Breast cancer: what is it, prevention, types and treatment

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Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women, being more common between 30 and 59 years old, without embargo it can also be presented in men. The main symptoms that produce a palpable lump that does not produce pain and changes in color, size and shape of the breast.

The diagnosis must be carried out with a mastography, when there are suspicious symptoms of breast cancer or in the case of a family history that has breast cancer or an ovary. Treatment will depend on the stage and type of cancer, which may require chemotherapy or even complete extraction of one or both breasts.

Therefore, the ideal is to consult with the gynecologist before any change in the breasts to carry out a physical exploration and examinations that help to confirm the diagnosis and, if necessary, initiate the appropriate treatment.

The most common symptoms that can be presented are:

  • A bulto or a palpable mass in the breast or armpit that does not duel;
  • Sensation of heat and swelling in a breast;
  • Change in size, shape and/or coloring of the breast;
  • inverted foot;
  • Secretion by the foot;

It is important to know that many of the nodules that appear in the breast are benign, therefore they do not represent a risk for the health of the person. Learn more about the symptoms of breast cancer.

Cancer is divided into several types depending on its origin, being the most common:

  • Infiltrating ductal carcinoma: it is developed in the breast ducts and it is the most common cancer subtype;
  • Infiltrating lobulillar carcinoma: it develops in the lobulillos, which are the glands that produce maternal milk;
  • medullary carcinoma: generally occurs in young women and in less than 5% of cases.

Other less common types of breast cancer are mucinous, tubular, metaplastic, Paget and papillary disease, which occur in women over 60 years of age.

Among the main causes of breast cancer are:

  • female gender;
  • Advanced age, over 55 years old, where you can present yourself to young women;
  • Changes in the genes BCRA 1 and 2;
  • There will be no hijos;
  • Primer embarazo after 30 years;
  • Beginning of menstruation before 12 years;
  • Menopause after 55 years;
  • Hormone replacement treatment;

Asimism, alcohol consumption, a diet rich in fats and lack of exercise are risk factors for the development of breast cancer, so it is recommended to lead a healthy life and undergo a medical review if you have a family history of breast cancer is an ovary, as this increases the chances of suffering from this disease.

The diagnosis of breast cancer can be carried out before the symptoms are manifested through the performance of a mastography, however, other imaging studies such as ultrasound, computerized tomography and magnetic resonance can also be used. Know more about what is and how to interpret the results of a mastography.

Asimismo, the doctor can request a biopsy with a fine and/or heavy needle that is the way to obtain the definitive diagnosis, and that by means of this method a sample of breast tissue is obtained so that it can be evaluated under the microscope.

Therefore, before any symptom suggestive of breast cancer, it is recommended to consult a gynecologist, since a correct medical evaluation can help with an early diagnosis and initiate the appropriate medical treatment to avoid complications.

The treatment for breast cancer must be guided by an oncologist and surgeon specialized in breast cancer, who will take into account the stage in which the type of cancer and its response to hormones are found. In this way, the treatments available for breast cancer are:

  • Partial surgery or tumorectomy: it is the extraction of the tumor, conserving the breast, requiring radiotherapy after the surgical intervention;
  • mastectomy: this is a surgery in which one or both breasts can be removed, and a mammary prosthesis can later be placed. Learn more about types and care of mastectomy.
  • Radiotherapy: it is a treatment that uses radiation with the objective of destroying cancer cells, it can be recommended after a mastectomy or tumorectomy;
  • Chemotherapy: is the use of drugs to eliminate cancer cells, without having side effects such as hair loss and nausea;
  • hormonal treatment: it is used to prevent the emergence of new breast cancer, using drugs that act to prevent the production of hormones, which are linked to the body’s cells.

Likewise, there are other types of therapies such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy, which are more specific treatments for breast cancer. Another option is palliative care, which seeks to alleviate the symptoms and improve the quality of life and even prolong the survival of the person despite the advanced stage of cancer.

To prevent breast cancer, it is recommended to see a gynecologist every 3 years to carry out a clinical exploration from 20 years onwards, and annually from 40 years onwards.

Breast self-exploration should be considered as a complement to mastography and clinical exploration, as it can be performed at home once a month after the bath. See the following video on how to perform breast self-exploration:

There are some beliefs around breast cancer that you should be aware of, as many of these can delay the diagnosis and timely treatment of breast cancer:

1. Nodule or bolita in the sine that duele is a sign of cancer.

MYTH. No isolated symptom serves to confirm or rule out the diagnosis of breast cancer, for this reason, although breast cancer causes pain in some women, there are also many others that indicate that no type of pain is felt.

In addition to this, there are also several cases in which the woman is in pain and does not present any type of malignant alteration, which could be caused by a hormonal imbalance or by a necrosis of the fatty tissue, for example. She knows the main causes of pain in the sine and what to do.

2. Breast cancer is contagious.

MYTH. The only type of diseases that can be infected are those caused by an infection and, like cancer is not an infection, without abnormal cell growth, it is impossible to get infected with this disease.

3. Breast cancer also occurs in men.

TRUE. Once the man also has breast tissue, breast cancer can also develop, but the risk is much smaller than the woman’s, because this tissue is much less developed in the man.

Therefore, if the man identifies some change in the breast, it is very important that he also consult a breast specialist to evaluate if he can or not be cancer, and start the appropriate treatment before possible. He knows why male breast cancer occurs and what the associated symptoms are.

4. The use of deodorant can cause breast cancer.

MYTH. Apparently, antiperspirant deodorants do not increase the risk of developing breast cancer, due to the fact that there are no studies that confirm that the substances used to manufacture these products cause cancer, unlike other factors that have already been proven, such as obesity and sedentarism.

These products only have an effect on the glands that produce sweat and do not affect the mammary cells.

5. Is it possible to breastfeed after breast cancer?

TRUE Women who performed treatment for breast cancer and if they performed a mastectomy can breastfeed without restrictions due to the fact that cancer cells are not transmitted through milk, so it does not affect the health of the baby. However, radiotherapy, in some cases, can damage the cells that produce milk, making the production of maternal milk difficult.

6. Can breast cancer treatment make embarrassment difficult?

TRUE Aggressive treatment against breast cancer, carried out with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, can destroy the eggs or induce early menopause as a secondary effect, which can make embarrassment more difficult and even make the woman become infertile. Learn more about early menopause.

However, there are many cases of women who have managed to become embarrassed normally after the treatment of breast cancer. However, it is advised that women discuss the risks of relapse into the illness with their oncologist, as they can help women with complex questions about maternity after treatment.

7. Some signs of breast cancer can be identified at home

TRUE. There are some signs that can indicate cancer and that can be observed at home. For this, the best way to identify some alteration is carrying out a breast self-exploration, which is not considered as a preventive examination of cancer, helps the person to know better his body, allowing to identify any alteration early.

Some alterations that may indicate the risk of being cancer include: changes in the size of the breasts, the presence of a palpable nodule, frequent onset of the foot, changes in the breast skin or retraction of the foot. When these symptoms appear, it is recommended to consult a mastologist to identify the cause and initiate the appropriate treatment.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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