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Breast cancer
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Breast cancer

WOMEN'S HEALTH

Cancer

From MayoClinic.com

In breast cancer, cells in your breast begin growing abnormally - often for unknown reasons. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells and may spread through your breast or into other parts of your body. The most common type of breast cancer begins in the ducts designed to carry milk after childbirth, but cancer may also occur in the small sacs that produce milk (lobules) or in other breast tissue.

Breast cancer is the disease many women fear most, though they're far more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than they are of all forms of cancer combined. Still, breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths in American women. More than 200,000 American women are diagnosed annually with breast cancer. And nearly 40,000 American women die annually of breast cancer. Although rare, breast cancer can also occur in men.

Yet there's more reason for optimism with regard to breast cancer than ever before. Great strides have been made in diagnosis and treatment in the last 25 years. In 1975 a diagnosis of breast cancer usually meant radical mastectomy - removal of the entire breast along with underarm lymph nodes and skin and muscles underneath the breast. Today, radical mastectomy is rarely performed. Instead, there are more and better treatment options, and many women are candidates for breast-sparing operations, such as lumpectomy.

Emphasis is also being placed on early detection, lifestyle changes and therapies such as tamoxifen that may reduce the risk of breast cancer. In addition, a growing network of agencies and resources exist to help those who have just received a diagnosis, are facing treatment decisions or are living with breast cancer.

Signs and symptoms

Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer may help save your life. When the disease is discovered early, you have more treatment options and a better chance for long-term recovery. In fact, when breast cancer is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, the five-year survival rate is 95 percent.

Most breast lumps aren't cancerous. Yet the most common sign of breast cancer for both men and women is a lump or thickening in the breast. Often, the lump is painless. Other signs of breast cancer include:

  • A spontaneous clear or bloody discharge from your nipple
  • Retraction or indentation of your nipple
  • A change in the size or contours of your breast
  • Any flattening or indentation of the skin over your breast
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
  • A number of factors other than breast cancer can cause your breasts to change in size or feel. In addition to the natural changes that occur during pregnancy and your menstrual cycle, other common noncancerous (benign) breast conditions include:

  • Fibrocystic changes. This condition can cause your breasts to feel ropy or granular. Fibrocystic changes are extremely common, occurring in at least half of all women. In most cases the changes are harmless. And they don't mean you're more likely to develop breast cancer. If your breasts are very lumpy, performing a breast self-exam is more challenging. Becoming familiar with what's normal for you through self-exams will help make detecting any new lumps or changes easier.
  • Cysts. These are fluid-filled sacs that frequently occur in the breasts of women ages 35 to 50. Cysts can range from very tiny to about the size of an egg. They can increase in size or become more tender just before your menstrual period, and may disappear completely after it. Cysts are less common in postmenopausal women.
  • Fibroadenomas. These are solid, noncancerous tumors that often occur in women during their reproductive years. A fibroadenoma is a firm, smooth, rubbery lump with a well-defined shape. It will move under your skin when touched and is usually painless.
  • Infections. Breast infections (mastitis) are common in women who are breast-feeding or who recently have stopped breast-feeding, although you can also develop mastitis that's not related to breast-feeding. Your breast will likely be red, warm, tender and lumpy, and the lymph nodes under your arm may swell. You also feel slightly ill and have a low-grade fever.
  • Trauma. Sometimes a blow to your breast or a bruise also can cause a lump. But this doesn't mean you're more likely to get breast cancer.
  • Calcium deposits (microcalcifications). These tiny deposits of calcium can appear anywhere in your breast and often show up on a mammogram. Most women have one or more areas of microcalcifications of various sizes. They may be caused by secretions from cells, cellular debris, inflammation, trauma or prior radiation. They're not the result of calcium supplements you take. The majority of calcium deposits are harmless, but a small percentage may be precancerous or cancer. If any appear suspicious, your doctor will likely recommend additional tests.
  • If you find a lump or other change in your breast and haven't yet gone through menopause, you may want to wait through one menstrual cycle before seeing your doctor. If the change hasn't gone away after a month, have it evaluated promptly.

     

  • Calcium (Calcium citrate)
  • Calcium Gluconate)
  • fever
  • menopause

 

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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