A breast cancer diagnosis is a frightening moment for any woman. It can be an extremely challenging time, as well. The emotional stress of learning you have breast cancer and the physical strain of treatment make this an incredibly difficult situation to deal with. However, there are some ways to cope with it and move on with life afterward. In this article, you will learn about the warning signs of breast cancer and its different types, the risk factors that increase your chances of developing the disease, and what steps you can take to prevent it or catch it early on if you are genetically predisposed, as well as practical advice on how to cope with it if you have been diagnosed.
In the article below, Dr. Garvit Chitkara, one of the best breast cancer surgeons in Mumbai, will discuss warning signs of breast cancer types.
What are the warning signs of breast cancer?
Breast cancer usually doesn’t cause any symptoms until it’s in an advanced stage. This means that breast cancer is often diagnosed when it’s already too late to treat it effectively. People at average risk of breast cancer can take steps to increase their chances of detecting the disease in its earlier stages. Thus, when the disease is easier to treat and has a higher chance of being cured.
Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump in your breast or armpit – This is by far the most common symptom of breast cancer.
- Changes in the skin of your breast – These can include dimpling, puckering, redness, or thickening of the skin, usually around your nipple.
- Changes in the texture of your breast – These might include firmness that doesn’t go away with exercise.
- Nipple abnormalities – These can include nipple inversion, discharge from the nipple, or retraction of the nipple into the breast.
- Breast pain – Breast pain doesn’t always indicate breast cancer, but it’s important to mention it to your doctor.
- Changes in your breast size – Breast size may change temporarily after childbirth or menopause, but be sure to mention any other changes to your doctor.
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Types of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a term used to describe a group of cancers that begin when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different types of breast cancer based on the types of cells where the tumour starts and how quickly the cancer grows.
The fastest-growing types of breast cancers are called anaplastic and lymphoma. The slow-growing types of breast cancers are called invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.
Tumours that start in the ducts are called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). DCIS or LCIS that is more than 2 millimeters (mm) thick or in which the cells have started to grow outside the ducts is called invasive breast cancer.
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
There are many risk factors for breast cancer. Some of them can be controlled, such as diet and lifestyle choices, while others are more out of our control, such as genetic makeup, says Dr. Garvit Chitkara, one of the best surgical oncologist in Mumbai.
- Age – The older you are, the more likely you are to develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is rare in women younger than 45 and increases with age. Most breast cancer patients are over 65.
- Family History – In the case of women whose family history includes breast and/or ovarian cancer, there is a higher risk for breast cancer.
- Exercise – Moderate exercise can help guard against breast cancer. Regular exercise (at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week) can reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially premenopausal breast cancer.
- Having Children – Breastfeeding each child for at least a year may reduce the risk of breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the lower the risk.
- Obesity – Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Oral Contraceptives – Women who have used birth control pills for 10 or more years have a higher risk of breast cancer.
The importance of early detection
Early detection of breast cancer is crucial. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of breast cancer, go to a doctor. You should visit your doctor once a year for a breast exam, even if you don’t think you are at high risk for breast cancer.
A mammogram is a special X-ray of your breasts and is the preferred screening method for early detection. Though it does have its limitations, a mammogram is still the best tool for detecting breast cancer early.
A biopsy is the only way to be sure if something is wrong, so if your doctor finds something suspicious during a breast exam or a mammogram, he or she will order a biopsy.
Coping strategies for breast cancer patients
Dr. Garvit Chitkara, one of the best surgical oncologist in Mumbai, says, The first thing you should do when you are diagnosed with breast cancer is to try to remain positive. You are not alone in this; there are many online support groups and communities where you can share experiences with others who have gone through this.
Spreading awareness and educating others about breast cancer is also helpful.
- Stay healthy – Exercise and a healthy diet are both very important in the fight against breast cancer. Have foods rich in protein and fiber.
- Connect with others – Being around others who understand what you’re going through can help you feel empowered. There are many support groups that help bond with people suffering from breast cancer.
- Keep your sense of humor – Laughter can help ease the stress of any situation, even a serious one like this. Make sure that you surround yourself with people who want the best for you.
- Stay positive – Try to remain positive and remember that you can beat this. Studies even show that thinking and being positive have improved the overall health of the person.
Breast cancer is a disease that affects millions of people around the world each year. Although there are some ways to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, there is no sure way to prevent this disease. When breast cancer is detected early, the chances of survival are better. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of breast cancer, go to a doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is crucial. The sooner breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival.