Although it happens far more often in women, men too can get breast cancer. It is estimated that about one in eight women may develop it and it is more common in those over the age of 40 or those who have breast cancer in their family history (mother, sister, etc who had it).
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The symptoms of breast cancer are varied, but one of the main ones that most people are aware of is finding a lump in the breast. Other possible symptoms that may appear include:
- An inverted nipple in the breast
- Breast skin feels hot or is dimpled in appearance
- Red, blotchy rash on breasts
- Breast has suddenly gotten bigger for no apparent reason
- Nipples hurt or have scales
- Lymph nodes are swelled up under the arm
- Abnormal discharge of the breasts
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
In order to confirm that someone has breast cancer and get treatment for breast cancer, you have to go to the doctor and have tests such as a mammogram, ultrasound, examination of the milk ducts, or MRI done on the breasts. Sometimes they will also take a biopsy of the lump and check it for cancer cells. It is vital that women, and perhaps men if breast cancer is in their family, do a monthly exam of their breasts to check for possible lumps or abnormalities. The quicker they are found, the better the chances the person can recover from breast cancer.
Treatment of Breast Cancer
If tests confirm that someone has breast cancer, then there are various treatments that can be done to help cure it, depending on how far along the disease has progressed. Some of the treatment for breast cancer includes:
- Surgical removal of the lump
- Surgical removal of the breast (s)
- Radiation treatments
- Drug therapies (drugs such as Herceptin, Tykerb, and Avastin)
- Hormonal therapies (aromatase hormones such as Arimidex, Aromasin and Femara) or (anti-estrogen hormones such as Evista, Fareston, or Tamoxifen)
Breast cancer treatment is usually a combination of these therapies and you should talk to your doctor to see which combo is best for treatment of your breast cancer issues.
Prevention of breast cancer
Unfortunately, there are no methods of 100 percent prevention of breast cancer. This is why monthly breast checks are something everyone should do, plus once you hit 40 years or age (earlier if there is a high family history of cancer) women should have an annual mammogram or ultrasound to check for lumps or problems with the milk ducts.
The bottom line is that discovering symptoms of breast cancer as early as possible and combining discovery with treatment of breast cancer as early as possible, can help anyone who has breast cancer have a better chance of survival.