Breast Cancer - Medical Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

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Title : Breast Cancer - Medical Symptoms, Causes And Treatments
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Breast Cancer - Medical Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Cervical cancer symptoms


Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) growth in the breast that can spread to the lymph nodes, lungs, brain, and bones. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. This article takes a brief yet concise look at the medical symptoms, causes and treatments for cancer of the breast.

Breast Cancer Symptoms And Causes

In the early stages of the cancer, symptoms usually do not appear. As the cancer grows, symptoms can include: a lump in the breast that may or may not be tender and/or an enlarged lymph nodes under the arm that may feel hard and have uneven edges but typically does not hurt.

A woman may also notice changes in the size, shape or feel of the breast such as an indentation of the nipple or a fluid discharge from the nipple; or redness or dimpling of the skin.

Men can get breast cancer yet women are 100% more likely to get cancer of the breast than men. In a man, symptoms will likely present as a breast lump, pain and tenderness.

The cause of cancer in the breast is unknown but the risk increases with a family history of this type of cancer, in women who have not had children; or in women who reached their menstrual cycle before age 12 or went through menopause after age 55.

Some cancers of the breast are sensitive to the hormone estrogen, that means estrogen causes tumors of the breast to grow. These estrogen sensitive cancers are called 'estrogen receptor positive cancer' or 'ER positive cancer'.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment

Monthly self-exams of the breasts should be performed to detect any changes early. A baseline mammogram is recommended by age 35, then follow-ups every 2 years up to age 49, then every year after age 50. If a lesion is detected, a biopsy (tissue sample) may be needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Other tests that may be performed to formulate a proper diagnosis include an MRI, CT Scan, Breast Ultrasound or PET Scan.

Treatment is based on many factors including the type of cancer and the stage the cancer is in (stages range from (0 to IV). Surgery to remove the lump (lumpectomy) or to remove all or part of the breast and possibly nearby structures such as lymph nodes and muscle tissue (mastectomy) is the recommended treatment. Other treatment options include chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

The experimental drug, tamoxifen, is currently being studied to determine if it can prevent cancer of the breast. This drug blocks the effects of estrogen which can promote the growth of cancer cells in women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. A newer class of medicines called aromatase inhibitors, have shown good results in post-menopausal women with breast cancer.



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