Friday, March 14, 2008

New Treatment Options For Breast Cancer (Part-2)

Hormonal therapy may also be given, as many breast cancers such as those that have ample estrogens or progesterone receptors are sensitive to changes in hormones.
Tamoxifen Breast Cancer Treatment
Those women who are genetically at high risk of developing breast cancer may benefit from tamoxifen as it has previously been seen to decrease the incidence of the disease occurring. Raloxifene, which is used to treat osteoporosis, is now being studied for treating breast cancer.

In some breast cancer cases, a woman’s natural hormones are suppressed with drugs whereas other patients find benefits by adding hormones. Tamoxifen for instance is currently the most commonly prescribed effective hormone treatment. It can be used for treating breast cancer and in the prevention of breast cancer. Tamoxifen has few side effects and can considerably improve the life span of those women who have advanced cases of breast cancer.
Fulvestrant Breast Cancer Treatment
A further treatment, Fulvestrant has recently been approved in the USA. It is planned to be used for treating hormone receptor positive metastastic breast cancer in women who have been through the menopause. It is given following antiestrogen therapy.
Monoclonal Breast Cancer Treatment
Another treatment known as monoclonal is antibodies that are antagonistic against the proteins, which are in or around cancer cells. They recognise an invader such as a cancer cell and attack it. This antibody therapy is currently being investigated holds out a lot of hope for breast cancer sufferers.

Excessive alcohol intake and obesity following menopause can increase the risk of developing breast cancer although this increase is slight. Those physically active women have a lower risk.
Preventative or Prophylactic Mastectomies
More and more women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer are having preventative or prophylactic mastectomies to avoid them developing breast cancer.
The main risk factors for women to develop breast are age, sex and genetics. Women can do nothing about some risks so preventing death caused due to breast cancer is recommended with regular screening.

Women should undertake regular screening including self-examination, mammography and clinical breast examinations. I hope that reading the above information was both enjoyable and educational for you. That's how things stand right now. Keep in mind that any subject can change over time, so be sure you keep up with the latest news.
By: Neelima Reddy

New Treatment Options For Breast Cancer (Part 1)

Although surgery is the most effective (and hence, the most widely used) breast cancer treatment method, there are several other ways of dealing with the disease, some are more powerful than the others. These include radiation therapy, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, each of them with their own assets and downsides.

Most of them however are used in combination with surgery for best effects, either prior to it, in order to reduce the size of the tumor or after the operation, in order to remove any remaining cancerous cells. For a better understanding of these alternative treatment methods for breast cancer, we’ll take a closer look at each, explaining how they work and in what cases they might prove useful.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses powerful gamma rays (x-rays) which target the specific area that needs to be treated with high precision. Usually, radiation therapy is performed after surgery, to destroy any cancer cells that have not been removed or the ones that formed up where the tumor was removed. Although it can’t be used as, a treatment on its own, radiation therapy is one of the most accepted post-surgery methods of breast conserving therapy (BCT) and has a high chance of stopping the cancer from recurring. As with all treatments involving x-rays, there are some downsides to radiation therapy. First, in order to wipe out the cancerous cells that might have formed (or remained) in the area where the tumor was removed from, the x-rays will eventually damage some of the healthy tissue too. Although the process is highly precise, the rays cannot make a difference between cancerous and normal cells, so they “burn” them together.

Chemotherapy involves the administration of drugs that kill the cancer cells or stop them from growing. Most chemotherapy medications are given through an intravenous line, although some are administered in pill form. Chemotherapy is a harsh regime, which often makes people feel more ill than the illness they are suffering from; however, it has been proved very effective.
Chemotherapy is a great treatment method to use both prior and after surgery. With the help of this method, you can virtually contract the cancerous tumor before the actual surgery, making it easier and less complex to remove. In addition, chemotherapy is used in the same sense as radiation therapy after the surgical intervention, to stop the diseased cells to recur.

Chemotherapy is administered usually in cycles where each cycle consists of a period of intensive treatment that lasts for a few days or weeks followed by a week of recovery. Most patients with breast cancer have two to four cycles of chemotherapy to start with before tests are performed to see what effects it has had on the cancer.
Chemotherapy is different to radiation as it can treat the whole body with the potential of finding other tumor cells that have migrated from the breast and surrounding area. Many people are familiar with chemotherapy’s side effects although the side effects do depend upon drugs to treat the patient.

The most common side effects are loss of hair, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting and low blood cell count making the patient more susceptible to infections, feeling sick or tired. Many notice that they bleed more than usual, especially from gums, sores and small scrapes etc.
There are three different chemotherapy strategies are used in breast cancer:
(1) Adjuvant chemotherapy – this is given to patients who have undergone curative treatment for breast cancer such as radiation or surgery. In order to decrease the possibility of the breast cancer recurrence, this treatment is given.
(2) Pre-surgical chemotherapy – this is given to shrink a large tumor and/or to kill any stray cancerous cells. This will also increase the chance that the surgery will kill the cancer completely.
(3) Regular chemotherapy – this is given routinely to people who have breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast or the surrounding local area.
By: Neelima Reddy

What Are Cancer Preventing Breast Diet?

The importance of a healthy diet in preventing breast cancer has been often stressed by doctors and health journals alike. But what exactly is a healthy diet that is conducive to breast cancer prevention? This article tries to explain – in layperson’s terms – what kind of diet is beneficial in preventing breast cancer.
Foods that Help Preventing Breast Cancer:
(i) Vitamins of the B-Complex-
Independent researches have shown that Boston and Shanghai have shown that a diet that is rich in vitamins of the B-complex is very ideal in keeping breast cancer at bay. The most powerful of the B-complex vitamins for the prevention of breast cancer are the vitamins B6 and B12 or folic acid. Folic acid has been linked with breast cancer prevention in women who are regular consumers of alcohol. Higher levels of vitamin B12 are more effective in preventing breast cancers in women who have not yet had their menopause.
(ii) Carrots
Carrots contain beta-carotene which is a precursor for the formation of vitamin A, chemically known as retinol. A research in New York has proved that women who include carrots on a regular basis in their diet have low chances of getting breast cancers. It has been found that a regular intake of carrots in the form of salads reduces the risk of breast cancers by half in women who have crossed their menopausal age.
(iii) Fish and fish oils
Fish could be the most important foods in the prevention of breast cancer. It has been found that fish oils are very beneficial in keeping breast cancer away in women who have crossed their menopause. Fish oils are effective even with risk factors such as age during the first full term pregnancy, age at first menses, age at menopause, other breast disorders, etc. Moreover, a diet that contains of a combination of fish and carrots is found to be much more highly effective than fish alone. Fish contain the omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids which are good combatants of breast cancer, as they reduce the levels of the harmful omega-6 fatty acids, which in fact promote the growth of the cancerous tissues. Thus people subsisting on a fish diet are also consuming a low fat diet. Fish is known to reduce the cases of obesity. This has been seen in people living near coastal areas whose diet consists predominantly of fish. Obesity is one of the major risk factors of breast cancer.
(iv) Vegetables
Several vegetables are identified to be anti-cancer agents. Vegetables such as parsley, cilantro, cabbage, soy, celery and parsnip have anti-cancer properties. Garlic is known to be effective in breast cancer prevention as well. Tomatoes and onions may have mild cancer preventing properties.
(v) Fruits
Many fruits have anti-cancer properties. Some of these are papayas, oranges, mangoes, apricots, blueberries, persimmons, grapes, lemons, peaches, strawberries, tangerines, etc.(vi) FlaxFlaxseeds are slowly becoming very popular in cancer prevention. They have two important ingredients that are known to fight cancer. One is the omega-3 fatty acids and the second is lignan. Flaxseeds in ground form are better than the flax oil, because they contain the necessary fibers which help in easy digestion.
Foods that can Promote Breast Cancer
There are several foods that have been identified to be responsible in promoting breast cancer. The following is a list of some of these foods:-
(i) Fatty Acids
There are some fatty acids that promote the growth of breast cancer, while some others retard it. Generally, the omega-6-polyunsaturated fatty acids are proven to increase cancer risks. Such fats are present in coconut oil and butter. At the same time, oils such as castor oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil or corn oil contain the omega-3 acids which in fact retard the formation of tumors. Hence, the diet must contain more of the omega-3 acids and less of the omega-6 acids in order to prevent breast cancer.
(ii) Red Meats
Red meats are known to cause almost all types of cancers if taken in excess. Hence, in the diet the amounts of red meats must be reduced and white meats must be increased. Red meats are mutton, beef and pork; while white meats are chicken and poultry.
(iii) Smoking and Alcoholism
Smoking is the single largest risk for breast cancers today. Women who begin to smoke early in their lives and continue on a regular basis stand at a much higher risk. Similarly, alcohols are also to be avoided. Yet, recent researches have shown that alcohol taken in conjunction with a folic acid diet may actually help in the prevention of breast cancer.Sticking to a good dietary regime could be very well the best way to prevent breast cancer. But the importance of physical activity should not be ignored. A woman can go a long way in preventing breast cancer if she takes a healthy diet and couples it with a physically active lifestyle.
By : Anna Hardy

Early Breast Cancer Detection

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, and one of the most common types of cancer in general. It is estimated that one in seven women that live to age 90 will develop breast cancer. It is especially prevalent in some families, making the statistics a bit skewed. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your chances of developing the disease are much greater. It’s therefore a good idea to stay especially vigilant for breast cancer detection.

Breast cancer detection is difficult initially since the symptoms don’t often manifest themselves until the cancer is already in its later stages of growth, and may have already metastasized to other more vital areas of the body. That is why it is so important for women to regularly get checked. Mammograms may be unpleasant, but late stage breast cancer detection is worse.
The most clear and common breast cancer detection is of course a lump in your breast. It is important to keep in mind that not all lumps are cancerous. Most women will develop numerous lumps in their breasts throughout their lives; they are especially common during periods of rapid hormonal changes such as puberty, and menstruation. Some women will have more lumps than others.
A more severe breast cancer detection will be pain in your breasts. A cancer that has grown large enough to impinge on nerves will be a noticeable lump in a self check or mammogram, so hopefully you’ll catch anything before it gets to the point of causing pain. If one or both of your breasts are in pain, again its important to keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have breast cancer. During puberty and periods of hormone fluxes, tenderness of the breasts is common. Also pregnancy, and some medications can cause pain or tenderness in your breasts.
Even though in most cases you find breast cancer detection in women over 40, women in their teens and twenties are occasionally diagnosed as well. Most people don’t know that about one percent of the cases are in men. Starting from puberty, it is a good idea to start checking yourself for lumps. Remember, during this period you’re likely to find a lot of lumps that are harmless. With some experience and some consultation with your doctor, you’ll soon get an idea of the kinds of lumps that are normal, and the kinds of lumps that may be breast cancer symptoms.
By: Muna wa Wanjiru

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Diet and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a cancer of the glandular breast tissue. Breast cancer affects one in eight women during their lives. Breast cancer may be one of the oldest known forms of cancer tumors in humans. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any cancer except lung cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women and the second most common cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. While the majority of new breast cancers are diagnosed as a result of an abnormality seen on a mammogram, a lump or change in consistency of the breast tissue can also be a warning sign of the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of 45 and 55. Although breast cancer in women is a common form of cancer, male breast cancer does occur and accounts for about 1% of all cancer deaths in men. Breast cancer usually begins with the formation of a small, confined tumor. Some tumors are benign, meaning they do not invade other tissue; others are malignant, or cancerous. Malignant tumors have the potential to metastasize, or spread. Some risk factors, such as your age, and family history, can't be changed, whereas others, including weight, smoking and a poor diet, are under your control.

A woman's risk of breast cancer is higher mother, sister, or daughter had breast cancer. The risk can actually be lower if you have a short menstrual life, large family or first child before age 18 years. Men have a lower risk of developing breast cancer (approximately 1.08 per 100,000 men per year), but this risk appears to be rising. Other risks include being overweight, using hormone replacement therapy, taking birth control pills, drinking alcohol, not having children or having your first child after age 35 or having dense breasts. Alcohol appears to increase the risk of breast cancer, though meaningful increases are limited to higher alcohol intake levels. Breast cancer constitutes about 7.3% of all cancers. Symptoms of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in size or shape of the breast or discharge from a nipple. Most breast lumps are benign , that is, they are not cancer. Benign breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast and they are not life threatening.

Treatment of breast cancer include Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, and Immune Therapy. Certain foods, vitamins, or minerals may interfere with cancer treatment. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid drinks during meals because they may cause a bloated feeling. Proteins: May provide protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Meats, beans, nuts, and seeds provide these benefits. Some seeds, like almonds, are good sources of vitamin E. Dairy products: Milk and cheese provide calcium, protein, and vitamin B12. Grains: Breads, pasta, rice, and cereals provide carbohydrates and B vitamins. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy. Eat cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, and brussel sprouts - which contain plant phytochemicals that lower blood estrogen levels by increasing the estrogen detoxification capacity of the liver. Try cool foods. Warm foods may worsen nausea. Do not eat or drink until vomiting is under control.

Breast Cancer Treatrment and Diet Tips

1.Eat a diet lower in fat, ideally no more than 18% of your daily caloric intake.

2. Use "good" fats -- monounsaturated and omega-3 fats - from olive oil, flax seed oil, almond oil and canola oil, as well as fats from deep-sea fish.

3. Eat cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, and brussel sprouts.

4. Eat a diet high in fiber, with plant-based sources of protein.

5. Soy, aim for 1 to 2 servings of soy products per day.

6. Tea (black or green), aim for 3 to 5 servings per day.

7. Nitrates and nitrites, avoid cured meats when possible.

8. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy.

Author : Juliet Cohen

How To Tackle Breast Cancer Successfully?

Breast cancer could very well be placed at number one among all the killer diseases in women today. This type of cancer accounts for 26% of all the cancers in women. As such, it is largest killer cancer of all people in world, except maybe lung cancer. With so many women becoming victims of breast cancer each year, it should be thought that the medical fraternity must be having very detailed information about it. But that is hardly the case. Despite the millions of women dying each year, the causes, mechanisms and treatment of breast cancer still remains shrouded in mystery.

A simple layperson’s definition of breast cancer is that it is an abnormal growth of a mass of cells known as a tumor anywhere within the breast. This growth is felt as a lumpy mass in the early stages of the cancer. This is when the woman must rush to the doctor. In fact any sudden inexplicable abnormality in the shape of the breast must be given medical attention immediately. There is no cause for alarm, as most changes could be perfectly harmless. But it is wise to rule out the possibility of blood cancer.

Another aspect of urgent medical attention is that breast cancer is fully treatable if it is seen to early. In all women suffering from breast cancer, the tumor will undergo an initial benign stage. At this stage the tumor has not started its abnormal multiplication. If it is removed when it is benign, the cancer does not spread, and in most cases, the woman gets totally cured of the disease and leads a normal life.

Nothing can be said about how long the tumor will remain benign. That depends on several inherent factors with the woman’s physiology. The period of benign tumor is another part of breast cancer about which very little is known. But the presence of a tumor or such other symptoms is a strong indicator of occurrence of breast cancer. Apart from the tumor, there could be changes in the coloration of the skin over the breast. Other skin changes such as crimpling and folding could occur. The symptoms of breast cancer are also observed over the nipple and the areolas. The nipples could become inverted without reason, or there could be deformities in their shapes. The same could occur at the areolas, which are the dark circles around the nipples. In the later stages of the breast cancer, there could be a discharge of fluids from the nipples. This discharge could be pus-like, or it could even be a discharge of blood.

Even though the exact causes of breast cancer are not known, there are some women who are termed by the medical facilities as high-risk groups for the disease. Topping this list are the women who smoke and consume alcohol on a regular basis. Women who are obese due to lack of exercise or a physiological problem come next. Breast augmentation surgeries such as breast implants were once considered to be a primary reason for breast cancers. This was in the days silicone gel was used as the implanting material. However, today with the replacement of silicone gel with saline gel, the incidences of women getting cancer due to implants has become drastically less. It is also found that breast cancer cases run in families. Hence if a close relative has breast cancer, there is a great chance that the other women in the family could get it too. This indicates a hereditary factor influencing breast cancer.

Though the causes of breast cancer are unknown, there is a proliferation of the amount of literature about its prevention. Most of these methods are just hogwash, but there are many precautionary points that women must consider. Women must give high priority to losing their body weight, especially if there has been a case of breast cancer in the family. It is also a good idea to have a regular checkup. The checkup could also be done at home with finger pressure. With two fingers, the entire breast must be gradually touched, poking at points to check if there is any undue hardness felt.

Some women take drugs that contain estrogen in them. These could be for almost about anything – from increasing the sexual drive to increasing the amount of milk during lactation. But it must be remembered that any kind of hormonal disarray in the body could only make matters worse. It is not yet proven, but it can be assumed that an increase in the amount of estrogen in the blood could hasten the chances of blood cancer.

There are some foods that have been identified by dieticians to be good for preventing breast cancer. These include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and legumes. Even oranges, tomatoes and other citrus fruits could have some effects. Soy and its products are also good. A low carbohydrate diet is suggested. At the same time, it is needless to say that the woman must abstain from smoking and alcoholism.

Indulging in regular exercise and maintaining an overall positive outlook towards life could be important to remain away from breast cancer. Some alternative therapists believe that mental tensions could be one of the causes of breast cancer.

Author : Anna Hardy

Lowering Risk of Breast Cancer

Brest cancer is the most common cancer among women.
Usually, the body creates healthy, normal cells, but if a cell changes into an abnormal, harmful form, it can divide quickly and making many copies of itsel, a tumor, abnormal body cells form a lump.
If you are a woman and live an otherwise full and healthy life, there is about a 15% chance you’ll develop breast cancer by the age of 90. That may not sound like a lot, but as far as cancer risks go that’s one of the highest out there. The best thing you can do to lower that risk is to frequently go in for a breast cancer test.

Risk factors to get breast cancer: genetic makeup or internal environments, hormones, illnesses, and feelings and thoughts. The external the food, water, air, smoking, and medicines, home, workplace.

The 15% likelihood of developing breast cancer is slightly skewed in that you are actually much more likely to get it if there is a history of such cancer in your family, and significantly less likely to develop it if there isn’t. This is good news if you don’t have any one in your immediate family that had breast cancer, but unfortunately many families do have such a history. With or without a family history, you still need to stay vigilant and go in for breast cancer tests regularly.

Regular mammograms with self-exams are the best ways for women to protect themselves.
The breast cancer test I’m referring to is of course your basic mammogram. Unpleasant, uncomfortable, and only a few steps away from medieval torture, it is the most effective affordable breast cancer test available. Waiting for symptoms to develop before getting treatment is a bad idea, as symptoms don’t usually become clear until the cancer is already in its later stages of growth. In these later stages, it is harder to treat, and it is much more likely to have spread throughout the body. So mammograms may be unpleasant, but terminal cancer is definitely worse.

It’s also important to develop some breast cancer tests of your own, that you can do on a regular basis in between mammograms. As soon as you hit puberty, it’s a good idea to conduct self breast cancer tests as this begins the period where your chances of getting breast cancer begin. Most cases of breast cancer are in women over 40, but there are a number of cases found in girls as young as early teens every year. Also, most people don’t realize that breast cancer can also occur in men! While it’s limited to about one percent of the total cases, there are still more men than you’d think that are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Since your chances for survival are so much better if breast cancer is found early, keep up with the breast cancer tests! Don’t panic if you find a lump; most of the time it is something benign, and lumps are often common in women undergoing hormonal shifts.

About Author : Bob Taylor

What Are The Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a largely unknown disease until today, despite the fact that it affects almost ten percent of the women above the age of forty years all over the world. The causes of this killer cancer are not known even after decades of research into it. Similarly it is unknown why some women have higher chances of getting breast cancers than others.

Though the causative factors are not known, some risk factors have been identified. There is no medical proof why these factors make the disease more probable, but this is a study of observation. In a vast cross-section of women with the observed risk factors, it has been found that the chances of getting breast cancers are very high.

The various risk factors for breast cancer are as follows:-

(1) Family History of Breast Cancer

If a near relative like a mother or a sister has had breast cancer, then there is a very high chance that the cancer will occur sometime in life. This propensity is observed even if far relatives such as cousins and aunts have had breast cancer, though the chances are lesser as the relatives are more removed. Even if a male relative has had breast cancer or prostate cancer, then there is a chance of getting breast cancer. This clearly indicates that breast cancer runs through family lines through inheritance. Certainly the chances are very high if more than one family member has had breast cancer.

(2) Personal History of Breast Cancer

If a woman has had breast cancer in the past, then there is a great chance that the breast cancer may recur. This is true even if the cancer had been removed in its benign stage itself. Sometimes the cancer cells spread into the nearby lymph. This makes a possibility that the cancer will occur in the opposite breast. In fact, women who have had cancer in one breast have 50 to 75% more chances of developing the cancer in the other breast.

(3) Diseases of the Breast

Several breast diseases can increase the chances of having breast cancer. Changes in the cells of the breasts can lead to atypical hyperplasia. This condition can cause a three to fourfold increase in the possibility of getting breast cancer in the later years. This risk also exists if the atypical hyperplasia has occurred in other women of the family. Another such condition is the benign breast tumor condition known as fibro adenoma. However, women with fibrocystic breasts generally do not have any added vulnerability to breast cancer. Yet, such conditions could make the breasts lumpy and hide the real tumors (if any) during mammography.

(4) Lifestyle

In today’s world, lifestyle is the single largest contributing factor for the proliferation of breast cancer among women. Several elements of the lifestyle have been found to be directly accordant with the prevalence of breast cancer. Smoking and alcoholism in women are among the chief factors. Even diet has been pointed out as an important risk factor. Women who consume a diet with more high-cholesterol fats in them have higher chances of breast cancer. At the same time leading a sedentary lifestyle without indulging much in physical activity are also potentially dangerous.

(5) Radiation

It has been found that women who undergo radiation therapies in their chest region at a young age have an increased risk of developing breast cancer in their later lives. Radiation therapy is generally prescribed for women with conditions like Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So women who have undergone such treatments may get breast cancer in their later years.

(6) Hormonal Imbalances

There are several factors that can change the hormone balance of the body. Some of them are:-

a) Beginning the menstrual cycle early, i.e. before the age of twelve years,
b) Having the first pregnancy after the age of thirty years,
c) Having no pregnancy at all,
d) Having a late menopause.

All these conditions can increase the level of estrogen in the body. This increases the risk of getting breast cancer to a mild extent. Apart from that women who take regular birth control pills, breast enhancement supplements, antidepressants and antihistamines and hormone modifying supplements stand at a higher risk to get breast cancers.

The above are the major risk factors for breast cancers. But since the study on breast cancers is not yet complete, the above is by no means a complete list. There are several other indications of breast cancers, like breast implant operations; but these have not yet been confirmed. The implants used in the earlier days were made of silicone gels. These were riskier in terms of breast cancer. However, nowadays the silicone gel implants have been replaced by saline implants. This has reduced the risk to a great extent.

It must be also noted that women have much higher chances of getting breast cancer than men. In fact, most people think that breast cancer is a disease that affects only women. This is not true. Men also get breast cancers, but to a much lesser degree than women. Also, age is a very important factor. The chances of getting breast cancer are much higher when the woman has crossed the age of 50 years.

Author : Anna Hardy

Friday, February 1, 2008

Breast Cancer - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) growth that begins in the tissues of the breast. Over the course of a lifetime, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is a cancer of the breast tissue, which can occur in both women and men. Breast cancer may be one of the oldest known forms of cancer tumors in humans.Worldwide, breast cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death (after lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer). Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any cancer except lung cancer. Today, breast cancer, like other forms of cancer, is considered to be a result of damage to DNA. How this mechanism may occur comes from several known or hypothesized factors (such as exposure to ionizing radiation, or viral mutagenesis). Some factors lead to an increased rate of mutation (exposure to estrogens) and decreased repair (the BRCA1, BRCA2 and p53) genes. Alcohol generally appears to increase the risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer can also occur in men, although it rarely does. Experts predict 178,000 women and 2,000 men will develop breast cancer in the United States. There are several different types of breast cancer. First is Ductal carcinoma begins in the cells lining the ducts that bring milk to the nipple and accounts for more than 75% of breast cancers. Second is Lobular carcinoma begins in the milk-secreting glands of the breast but is otherwise fairly similar in its behavior to ductal carcinoma. Other varieties of breast cancer can arise from the skin, fat, connective tissues, and other cells present in the breast. Some women have what is known as HER2-positive breast cancer. HER2, short for human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, is a gene that helps control cell growth, division, and repair. When cells have too many copies of this gene, cell growth speeds up.

Causes of Breast Cancer

Simply being a woman is the main risk for breast cancer. While men can also get the disease, it is about 100 times more common in women than in men. The chance of getting breast cancer goes up as a woman gets older. Nearly 8 out of 10 breast cancers are found in women age 50 or older. About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are linked to changes (mutations) in certain genes. The most common gene changes are those of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease. The relatives can be from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family. Woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of getting a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast. This is different from the first cancer coming back Many experts now believe that the main reason for this is because they have faster growing tumors. Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian women have a lower risk of getting breast cancer. Certain types of abnormal biopsy results can be linked to a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest area (as treatment for another cancer) earlier in life have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer

Some pregnant women were given the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol) because it was thought to lower their chances of losing the baby. Recent studies have shown that these women (and their daughters who were exposed to DES while in the uterus), have a slightly increased risk of getting breast cancer. Use of alcohol is clearly linked to a slightly increased risk of getting breast cancer. Women who have 1 drink a day have a very small increased risk. Those who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1½ times the risk of women who drink no alcohol. The American Cancer Society suggests limiting the amount you drink.Being overweight is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, especially for women after change of life and if the weight gain took place during adulthood. Also, the risk seems to be higher if the extra fat is in the waist area. Breast-feeding and pregnancy: Some studies have shown that breast-feeding slightly lowers breast cancer risk, especially if the breast-feeding lasts 1½ to 2 years. This could be because breast-feeding lowers a woman’s total number of menstrual periods, as does pregnancy. Women who began having periods early (before 12 years of age) or who went through the change of life (menopause) after the age of 55 have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer



3.Breast Pain.


5.Nipple Discharge.

6.Inverted Nipple.

Treatment of Breast Cancer

1.Hormonal therapy (with tamoxifen).




About the author:
Juliet Cohen writes health articles for health care guide. She also writes articles on women health.
Article Source: Free-Articles-Zone