A cancer that forms within the breasts tissues is known as breast cancer. Although this cancer can occur in both men and women, it is more common in women.
Owing mostly to a number of factors including improved understanding of the illness, earlier detection, and a new personalized approach when it comes to the treatment of the disease, there has been a steady decrease in the number of deaths caused by breast cancer, and an encouraging increase in the rate of survival.
Types of breast cancer
Breast cancers that are in situ specify that they have not spread. While if the cancer is of an invasive or infiltrating kind, then it means that the disease has spread into the surrounding tissues of the breast.
Some common types of breast cancer include ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma, etc.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
Breast cancer can be diagnosed using a number of different tests such as breast ultrasound, breast MRI scans, experimental breast imaging, and mammograms.
A mammogram refers to the x-ray of the breast. A screening mammogram can detect breast cancer even if there are no evident symptoms present. If suspicious results are found in a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram is then used for further assessment. A diagnostic mammogram may also be used if there are clear signs of breast cancer. This helps determine whether these signs are pointing towards the existence of cancer or have stemmed from some other factors. Signs of breast cancer include alterations in the shape or size of the breast, pain, a lump, nipple discharge, and the breast skin becoming thick.
Types of breast cancer treatments
Before moving ahead with treating breast cancer, it is important to determine the type of breast cancer and assess relevant factors such as how far the cancer has spread its roots, what is the size of the tumour, and if the tumour has any specific features such as receptors.
Breast cancer can be treated using different ways. Some of which include:
Surgery can be used in treating breast cancer. It involves operating, in order to cut out and remove the cancer tissue. The two major types of breast cancer surgery are breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery involves the removal of tumour, where tumour refers to the lump of cancer. In mastectomy, surgery involves removal of the whole breast.
This type of treatment involves the use of special medicines in order to kill or reduce the size of cancer cells. These drugs can also cause side effects such as hair loss, fatigue, and nausea.
Hormonal therapy creates obstructions for cancer cells, so that they can’t receive the hormones required for their growth. The treatment is carried out by the use of drugs such as tamoxifen, anastrozole, and others.
Breast cancer can be treated through radiation therapy as it uses high-energy rays for the purpose of killing cancer cells. Side effects caused by this treatment depend on the type and amount of radiation received, amongst other factors.