Breast cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of breast cells. It is a cancer that develops due to uncontrollable changes in the growth of the cells forming breast tissues. These changes transform the cells into cancerous cells that can spread. It can occur in both men and women but it is common in women. To notice that you have this disease you should do a breast self-examination, and physical examination, and go for a mammography. To prevent the disease you should have a healthy weight, avoid drinking alcohol, eat a healthy diet, stay active, and manage stress. This article will discuss more about breast cancer.
Know about Breast Cancer Signs
To begin, with in most cases there are no symptoms, but these signs may appear in advanced stages:
- A solid non-painful lump or node in the breast or the armpit.
- Breast tenderness and swelling.
- Breast discharge.
- Change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast or wrinkling in the skin of the breast
- A newly inverted nipple
- Itching, or crusting or scaling of the skin surrounding the breast.
- In most cases, the patient does not feel any pain.
Having breast lumps does not necessarily mean that cancer is present; some lumps form due to cysts or infections. Breast self-exams should be done routinely every month, three to five days after the menstrual cycle. The doctor must be contacted immediately upon noticing any changes.
How to do Breast Cancer Self-examination
- Lie down on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder. Then use the pads of the three middle fingers on your left hand to check the right breast.
- Press using light and firm pressure in a circle without lifting your fingers off the skin.
- Keep pressing your fingers in an up-and-down pattern.
- Feel for changes in the breast, above and below the collarbone and in the armpit.
- Repeat the previous/ steps on the left breast using your right hand.
Another method of checking breast cancer is to stand in front of the mirror and note any changes. How you do it:
- Hold arms at your side
- Hold arms over your head.
- Press your hands on your hips and tighten your chest muscles.
- Bend forward with your hands on your hips.
Physical Examination of the Disease:
It is conducted by trained doctors and specialists in the hospital. If you have a family history of breast cancer, the doctor will immediately recommend a mammography. It is an X-ray imaging method used to examine the breast. Mammography is the most accurate way to detect the disease early, even if it is small in size.
Ways to Prevent the Disease
Maintain a healthy weight
Women who are overweight after menopause have an increased risk of developing cancer of the breast. This is so because fat tissue can produce estrogen and estrogen exposure is linked to the disease.
Avoid or Limit Alcohol
Research reviews that greater alcohol consumption is linked to higher breast cancer risk. Any amount of alcohol increases your risk of the disease.
Exercising reduces the risk of having cancer of the breast. Limiting sedentary activities such as watching TV also helps the risk of having the disease.
Eat a healthy Diet
A plant-based diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans is recommended to reduce the chances of having the disease. To prevent cancer of the breast, you should limit red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and sodas. Processed foods are high in fat and starch which increases the risk of the disease.
Reducing stress levels benefits overall health and helpful practices include deep breathing and meditation. Regular exercise that includes stretching also helps to manage stress. Seeking help from a social worker, psychologist or professional counsellor if you face an ongoing high level of stress is helpful.
To conclude, cancer of the breast is caused by abnormal growth of breast cells. Physical and self-examination help you to detect the disease. To prevent breast cancer you should maintain a healthy weight, avoid drinking alcohol, stay active, manage stress, and eat a healthy diet as explained in this article.