Malignant formation of cells in the breast of women leads to breast cancer. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. The disease and its occurrence are found both in men and women alike, however, it is far more common in women.
Generous help for breast cancer education, awareness, and research subsidizing has helped made advances in the determination and treatment of breast cancer disease. Breast cancer endurance rates have expanded, and the mortality rate related to this ailment is consistently declining, to a great extent because of factors, for example, early detection, another customized way to deal with treatment and a superior understanding of the disease.
Risk factors for developing breast cancer include being female, obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, ionizing radiation, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all, older age, prior history of breast cancer, and family history.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
A lump formation that may feel like a thickened mass of tissues around the breast.
Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
A newly inverted nipple
Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
Primarily, the factors affecting the cost of breast cancer vary with the socioeconomic status of the patient. The country in which the patient is procuring the treatment and the spending capacity of the patient. Mentioned below are some of the major factors:
Age of the patient
Stage of the treatment
Medical history of the patient
External allowances of the patient and the spending capacity of the patient
Resources used and the technology incorporated into the procedure of the treatment
The recent advances made in breast cancer treatment have revolutionized the way how women from this rare disorder are diagnosed and suggested a personalized treatment plan. These advances have made it easier for the doctors to arrive at a treatment plan, which is most suitable for the patient as per their individual characteristics and needs.
Different breast cancer treatment options help destruct complex mixture of cancer cells, which are otherwise difficult to treat using conventional breast cancer treatment. The treatment is started by the doctors handling the case as soon as the breast cancer diagnosis is confirmed.
Before the article delves into the different breast cancer treatment options, lets first take a look at how breast cancer develops and what are its symptoms and diagnosis methods.
Breast cancer primarily affects females aged above 40. However, that does not mean that it does not affect women aged below 40. Breast cancer can also affect males, although rarely.
Breast cancer starts in the cells of either one or both the breasts. It accounts for more than 16 percent of female cancer and contributes to 18.2 percent of all deaths that take place around the world because of cancer.
In the US alone, breast cancer affects more than 232,000 females and 2,200 males each year. It leads to death of more than 39,000 breast cancer patients in a year.
The symptoms of breast cancer can be easily identified at home through breast self-examination. You should consult your physician on how to conduct this exam at home.
The most common breast cancer symptoms include:
In case of more aggressive breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, severe redness and itching may be present.
The patients are advised to contact their physician as soon as they notice any of the symptoms of breast cancer. The physician is the best person to diagnose whether it is normal or inflammatory best cancer, and accordingly, suggest treatment for breast cancer.
The exact reason that causes breast cancer is unclear, despite the fact that every eighth woman suffers from it. However, there are several factors that have been associated with the development of breast cancer. Some of the breast cancer risk factors include:
The risk of breast cancer naturally increases as women age. The risk is also higher in women who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, possess BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or who have had their periods before the age of 12.
Most commonly, as a part of treatment for breast cancer, a surgery is conducted to remove the cancerous lump or growth from breasts. Depending on the extent of cancer and its stage, surgery may be accompanied by another form of treatment as well, which are conducted either before or after the surgery.
The doctor decides upon a breast cancer treatment plan that is most suitable for the patient. The decision may depend upon the extent of spread, the overall health of the patient, the stage and the type of breast cancer (inflammatory, cancer during pregnancy, lobular carcinoma, ductal carcinoma and invasive breast cancer).
The team that conducts breast cancer treatment includes a surgeon, medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist. The different breast cancer treatment options are divided into two types:
Local Treatment: This type of treatment is localized, that is, it is only used to treat one specific location or primary site affected by cancer. It does not have any impact on the rest of the body.
The following are the two types of local treatment:
It is the most common form of treatment that targets to remove as much cancer from the primary location as possible. There are different types of surgeries, which can be selected by the doctor depending upon the requirement.
Radiation is required by some breast cancer patients, mostly in addition to other types of treatment. It is typically used in case of patients who have undergone mastectomy, breast-conserving surgery or if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Delivering high dose radiation to the affected part of the body helps reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.
The radiation can either be delivered externally or by placing a small radioactive pallet in the affected area internally. The latter form of radiation therapy is known as brachytherapy.
This type of treatment involves the used of drugs that can be administered either orally or intravenously. The choice of drugs depends on the type of systemic treatment opted for, which, in turn, is dependent upon the extent and the type of cancer.
Of all the three forms of systemic treatment, chemotherapy is the most common. Chemotherapy is recommended before the surgery to reduce the size of the tumor and after the surgery to kill off the remaining cancer cells. It involves the intravenous administration of specific anti-cancer drugs.
Hormone therapy is most commonly used in cases when the patient has tested HER-2 positive in the biopsy. Targeted therapy, on the other hand, is less commonly used.
Recovery after breast cancer treatment is less painful and traumatic as compared to some of the other types of critical cancers. Therefore are, however, certain changes that breast cancer patients may have to deal with after their treatment. Some of these changes include the following:
The medications after cancer treatment may continue for a few years to keep the regrowth of cancer cells in check. It may take several months for the patient to recover from the after-effects of cancer treatment.
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