So now let's get right into it
Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. There are two main types of breast cancer:
Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes (ducts) that move milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancers are of this type.
Lobular carcinoma starts in the parts of the breast, called lobules, that produce milk.
In rare cases, breast cancer can start in other areas of the breast.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Over the course of a lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Risk factors you cannot change include:
Age and gender -- Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. Most advanced breast cancer cases are found in women over age 50. Women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men.
Family history of breast cancer -- You may also have a higher risk for breast cancer if you have a close relative who has had breast, uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer. About 20 - 30% of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.
Genes -- Some people have genes that make them more likely to develop breast cancer. The most common gene defects are found in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These genes normally produce proteins that protect you from cancer. If a parent passes you a defective gene, you have an increased risk for breast cancer. Women with one of these defects have up to an 80% chance of getting breast cancer sometime during their life.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer.
Menstrual cycle -- Women who got their periods early (before age 12) or went through menopause late (after age 55) have an increased risk for breast cancer.
Other risk factors include:
Alcohol use -- Drinking more than 1 - 2 glasses of alcohol a day may increase your risk for breast cancer, so that bottle of free champagne you get in the club or beach might be killing you( osho free girls)
Childbirth -- Women who have never had children or who had them only after age 30 have an increased risk for breast cancer. Being pregnant more than once or becoming pregnant at an early age reduces your risk of breast cancer.
DES -- Women who took diethylstilbestrol (DES) to prevent miscarriage may have an increased risk of breast cancer after age 40. This drug was given to the women in the 1940s - 1960s.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) -- You have a higher risk for breast cancer if you have received hormone replacement therapy with estrogen for several years or more.Obesity --
Radiation -- If you received radiation therapy as a child or young adult to treat cancer of the chest area, you have a much higher risk for developing breast cancer. The younger you started such radiation and the higher the dose, the higher your risk -- especially if the radiation was given during breast development.
Breast implants, using antiperspirants, and wearing under-wire bras do not raise your risk for breast cancer. There is no evidence of a direct link between breast cancer and pesticides.
Early breast cancer usually does not cause symptoms. This is why regular breast exams are important. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
Breast lump or lump in the armpit that is hard, has uneven edges, and usually does not hurt
Change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast or nipple -- for example, you may have redness, dimpling, or puckering that looks like the skin of an orange
Fluid coming from the nipple -- may be bloody, clear to yellow, green, and look like pus
Men can get breast cancer, too. Symptoms include breast lump and breast pain and tenderness.
Symptoms of advanced breast cancer may include:
Breast pain or discomfort
Swelling of one arm (next to the breast with cancer)
Signs and tests
The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and risk factors. Then the doctor will perform a physical exam, which includes both breasts, armpits, and the neck and chest area.
Tests used to diagnose and monitor patients with breast cancer may include:
Breast MRI to help better identify the breast lump or evaluate an abnormal change on a mammogram
Breast ultrasound to show whether the lump is solid or fluid-filled
Breast biopsy, using methods such as needle aspiration, ultrasound-guided, stereo-tactic, or open
CT scan to see if the cancer has spread
Mammography to screen for breast cancer or help identify the breast lump
Sentinal lymph node biopsy to see if the cancer has spread
If your doctor learns that you do have breast cancer, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has spread. This is called staging. Staging helps guide future treatment and follow-up and gives you some idea of what to expect in the future.
Breast cancer stages range from 0 to IV. The higher the staging number, the more advanced the cancer.
Treatment is based on many factors, including:
Type and stage of the cancer
Whether the cancer is sensitive to certain hormones
Whether the cancer overproduces (overexpresses) a gene called HER2/neu
In general, cancer treatments may include:
Chemotherapy medicines to kill cancer cells
Radiation therapy to destroy cancerous tissue
Surgery to remove cancerous tissue -- a lumpectomy removes the breast lump; mastectomy removes all or part of the breast and possible nearby structures
Contact your health care provider for an appointment if:
You have a breast or armpit lump
You have nipple discharge
Also call your health care provider if you develop symptoms after being treated for breast cancer, such as:
Rash on the breast
New lumps in the breast
Swelling in the area
Pain, especially chest pain, abdominal pain, or bone pain
The Five Steps of a Breast Self-Exam
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your rib cage.
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in Step 4
If you have performed all these steps and you find any signs listed above, please please head down to the hospital and speak to a doctor, you will be saving your own life.
Written by Femi Shine with input from http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps