New Delhi: Breast Cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the cells of the breasts. Breast cancer occurs mostly in women and rarely in men. When cells in our breasts start dividing more rapidly than normal healthy cells, a lump starts forming which is what we call a cancer. It is nothing but an abnormal mutation of cells.
Types of breast cancer:
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC): This type of cancer is found in the milk ducts that are most likely to spread to other parts of your body.
- Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS): It is a non-invasive cancer where the mutation occurs in the lining of the breast milk duct.
- Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS): This form of non-invasive cancer is found in the lobules of the breast.
- Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC): This inflammatory type of breast cancer is an aggressive fast growing mutation that infiltrates the skin and lymph vessels of the breast.
- Invasive Lobular Cancer (ILC): ILC begins in the lobules, also known as the milk glands, of the breast and spreads to the surrounding tissues.
- Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC): A diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer means that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel most breast cancer growth – estrogen, progesterone, and the HER-2/neu gene – are not present in the cancer tumour. This means that the breast cancer cells have tested negative for hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER), and progesterone receptors (PR).
- Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC): Metastatic breast cancer is also classified as Stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This usually includes the lungs, liver, bones or brain.
Some warning signs to look out for breast cancer are:
- Lumps in breast(s) or under arms
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- Change in shape or texture of the nipple or breast
What are the main causes of breast cancer?
- Cell mutation
- The environment you live in including pollutants in the atmosphere and certain chemicals found in plastic products can contribute to breast cancer
- Inherited breast cancer: If your family has a history of breast cancer, there is a huge possibility that you may develop a cell mutation in your breast as well.
How to detect breast cancer?
- Look for the symptoms of breast cancer: Lumps, bloody discharge from the nipple or change in size or texture of the breast. These are some basic signs that can help you predict breast cancer.
- Self examination: Get into a habit of examining your breasts for lumps yourself on a regular basis. It is an important practice that can help you detect cancer at an early stage. Get in touch with your doctor to seek right guidance.
- This brings us to the next most important point. Consult a doctor!
Don't self-diagnose with the help of the internet or neighbours, get in touch with a GP or an oncologist.
- Screening tools like mammography, ultrasound or MRI may be suggested by your doctor.
Depending on the stage of cancer, your doctor can suggest chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy or mastectomy.
- Consult a general practitioner or an oncologist
- Self-exam or breast awareness
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Choose a healthy diet
Where to go for help?
- Indian Cancer Society
- Roko Cancer Charitable Trust
- Samita Mishra Memorial Foundation For Cancer Research