Breast cancer is one of the deadly diseases which almost every woman fears most. It is like that because detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages might not be easy for various women. The primary reason behind this is that the symptoms of breast cancer for different women might drastically differ. However, the good news for all women is that the digital mammography cost in India is getting down with each passing year. And, opting for mammography test, breast cancer not only can be detected timely but also effective and life-saving treatment can also be initiated.
This blog discusses some important aspects associated with breast cancer including early signs and symptoms to help women take timely action in the direction of treatment. But, before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s take a look at what breast cancer actually is:
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer can be defined as a malignant tumor that is generated or caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast. Over time, these fast-dividing and irregular cells get accumulated to form a kind of lump or mass. When left untreated, these malignant tumors have a strong possibility of spreading to other parts of the body. The only way to detect breast cancer early is to go for a mammography test by searching a reliable lab or hospital. Women can conduct this search by writing a set of few simple words –“mammography test near me” in the search bar of any reliable search engine.
Breast Cancer: the beginning
Breast cancer occurs when breast cells start growing uncontrollably. Different breast cells can cause different types of breast cancer. Most common types of breast cancer occur in the breast ducts or lobules. These types are known as:
- Invasive ductal carcinoma, and
- Invasive lobular carcinoma.
Other less common types of breast cancer include:
- Inflammatory breast cancer, and
- Ductal carcinoma in situ.
Although breast cancer is the most common disease in women, men can also develop it.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer
As stated at the very outset, symptoms of breast cancer can be quite different in different women. But, some of the most common early signs and symptoms include the following:
- Pulling in of the nipple
- Nipple discharge
- New lump in the breast
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple
- Any change in the size/shape of the breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin, and
- Pain in any area of the breast.
It is also to be noted that the above-mentioned sign and symptoms might occur with other health conditions also but should not be considered cancer-related ones.
Who is at high risk?
Any woman, whose first-degree relatives including her mother or sister have gone through a cancerous stage, particularly during the premenopausal stage, has more chances to develop breast cancer. Apart from it, in case you are a woman who has cancer in the family history – either on your mother’s side or your father’s side, then you are at high risk. In case any male member of your family has a history of cancer, then you are at high risk. In case you have inherited certain mutations or changes to the genes that include BRCA1and BRCA2, then also you are more prone to developing breast cancer. Around 10% of cancer cases are the result of a genetic abnormality inherited either from your mother’s side or your father’s side.
How can you detect breast cancer early?
Going for mammography test is one of the most effective and efficient ways to detect breast cancer at the earliest stages. A mammogram is nothing but an X-ray of the breast through which the detection of breast cancer is done long before the tumor gives a visible feel to the affected individual. The labs and hospitals around the globe follow the set of guidelines determined by the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Depending upon a large number of factors, the risk of breast cancer can also change. Apart from being a female, some other prominent risks include the following:
- The aging factor
- Inherited genetic mutations that include BRCA1and BRCA2
- Breast and/or ovarian cancer family history
- Getting puberty before the age of 12
- Race, ethnicity, and dense breasts.
Some lifestyle-related factors might also be responsible for breast cancer in women. A few of them include the following:
- Never having children
- Going for the first child after the age of 36 years
- Consuming an excessive amount of oral contraceptives
- Consuming alcohol or smoking inconsiderably
- Being overweight or obese, and
- Staying inactive physically.
Left or right breast: which is the more common prey to cancer?
As per various studies carried out on the tendency of breast cancer, it occurs more in the left than the right breast. There are around 10% more chances of cancer in the left breast than in the right one. The exacting reason for the same is still unknown, and investigations and research are being done concerning the same.
What are the health conditions or signs and symptoms that can be mistaken for breast cancer?
As per the American Cancer Society, some noncancerous breast conditions might render the impressions of breast cancer, and the concerned individual needs to be very attentive to them. Some of such most common benign breast conditions include the following:
- Fat necrosis
- Adenosis, and
- Ductal or lobular hyperplasia.
Needless to say, breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that claims millions of lives around the globe every year. In 2020 alone, more than 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer out of which more than 685 000 lost their lives. Breast cancer is a serious threat to women’s lives and needs to be taken seriously. This disease might be dangerous but it is 100% preventable and curable only when you go for a timely screening. Mammography is the ideal and simple test for this. Over the past few years, the digital mammography cost in India has substantially come down – which provides a sigh of relief for women of all age groups.