Breast cancer, cancer that are malignant -- life-threatening-tumors -- that develop in one or both breasts.
Breast cancer is the illness that many women fear most, though they're more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than they are of all forms of cancer combined. Still, breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths in American women. Although rare, breast cancer can also occur in men — in the United States, more than 200,000 women and around 1,500 men will develop the disease in 2005.
Yet, there's more reason for optimism than ever before. In the last 30 years, doctors have made great strides in diagnosing and treating the disease and in reducing breast cancer deaths. In 1975 a diagnosis of breast cancer usually meant radical mastectomy — removal of the entire breast along with underarm lymph nodes and skin and muscles underneath the breast. Today, radical mastectomy is rarely performed. Instead, there are more and better treatment options, and many women are candidates for breast-sparing operations.
Signs and symptoms
Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer may help save your life. When the disease is discovered early, you have more treatment options and a better chance for long-term recovery.
Most breast lumps aren't cancerous. Yet the most common sign of breast cancer for both men and women is a lump or thickening in the breast. Often, the lump is painless. Other signs of breast cancer include:
- A spontaneous clear or bloody discharge from your nipple
- Retraction or indentation of your nipple
- A change in the size or contours of your breast
- Any flattening or indentation of the skin over your breast
- Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
A number of factors other than breast cancer can cause your breasts to change in size or feel. In addition to the natural changes that occur during pregnancy and your menstrual cycle, other common noncancerous (benign) breast conditions include:
If you find a lump or other change in your breast and haven't yet gone through menopause, you may want to wait through one menstrual cycle before seeing your doctor. If the change hasn't gone away after a month, have it evaluated promptly.
- Fibrocystic changes. This condition can cause your breasts to feel ropy or granular. Fibrocystic changes are extremely common, occurring in at least half of all women. In most cases the changes are harmless. And they don't mean you're more likely to develop breast cancer. If your breasts are very lumpy, performing a breast self-exam is more challenging. Becoming familiar with what's normal for you through self-exams will help make detecting any new lumps or changes easier.
- Cysts. These are fluid-filled sacs that frequently occur in the breasts of women ages 35 to 50. Cysts can range from very tiny to about the size of an egg. They can increase in size or become more tender just before your menstrual period, and may disappear completely after it. Cysts are less common in postmenopausal women.
- Fibroadenomas. These are solid, noncancerous tumors that often occur in women during their reproductive years. A fibroadenoma is a firm, smooth, rubbery lump with a well-defined shape. It will move under your skin when touched and is usually painless. Over time, fibroadenomas may grow larger or smaller or even disappear completely. Although your doctor can usually identify a fibroadenoma during a clinical exam, a small tissue sample is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
- Infections. Breast infections (mastitis) are common in women who are breast-feeding or who recently have stopped breast-feeding, although you can also develop mastitis when you're not nursing. Your breast will likely be red, warm, tender and lumpy, and the lymph nodes under your arm may swell. You also feel slightly ill and have a low-grade fever.
- Trauma. Sometimes a blow to your breast or a bruise also can cause a lump. But this doesn't mean you're more likely to get breast cancer.
- Calcium deposits (microcalcifications). These tiny deposits of calcium can appear anywhere in your breast and often show up on a mammogram. Most women have one or more areas of microcalcifications of various sizes. They may be caused by secretions from cells, cellular debris, inflammation, trauma or prior radiation. They're not the result of calcium supplements you take. The majority of calcium deposits are harmless, but a small percentage may be precancerous or cancer. If any appear suspicious, your doctor will likely recommend additional tests and sometimes a biopsy.
Who Gets Breast Cancer?
Age, Gender, and Ethnicity
Experts estimate that
175,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 1999 in US.
At this time, age is the major identifiable risk factor. More than 80% of
breast cancer cases occur in women over 50, and there is a one in nine
chance of having breast cancer if a woman lives to 85. At 40, however, her
odds are one in 217, and at 50 they are one in 50. Cancer in women younger
than 30 is very rare, accounting for only 1.5% of all breast cancer cases.
Native Americans and Asians have lower rates of breast cancer than whites,
Hispanics, and African Americans. About 1,600 breast cancers will be
diagnosed in men. The mortality rate in African Americans is twice that of
whites. According to one study this higher rate is due not only to
socioeconomic factors but may also reflect biologic differences. African
American patients tend to have larger more aggressive cancers.
Genetic Factors and Family
About 10% of all
women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease. The
mutations in genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are now well-known culprits in
some early-onset breast and ovarian cancers. About half of BRCA1 carriers
have a chance of developing breast cancer by age 70, and according to one
study, about 37% of BRCA2 carriers develop the disease. (These percentages
may be higher in high-risk families.) BRCA2 and BRCA1 traits can be passed
down to the daughter by either the mother or the father. Only about 0.1%
of the population carries them. It should be further noted that a family
history of breast cancer puts a woman at risk for the disease, even if
these genetic mutations are not detected. A defective BRCA gene also
sometimes appears in noninherited breast and ovarian cancer patients.
Cancer may even develop if the normal BRCA1 gene (which is protective) is
either underexpressed or, in some cases, appears to "hide"
outside the nucleus of the cell, where it is ineffective.
Researchers have also
identified other defective genes that cause breast cancer, including
BRCA3, p53, and NOEY2 (which is inherited from the father). A mutant gene
for the rare disorder ataxia-telangiectasia may account for many breast
cancers. (The disease itself is rare, requiring two copies of the gene,
but 1% of the population carries a single copy, which is enough to
increase the risk for breast cancer.) Women who have this gene are also
more likely to be harmed by radiation, including that from mammography.
Over-Exposure to Estrogen
breast tissue is highly sensitive to estrogens, the longer a women is
exposed to estrogen over her lifetime, the higher the risk for breast
cancer. In fact, one study reported that blood tests measuring high levels
of estrogen and testosterone may eventually identify older women at
increased risk for breast cancer.
and Late Menopause. Women who started menstruation early (before age 12)
or went through menopause late (after age 55) are at slightly higher risk,
as are those who never had children or had them after the age of 30.
Abortion. Pregnancy plays an odd dual role in breast cancer. It appears to
increase the risk for up to 15 years following the first birth,
particularly in older women, but after that women who have given birth
have a lower risk than those who have not. Subsequent births do not seem
to have any additional impact. Studies have detected an increased risk for
breast cancer in women who have had abortions, possibly because high
estrogen levels occur in the first trimester when abortions are most often
performed (estrogen levels tend not to be high when a natural miscarriage
occurs). The increased risk from abortion is most likely to be very small,
Oral Contraception. A
small risk for breast cancer appears to develop in women while taking oral
contraceptives and for about 10 years after stopping the Pill.
Therapy. A number of studies have indicated an increased risk for breast
cancer in women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Although studies
indicate that the risk exists only with long-term therapy, one study
reported that even one year of HRT could increase the chances of breast
cancer. Of further concern for women taking HRT, breast tissue density
increases and mammograms may miss some breast cancers. In virtually all
studies, however, the real dangers for most women taking HRT are very low.
Breast cancers that do occur in women taking hormone replacement therapy
also tend to be smaller and less aggressive than most. Some experts argue,
however, that the risk of breast cancer from HRT may be underestimated,
because until recently women who took HRT tended to be at risk for
osteoporosis or heart disease and so were likely to have low estrogen
levels. Studies, then, may not yet be reporting the risks for women with
normal or high estrogen levels who are now taking HRT to reduce menopausal
symptoms or to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Many experts believe that any
risk for breast cancer should be weighed against the other health benefits
provided by HRT.
A history of
proliferative breast disease or atypical cell growth, known as hyperplasia,
is a significant risk factor for breast cancer. Benign fibroid tumors may
increase risk after many years, particularly if they are complex, such as
cysts or if they cause scarring.
Studies have reported
mixed effects on the association between obesity and breast cancer. Some
suggest that simply being overweight is not a risk factor but that
excessive weight gain after menopause is. A number of studies have
reported an association between being overweight as a child or young woman
and a lower risk for breast cancer. (Estrogen levels are actually reduced
in the presence of high fat levels in premenopausal women.) Women with
heavy dense bones are at higher risk for breast cancer, since estrogen
helps build bone mass. There have been reports of a link between increased
height and breast cancer risk, but one controlled study of almost 10,000
women found no association at all. However, women who reached their
maximum height at age 18 may have a lower breast cancer risk than women
who reached their full height at 13 or younger -- again probably because
they had higher levels of estrogen at an earlier age.
Estrogen-like Chemicals. Chemicals with estrogen-like effects -- called
xenoestrogens -- that are found in pesticides and other common industrial
products have been suspects for the increased risk of breast cancer found
in specific regions. A number of studies have found no danger to most
women from two of the most common environmental estrogens -- PCBs and DDT.
Other estrogen-like chemicals that have a stronger association with breast
cancer include dieldrin and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane. Although such
chemicals are very weak estrogens, one study stirred alarm by reporting
that although exposure to a single weak-estrogen compound poses no risk,
combinations of them result in extremely powerful estrogenic chemicals.
Many women who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage
produced children with abnormal reproductive systems, and there is some
indication that it increased the risk for breast cancer in their
Electromagnetic Fields. Heavy exposure to radiation is a significant risk
factor for breast cancer. Women who were treated with high doses of
radiation for childhood cancers face a high risk for breast cancer in
adulthood. Studies have been conflicting on increased risks from intensive
exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). If any risk exists, however, it
is likely to be very small.
Reduced levels of melatonin -- a powerful hormone that affects sleep and
other vital functions -- has been associated with breast cancer. This
might account for the higher incidence observed in flight attendants.
Find out other Type of Cancer here.
TO ENLARGE IT WITH WHAT?
Breasts not only develop differently from woman
to woman, they continue to change shape and size throughout your life. The
right breast may not even be the same size as the left.
Breasts can start developing from the age of 10.
They continue to grow and change shape throughout puberty.
Their final shape and size depends more or less
on inherited characteristics, but a mother and daughter's breasts can
develop completely differently.
The size of my breasts:
Only in special medical cases can a hormone
supplement be used to make breasts grow. It will get you to a higher risk
of getting breast cancer or others cancer .
Birth control pills may give the feeling of a
larger bosom, but it's only in pregnancy and when breastfeeding that your
breasts may grow visibly.
About silicone implants:
If you are very unhappy with your breast size or
shape, or have had part of a breast removed as a result of cancer, you may
decide to have silicone implants.
For many it is a costly and often painful
operation, but it is becoming more common.
However, there have been several health scares as
a result of implants. Some women claim the silicone has leaked and caused
related health problems, but these claims have not been medically proven.
Operation or unlucky:
Implants are placed on the chest under the muscles, which leaves the
breast tissue untouched and also means that the nipples will stay in
natural contact with the gland tissue.
The implants are inserted under the skin, with
the exact location depending on the size and shape of the breasts.
Some women go to hospital for the operation,
whereas others are treated as outpatients but rely on receiving rest and
care at home. The operation is performed under full anaesthetic.
Those unlicky women have to pay for the
operation, but it can also be done by breast surgery.Does come to us for
follow ups because of complications. Also, if you are very distressed by
your breast size and it is judged that an operation is the un-natural dump
method to deal with your distress because your husband will notise the
different between natural and artificial breast.Many of the models that
have done a operation or implant also comes for our treatment because it
may couse in complete conditions usually.
|Breast Cancer Story (File No. 17294)
**This article originally taken from The Tole Acupuncture Centre.**
Mdm M.K. Chan was diagnosed of 4th stage breast cancer. She started seeing The TOLE Master on 9th April 2009 until 21 March 2013.
During her initial visit to The TOLE, she was advised to undergo intensive acupuncture herbs treatment for 4 months.
Her condition deteriorates when she started tapering down the intake of herbs from initially 1 packet a day to 1 packet every 3 days for a few years. But she is still surviving and goes to work daily.
After a famous oncology doctor passed away this year (2013) - apparently this famous doctor was her previous consultant doctor at Gleneagles, she stopped coming for acupuncture treatment. Master thinks that she is giving up because she felt a lot for the famous oncology doctor.
Below table shows the result of her CEA test during the treatment period with THE TOLE:
Type of Test
10 Apr 2009
10 Apr 2009
(0.0 – 31.0)
30 Apr 2009
30 Apr 2009
(0.0 – 31.0)
On 10 Apr 09, her CEA result was 7.4 which is still high than normal range. However, after 3 weeks undergoing intensive acupuncture treatment, her CEA result decrease to 4.7. It was amazing!
BREAST CANCER TREATMENT
Breast cancers are malignancies -- life-threatening-tumors -- that develop in one or both breasts. The interior of the female breast, which consists mostly of fatty and fibrous connective tissues, is divided into about 20 sections called lobes.
BREAST CANCER ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT
Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts from cells of the breast. The disease occurs mostly in women, but men can get breast cancer too. The information here refers only to breast cancer in women...
HERBAL CURE FOR BREAST CANCER
Most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts (ductal cancer), some begin in the lobules (lobular cancer), and the rest in other tissues...
ACUPUNCTURE BREAST CANCER HERBS TREATMENT
If breast cancer cells reach the underarm lymph nodes and continue to grow, they cause the nodes to swell. Once cancer cells have reached these nodes they are more likely to spread to other organs of the body as well.