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Breast Cancer-Overview

It is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. Although it may appear in both men and women, it is far more common in women. There are many different types of breast cancer, with different stages, aggressiveness, and genetic makeup; survival rates vary greatly depending on those factors.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer include a breast lump (which is why it is important that every woman regularly check for lumps; early detection greatly increases the chances of fighting the disease successfully); then, change in the size or shape of the breast, redness of the skin of the nipple, bloody discharge from the nipple, inverted nipple, etc. As soon as a person has noticed any of these symptoms, he should immediately consult a physician, who will conduct the necessary tests and establish whether the symptom is an indicator of breast cancer.

There are some risk factors that may increase the possibility of a person getting this type of cancer. Those are: age (older people are more prone to getting breast cancer), sex (this type of cancer happens more often in women than in men), a family history of cancer, obesity, excessive drinking, having a first child at an older age, or beginning menopause at an older age; then, having the first period before the age of twelve.

Prevention

Although there is no sure way of preventing breast cancer, there are a few things a person might do to reduce the risk greatly. First, it is vital that every woman have regular check-ups with her gynecologist. Ideally, they should be conducted every half year or so. Then, a person should get plenty of exercise, maintain a healthy weight and avoid drinking alcohol. This, aside from being a means of preventing cancer, is a great way of increasing one’s overall health.

Types of Treatment

Depending on the type and the stage of the cancer, the doctor will set an appropriate course of treatment. There are a few surgical options: a lumpectomy (when the surgeon removes the tumor and some of the surrounding healthy tissue), a mastectomy (when the surgeon removes the entire breast), sentinel node biopsy, and axillary lymph node dissection. These procedures are usually followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy.

Of course, many women have tried many ways of coping with breast cancer, and these are some of the alternative ways.

Some have simply changed their diet, and it has been proven effective by some. They simply ate more fruits and vegetables, leaving out meat and fatty foods.

Some supplements, such as omega-3, are believed to fight off cancer cells.

Herbal remedies, such as dong quai and black cohosh are used to normalize the production of hormones.

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