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Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among Indian females. In India, due to lack of awareness regarding breast cancer, people are suffering from this disease in great numbers. Before we start with how we can protect ourselves from breast cancer, let’s find out what Breast Cancer actually is and how it occurs.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast Cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control and spread to any part of the body becoming cancerous. If the cells grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body it usually results in a tumor (cancer), which can often be seen on an X-Ray.
Stages of Breast Cancer:
By cancer’s characteristics, one can determine the stage of breast cancer. This makes it easy for your doctor to:
- Figure out your prognosis
- Decide what the best treatment option for you is
- Go for clinical trials
The stages of breast cancer are usually expressed as a number on a scale of 1 through 4.
Stage 1 describes non-invasive cancer that remains within its original location. Whereas, stage 4 describes invasive cancers that have spread outside the breast to other parts of the body.
How Does Breast Cancer Spreads?
Breast cancer usually spreads when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and then spread to other parts of the body. The lymph system is a network of lymph vessels found throughout the body, that connects lymph nodes. In the case of breast cancer, cancer cells can spread to lymph vessels and start growing in lymph nodes.
There is a higher chance of the cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body after spreading to your lymph nodes. To know whether the cancer cells have spread or not, you have to go through a surgery to remove one or more lymph. This is done to find out whether cancer has reached other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer:
There are many symptoms of breast cancer, such as breast pain or a lump. However, if you notice any change, it’s important to see your local doctor as soon as you can.
Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A change in shape and size of the breast
- A lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast
- Redness or a rash on the skin around the nipple
- Pain in your breast or armpit
- Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
How Can We Treat Breast Cancer?
There are other factors also on which your treatment plan will depend on, such as your overall health and personal preferences.
In many cases, women with breast cancer opt for some type of surgery to remove the tumor. Usually, the treatment is done depending upon the type of breast cancer and what stage of breast cancer the person is in. You might need other types of treatment as well. It can be either before or after surgery.
Systematic treatments involve drugs being used to treat breast cancer because they can reach cancer cells almost anywhere in the body. There are various types of drug treatments, that can be used depending on the type of breast cancer. Some of them include:
- Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
- Hormone Therapy for Breast Cancer
- Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer
Avoid Breast Cancer By Doing Following Things:
Women who consistently breastfeed for the first 6 months have a 10 percent reduced risk of death from breast cancer compared to those who don’t.
Avoid Unnecessary Screening Tests
Sometimes undergoing unnecessary screening tests can also result in breast cancer. Women undergoing frequent radiation therapy to the chest area for prevention of cancer, have significantly higher odds of developing breast cancer.
Eat the Right Food Everyday
Women who take a balanced diet, eat vegetables and fruits have an even lower risk of developing estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer (which is often more aggressive).
Drop Those Extra Pounds
Exercising on a regular basis can help you to avoid breast cancer. An ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome) study found that women who’d gained 21 to 30 pounds since age 18 were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much Alcohol is another way of getting close to developing breast cancer. While moderate consumption of alcohol can be good for health in older adults but if you are one of those who drink more alcohol, you should cut down or quit.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
It is always a good idea to be insured against such diseases. Companies like Toffee Insurance provide “Breast Cancer Insurance” at an annual premium of Rs. 517/- for a duration of one year.
What This Insurance Covers:
- If minor stage cancer is detected, Rs. 2,50,000 is paid instantly
- If major stage cancer is detected, Rs. 10,00,000 is paid instantly
If you’re a woman or know someone who doesn’t have breast cancer insurance, you should visit the Toffee Insurance website.