Breast Cancer – What everyone should know

Breast Cancer – What everyone should know

As one ages, the risk of breast cancer increases. Besides, there is a danger of breast cancer in certain families depending upon their genetic code.

Is breast cancer hereditary?

As one ages, the risk of breast cancer increases. Besides, there is a danger of breast cancer in certain families depending upon their genetic code. Still, there is no guarantee that this cancer does not appear in the families devoid of any family history. Therefore, every woman must be aware of this breast cancer right from the age of 30 years.

What precautions are to be taken if there is family history of this cancer?

The risk of this cancer depends upon lifestyle, environment and many things concerned with hormones.
BRCA 1, BRCA 2 genetic tests can be undergone to know any possibility of this cancer in the case of families with the breast cancer history. If these gene mutation tests are positive, either getting the breasts removed or undergoing tests as and when needed as per the advice of the doctor is essential.

Doctors will decide the course of action to be taken depending upon woman’s age, and reports.

Who is more vulnerable to this cancer?

1. Cancer patients in near relatives (mother, grandmother, siblings and aunts)
2. When these relatives are affected below 40 years of age.
3. In families where both breasts are affected by this cancer.
4. When cancer appeared in men belonging to that family.
5. In case of other cancers or uterus like cancers, seen more in the family members concerned.
6. In case of people with strong gene mutation, late marriage, late child birth, inability to give breast feeding, using higher dosage of hormones for infertility problem, reaching puberty stage even before 10 years of age ,non-monthly menstruation even after 50 years of age etc;

What is the awareness that should be developed about this cancer?

Noticing the painless tumour when small in size in breast which can be removed through lumpectomy. If noticed belatedly, Mastectomy is indispensible to remove the entire breast. Is it true that obese women with big breasts are more vulnerable to this cancer?

This is not true. This can affect anybody. Even men are not spared of this cancer. The nature of treatment will be decided depending upon the size of the tumour. Besides, treatment methods depend upon the type of tumour. Obese people are more susceptible to this cancer.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

1. Sensation of tumour in breast.
2. Swelling of tumour in breast, armpit.
3. Change in the size of breast tip, turning inwards.
4. Thickness of breast, skin.
5. Change in breast size, shape, colour, unhealed sore on the breast.
6. Bleeding from tip of the breast.

But still there is a danger of crossing initial stage of this cancer by the time these symptoms appear. Depending upon the type of cancer tumour stage, grading, surgery, chemo along with surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy will be decided.

There are various varieties of this cancer such as those restricted to lobs alone or spread to other parts. This cancer goes beyond control if the treatment is delayed. Treating of this cancer is easier in elderly women compared to younger ones.

Reconstructive enoplastic surgery treatments are also available to mask any changes in breasts now-a-days. It is highly desirable to be careful of any change in breast.

By: Dr Ch Mohana Vamsy

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