In October, breast cancer awareness month we will make some basic notes on every single thing woman should know about breast cancer.
Even though science is working to discover the causes and to find a cure, and all of us are aware of the things we need to do to lower the risk, number of woman that deal with breast cancer is still incredibly high and remains number one fatal disease that affects females.
No matter medicine is doing so many things, prevention and early diagnose are the most important weapon in the fight against this vicious disease.
Self examination is the best step you need to make in order to protect yourself from breast cancer. Examine your breasts once a month a week after menstruation. This is the best period to do the check because the breasts are not sensitive or painful. If you notice a lump see your doctor immediately. Your doctor will do a ultrasound or a mammography and biopsy is the next step. Even though about 80 percent of the lumps that are discovered turn out to be benign, don’t hesitate and find few minutes in a month to do this important preventive step.
CAUSES OF BREAST CANCER
Breast cancer is a vicious disease that affects millions of women all around the world and no matter how hard they try, scientists still can’t determine the exact causes of this disease.
Body cells usually grow by dividing themselves in a normal and controlled environment. But sometimes this normal and controlled process can get out of control and the cells start to multiply and grow without control. The cells that grow abnormally usually form one kind of swelling which is called tumor.
The result of various researches that have been conducted show one single result that cancer is not a disease with one single cause, but a combination of various factors among them age, sex, genetics.
WHAT CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER
It is true that we don’t know the real direct cause of breast cancer but there are few risk factors that increase the risk of this disease.
Obese women have 30-60 percent higher risk of breast cancer. According to a research fat cells can improve the development of estrogen and when the organism produces higher amount of estrogen it can affect the production of tumor cells.
Exercise or physical activity of any kind has amazing impact on our health. Physical activity strengthens the immune system, and the body can easily fight diseases including breast cancer. Variety researches that were made on this subject gave similar results that women that exercise 3 hours a week lower the risk of breast cancer by 30-40 percent.
Bad eating habits
All of us know that processed food has very bad impact on human health as bad as white sugar and red meat. This means that if your nutrition is based on these kinds of food you are at higher risk of breast cancer. To lower the risk add vegetables as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce to your menu because these kinds of veggies have anti-inflammatory properties and can balance the amount of estrogen in the organism.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that produce tumor suppressor protein that helps repair damages in the DNA. If there is mutation in these gens they don’t work properly and cannot repair damage in the DNA properly which means that cells can develop various kinds of genetic changes which lead to cancer. Woman that have mutations in one of these genes have 70 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Your risk of breast cancer is 50 percent higher if someone in your family has this disease. Even if you don’t have the mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes you are at higher risk. Some experts even believe that if 2 family members are suffering from breast cancer your risk is tripled. You should talk to your doctor on this so that you can think about all prevention methods that can be used.
Besides these main risk factors there are another things that may increase the risk of breast cancer. Women that smoke but also non smokers that are surrounded by tobacco smoke as well as women that drink bigger amounts of alcohol are increasing the risk of breast cancer. Experts say that woman that are on hormonal therapy are at higher risk and also women that are in menopause.
IT’S NOT JUST LUMPS. OTHER SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER
Lump in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer that all of us are looking for. About 80 percent of patients discover the lump on their own. There are various changes you can notice on the breasts and some of them are not cancer. But harder and defined lump that you can notice in one breast may be cancer. In the early stages the lump is free and it can move under the skin. As the disease advances it becomes ingrown with the skin. There are cases where swellings and infested wounds can appear on the skin where the lump is. The skin over the lump can be sucked in, thickened and may look like orange peels.
Besides lumps you can notice some other changes on the skin of the breasts that may be possible symptoms of this disease and we have them all here.
Swelling and heat appear as a symptom of very dangerous inflammatory breast cancer. The breast looks infected it is swollen, red and the skin is warmer but there is not a lump you can notice.
Irritation and pain in the breast but also in the area around the armpits and on the back can be another symptom of breast cancer.
Discharge from the breast can sometimes appear as a first symptom of breast cancer especially if it is amber color and contains traces of blood.
Nipples change the texture, color or shape. Anything that is unusual there is a symptom of cancer and needs to be checked with the doctor.
Various changes on the skin around the breasts can also be a sign that there is a tumor growing under. The skin may be sucked in or look similar to cellulite.
Pulsing lumps in the area of the armpits can be a sign of breast cancer and it is important to see a doctor if you notice something similar during the examination.
If your breasts appear very asymmetric and haven’t been before then you shouldn’t ignore this new situation and should see a doctor as soon as possible.
MAKE TIME FOR YOUR HEALTH
When we talk about breast cancer prevention is the key solution and this means that you need to make time for yourself and ask all the questions you need. Breast cancer can’t be prevented because we don’t know the exact cause yet, therefore early diagnose and proper treatment is pretty much all we can do.
Even though there are risk factors, statistics says that around 70 percent of women that have cancer didn’t have any risk factor. This means that if you are a woman you may be a victim and the rick increases as years go by.
Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapy may look scary but they are effective. We also need to mention that there are so any new treatments that can suppress and reduce all the negative effects of cancer treatments.
This is why you need to make time for your health and examine yourself every month and do ultrasound once a year. If you are over 40 make sure you do a mammography once a year.
FOOD THAT CUTS BREAST CANCER RISK
Some scientists think that food can significantly affect your health and some food groups can significantly cut breast cancer risk, thanks to phyto nutrients that are in their composition.
Another one amazing natural remedy, green tea is rich in antioxidants that are known as polyphenols. They have various health benefits, among them they can play a role in cancer prevention. A study even confirmed that women that drink at least a cup of green tea a day have significantly lower amount of urinary estrogen which is carcinogen of breast cancer.
A research that was conducted among women in china shows that women that eat at least 10 grams of mushrooms a day have over 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer. Mushrooms have strong anti inflammatory properties and positive effect on the immune system and prevent breast cancer. Some kinds of mushrooms as shitake or reishi are used as a remedy in alternative medicine.
This tasty fruit has amazing benefits for the cardiovascular as well as for the reproductive system, but it can also protect you from cancer. It is rich in ellagic acid that can regulate the amount of estrogen the body produces and prevent development of malignant cells in the breast tissues.
Salmon is amazing source of omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for heart health and can also reduce inflammatory processes. According to a study women that supply their organism with omega 3 fatty acids have 14 percent less risk of breast cancer. You can replace salmon with sardine or mackerel which are also rich in fatty acids.
This vegetable contains a group of phytochemicals that are called carotenoids. They are powerful antioxidants that regulate the grow, regeneration and the immunity of the cells. Carrots, pumpkin and leafy green veggies are also good choice for you.