientists continue to find a cure.

The organizers of this event want to educate people about the sickness, how this can be detected and the types of treatment available. This drive has been going on for more than 20 years and will continue until breast cancer can be eradicated.

Some shows are done to fund breast cancer research, flyers are given out and organizers also work with various companies like those in the lingerie industry who manufacture and sell bras to women.

One of the best ways to make sure the person is safe is to have at least mammography screening done annually. This has been very helpful since it has increased the survival rate of those who have breast cancer.

Mammography performs two things. The first is to check if tumors are present. The machine is able to detect this even before the woman can feel anything on the breast. The second is to check if there are tiny specks of calcium which is also an early warning for those who are at risk of cancer.

Breast cancer will happen to those who have had this disease in the family. Women who have never bore children or gave birth after the age of 30 are also those who are potentially at risk.

Though this disease happens more to Caucasians than Africans or Asians, women should still do self examinations every so often with regular checkups with the doctor.

Self examinations are effective when the woman feels the breast in front of mirror, while in the shower or lying down in bed. The fingers must go through the area slowly and if there is any pain or lumps noticed, the person should go immediately to the doctor for proper diagnosis.

Breast cancer is classified into stages. This will depend on how large the area of the cancer is.

Breast cancer is not only the problem of those who are suffering from this disease because it is everyone’s problem. The person may have a friend, a mother or a sister who is potentially at risk from this disease.

The person can help out by donating a sum to one of the charitable organizations that does its share to fund research, participate in runs or competitions that also raise money and talk to those in government to increase the budget for healthcare.

Everyone should pitch in because until doctors are able to find a cure, women in the 30’s and 40’s are at risk to succumbing to this disease.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Life-saving facts about breast cancer

Recent years saw the increase in the rates of death of women due to breast cancer. The occurrence prompted a lot of women groups to launch their campaign against breast cancer, providing information to women on how to best prevent it from occurring.

Unknown to many, breast cancer also affects men. Women however are more likely to develop the problem and to die from it.

In 2001, there were more than 200,000 cases of breast cancer in women in the country. It is in fact the most common malignancy condition that is affecting women not only here in North America but also in Europe. Women have a 1 is to 8 chance of developing the problem while there is about one is to 28 chance that a woman will die from breast cancer. After lung cancer, it is the second leading cause of death due to cancer in the country, having claimed the lives of more than 40,000 women in 2005. These statistics are of course subject to change and may even increase in the coming years.

This year, it is expected that more than 200,000 cases will again be diagnosed. Still, compared to previous rates, the rate of death due to breast cancer has gone down. This can be attributed to the fact that massive informational campaigns have led to early detection and improved treatment techniques.

How is breast cancer detected?
Part of the campaign that perhaps helped women fight against the possibility of developing breast cancer is the habit of examining the breasts for lumps. This has helped countless women detect the problem early and seek proper treatment for it. This is important as early detection seem to increase the chance of treating the disease. Below are some of the symptoms that you should watch out for.

- lumps in the breast and in the underarm where the lymph nodes are located.
- there is a slight change in the size or in the shape of the breast
- abnormal appearance of the nipple such as the nipple turning inwards
- nipple discharge
- scaling of the skin in the nipple and slight redness
- occurrence of ridges in the skin of the breast

What are the screening tests that are used for diagnosis?

This is perhaps the most common screening instrument used for breast cancer. These are actually simple x-rays taken of the breasts. If there are abnormal parts found in the first x-ray, another x-ray is conducted, this time in magnified form and concentrating on the part where the abnormality was found. So far, mammograms have been quite effective in detecting tumors in the breast even before they are felt through self-examination.

The machine can also detect the presence of calcium deposits which is said to be one of the earliest signs of cancer. Mammograms have in fact been so effective in detecting the problem that undergoing regular mammogram tests can actually lower one’s risk of dying from breast cancer by as much as 30 percent. Women who are beyond the age of 40 should have regular mammogram tests.

The same goes with women who have had family history of the disease. These demographics are recommended to the have a clinical exam done every year. People who are between the ages of 20 to 39 are advised to have the exam done every three years.

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Categories: Breast Cancer

The First Signs of Breast Cancer

Lyn was a 35 year old of two children. After being married for 6 years, the couple decided to have children. The first boy came out when Lyn was 32. The second came out a year later which was a girl.

Everything was great until some pain was felt in the left breast while showering and getting ready for work. At work, Lyn thought that this was normal especially with the monthly period coming.

But when the pain didn’t go away, Lyn got frightened and decided to visit the doctor. After going through the interview and the lab test using a mammography, the results shocked the couple.

Lyn had breast cancer and this was already in stage 2. This means that the tumor measures more than 5 cm. in across and has likely spread to other tissues near the breast.

The initial reactions were of mixed with shock, anger and fear. Lyn even went to another doctor for a second opinion but it was true. The best thing to do now was to fight hard and use the treatments and medication available to win the war against this disease.

The doctor who was a good friend then referred Lyn to an oncologist. The professional laid down the options and after careful consideration by both parties, it was decided that surgery had to be done. This will also be followed by therapy to prevent this from ever coming back.

Less than 2 months after the operation was done, Lyn had to visit the clinic regularly for therapeutic sessions. Aside from pills that were part of chemotherapy, checkups were done to make sure all the cancer cells were dead.

Lyn gained some weight and experienced some hot flashes. The doctors explained that this was a normal side effect and that these were only short term. This was better than realizing one day that the cancer is back which could also affect other parts of the body which may result in complications.

There are a few facts that people need to know. Lyn is just a statistic since there are over 200,000 women all across the United States who has been diagnosed with this disease every year.

Since no cure has been discovered yet, researchers estimate that half of those who are fighting this disease will not make it in the next 10 years.

This makes early detection very important. Research shows that 6 out of 7 patients who are diagnosed are cured during the early stages. The chances of recovery are slim if this is diagnosed in one of the later stages.

Signs breast cancer in the early stages is difficult because self examination done at home will not detect it. The person should then watch out for other signs. These include the following;

1. Itching in the arm pit or near the breast.

2. If the person notices any pink, red or any dark color that is similar to an orange near the breast.

3. A thickness in the areas of the skin around the breast.

4. If the breasts seem inverted and warm when this is touched.

5. If there are any lumps or swells in the breast.

6. If any discharging occurs in the nipple.

If these are not present, then having a mammography done annually is the best defense against breast cancer.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Treatment for Breast Cancer

Thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Though doctors have not yet found the cure or the way to prevent this from happening, there are ways to treat cancer this before it spreads any further.

A lot of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer were only discovered in the later stages. This means that the doctors have no choice but to perform surgery. This could be cutting a certain portion of the breast, losing one or at worse both breasts.

In the 1970’s and 80’s, patients really felt badly after this experience. Luckily, doctors can now replace these with artificial ones.

Surgery doesn’t mean that all the cancer cells were eliminated. This is why follow-up treatment is needed to make sure these do not recur.

One of the most commonly used treatments for those that have breast cancer is chemotherapy. Doctors know that the disease is caused by an overgrowth of the cells. Chemotherapy comes into play by stopping this from continuing.

This is can be administered using an injection, in pill form or can be applied to the skin. The length of treatment varies per patient depending on the type and stage of the disease in the body.

When the patient hears of chemotherapy, the cost is sometimes is too much for the person to shoulder. The only time that chemotherapy becomes expensive will really depend on the kind of medicine given and how often this has to be taken.

Luckily, some insurance firms cover this. There are also agencies that can help those in this situation.

Chemotherapy has side effects. The person will lose hair, may develop skin rashes, and experience soreness in the mouth, nausea and an upset stomach. There are some drugs that can be prescribed to counter this but this all depends on a per patient basis.

Radiation therapy is another treatment that can be given to a patient. The nice thing about this is that it is fast and painless. The person can go in the morning and be out by lunch. High energy rays similar to those used in X rays are used on the body which is ideal for those who had undergone surgery.

Hormone therapy is also another option. Not everybody can do this and the patient can only qualify once a sample of the cancer cells has been extracted and examined.

A lot of patients who had to undergo surgery go through hormone replacement therapy. The person will be given an estrogen receptive drug called Tamoxifen which has to be taken for the next 5 years.

Even this drug has side effects. These include hot flashes, vaginal discharge and weight gain. Other patients have complained of uterine cancer, blood clots and strokes.

Doctors are now trying another drug called Aromatase inhibitors which are used to reduce the supply of estrogen into the body and can only be used to those for those who have had menopause.

Breast cancer can be treated in many ways. The person should remember that removing the breast without therapy puts the patient at risk for the recurrence of the disease.

Breast cancer is not a laughing matter. The doctor should explain all the treatments and after weighing the pros and cons, decide on the right kind that will prevent this cancer from ever happening again.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Preventing Breast Cancer

Affecting more than two million women in the United States and causing the deaths of more than 40,000 women in 2005 alone, breast cancer has risen from relative obscurity to become one of the main concerns of women’s health agencies. Second to lung cancer, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the country.

Studies indicate that risk rates for women of developing breast cancer in their lifetime is 1 is to eight while death because of breast cancer is pegged at 1 is to 38. These figures are quite high considering that nothing much is known about the disease in the previous decades.

Its rapid increase in rate has prompted agencies and organizations especially those dealing with women issues to launch an informational campaign designed to educate women about breast cancer and how to prevent it… and it can be prevented. Below are some of the strategies that you can use.

1. Proper nutrition
Nothing beast eating right! Cliché as it is, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables help prevent cancer because of the beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and a whole lot more healthy chemicals that you can find in these foods. Antioxidants in particular can help in restoring damaged and affected tissues.

2. Exercise
Studies have actually shown that regular physical activity and exercise can increase our protection against breast cancer. It can also prevent the breast cancer or any form of caner from recurring when you do get it. This is because exercise can improve general blood and nutrient circulation as well as tone the muscles. In addition, it also helps in keeping our weight down to the normal range.

3. Don’t get too fat
As farfetched as it is, one’s weight can actually contribute in the development of breast cancer. This is because tumors, where the cancer actually begins thrive on the hormone Estrogen, which is stored by the fat cells of the body. In fact, when you eat high fat foods, your estrogen can go up.

4. No to Smoking
Cigarettes contain carcinogens that can be stored up in the breasts like what happens to the lungs. These carcinogens can develop into tumors later.

5. Drink in moderation
Like fatty foods, drinking alcoholic drinks can actually raise your body’s estrogen content. This as mentioned before can be bad news because tumor cells actually thrive in estrogen.

6. Regular check-ups
There is nothing like early detection. The soonest you know that you have breast cancer, the sooner you will be able to have it treated. Experts all agree that early treatment increases one’s chance of surviving the ordeal and preventing recurrence. Besides, treatment will also be a lot simpler for the initial stages of the problem. Why waste time and allow the cancer to spread to other parts pf your body?
Women who are beyond 40 are advised to get mammograms and have check-ups every year while those who are below 40 are requested to do the same every three years. Women in general are also requested to conduct daily self-examinations at home to check for lumps and bumps on the breast.

7. Breast cancer and pregnancy
Studies have shown the correlation of breastfeeding and giving birth early in the prevention of breast cancer in women. Having children before the age of 30 can reduce the risk of breast cancer. The same goes with women who have breastfed their babies.

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Tags: Breast Cancer Prevent Cancer Cancer Statistics