Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

October 14, 2019 | Hope Channel Southeast Asia

 

What is it?

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different kinds of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. 1

Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast. A breast is made up of three main parts: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. The connective tissue (which consists of fibrous and fatty tissue) surrounds and holds everything together. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts or lobules. 1


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of breast tumors vary from person to person. Some common, early warning signs of breast cancer include:

  • Skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts.
  • An increase in size or change in shape of the breast(s).
  • Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk.
  • General pain in/on any part of the breast.
  • Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of the breast.

Symptoms more specific to invasive breast cancer are:

  • Irritated or itchy breasts.
  • Change in breast color.
  • Increase in breast size or shape (over a short period of time).
  • Changes in touch (may feel hard, tender or warm).
  • Peeling or flaking of the nipple skin.
  • A breast lump or thickening.
  • Redness or pitting of the breast skin (like the skin of an orange).

It's important to remember that other, benign conditions may have caused these changes. For example, changes to the skin texture on the breast may be caused by a skin condition like eczema, and swollen lymph nodes may be caused by an infection in the breast or another, unrelated illness. Seeing a doctor for an evaluation will help you determine whether something you notice is cause for concern. 2


How can I prevent it? 3

  • Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening. Discuss with your doctor when to begin breast cancer screening exams and tests, such as clinical breast exams and mammograms.
  • Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening. Together, you can decide what breast cancer screening strategies are right for you.
  • Become familiar with your breasts through breast self-exam for breast awareness. Women may choose to become familiar with their breasts by occasionally inspecting their breasts during a breast self-exam for breast awareness. If there is a new change, lumps or other unusual signs in your breasts, talk to your doctor promptly.
  • Breast awareness can't prevent breast cancer, but it may help you to better understand the normal changes that your breasts undergo and identify any unusual signs and symptoms.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven't been active lately, ask your doctor whether it's OK and start slowly.
  • Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.
  • Some women experience bothersome signs and symptoms during menopause and, for these women, the increased risk of breast cancer may be acceptable in order to relieve menopause signs and symptoms.
  • To reduce the risk of breast cancer, use the lowest dose of hormone therapy possible for the shortest amount of time.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise.
  • Choose a healthy diet. Women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.

As Matthew 10:31-32 says, ‘And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows’, God knows every part of you. Pray to him, be His friend. Talk to him about your problems, and you will see a difference in your life. He likes when you seek to Him.


References:

1 www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/what-is-breast-cancer.htm

2 https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/breast-cancer/symptoms

3 www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470