Breast cancer: symptoms, stages, causes and treatment

Written by med

Breast cancer or breast cancer, without any exaggeration, the scourge of modern society, forcing to shudder more than one woman. This cancer accounts for 16% of all female malignant pathologies. This means that breast cancer ranks first among all cancers in women.

Ability to aggressive active growth and metastasis of tumors simply demonize this disease in the eyes of the beautiful half of humanity. In fairness it should be said that breast cancer is possible in men. This fact simply does not fit in the mind of the male population, which eventually leads to late treatment to the doctor and, consequently, to poor treatment outcome. But in this article we will talk about breast cancer in women.

The content of the article

  • The causes of breast cancer
  • Symptoms of breast cancer:
  • Diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Breast self-examination
  • Clinical examination of the breast
  • Stage breast cancer
  • Treatment of breast cancer
  • Prevention of breast cancer
  • Survival rates in breast cancer
  • Video on the topic: “breast Cancer: prevention and treatment”
  • Related video: “breast self-examination”

The causes of breast cancer

Breast cancer in women Scientifically confirmed a link between an excess of endogenous estrogens and breast cancer. Peak off-peak of these hormones observed during pregnancy and during the breastfeeding period. Therefore, breast cancer during pregnancy and lactation is unlikely, and they can rightly be counted among the best means of cancer prevention of this location. But abortion, by contrast, due to the fact that they lead to a hormonal “surge”, can stimulate the formation of tumors. Also say that early onset of menstruation, late birth of first child (after age 30), late menopause significantly increase the risk of developing breast cancer. This is due to prolonged effects of estrogen in the woman’s body. But what about hormonal contraceptives? — you will ask. There’s a double-edged sword: it is considered that the risk of breast cancer, they reduce, but increase the risk of osteoporosis and cervical cancer (note that all this is supposed to be the debate continues to this day).

Talk about other causes of breast cancer. One of the good — bad heredity. In fact, breast cancer can be called a family form of cancer: if it were my mother (sisters), the risk to get it doubled.

And briefly list the remaining factors:

  • poor environmental conditions,
  • the disease of the mammary glands inflammatory nature (mastitis),
  • benign disease (intraductal papillomatosis, fibroadenoma, fibrous mastopathy),
  • irradiation (for example, frequent and prolonged x-ray examination),
  • obesity (excess of fat triggers the release of estrogen),
  • the abuse of alcohol.

Symptoms of breast cancer:

List the first symptoms of breast cancer in women, which is not possible not to pay attention to:

  • does not cause pain at first, dense growths visible on palpation of the breast;
  • visual change forms and shapes of the breast;
  • skin deformation (retraction or puckering of the breast skin);
  • gradually developing a feeling of discomfort and pain in the breast;
  • bloody discharge from the nipple, its retraction, induration or swelling;
  • the increase in axillary lymph nodes from that side, which showed the above symptoms.

The location of the tumor and lymph node as metastasis occurs through the lymphatic (and blood) vessels, metastases can appear in all regional lymph nodes: axillary, allogrooming, front of the chest, over – and subclavian. Hematogenous (through the blood vessels) metastasis is manifested in the bones, liver, kidneys, lungs.

Breast cancer is peculiar to the phenomenon of hidden or “dormant” metastases are manifested after a few years (has been described the case of their development, even after 20 years) after surgical removal of the tumor.

Diagnosis of cancer of the breast predisloviye

Before talking about the methods of clinical diagnosis, it should focus on self-exploration, which for breast cancer is of paramount importance, since it allows to identify the tumor is still in its early stages significantly improves prognosis and survival. Breast self-exams should be conducted on a 6 — 12 day from the beginning of menstruation. First of all, you need to evaluate visible changes in the breast (this is best done in front of a mirror): compares breast symmetry, the contours, the colour of the skin, the size and color of nipples. After the visual inspection is followed by palpation, which is the alternate top-down probing of the breast, paying attention to the armpits (remember about the lymph nodes?). All these manipulations are recommended at least once per month. If it detects suspicious nodules, seals, retracting the skin, there is pain is “iron” reason to go to the doctor.

The main stages of self-examination of mammary glands (diagram, photos)a Clinical examination of the breast

The main method of diagnosis of breast cancer — mammography — radiography. This method is ideal for early diagnosis of the disease.

In order to ascertain pre-diagnosis, use breast ultrasound and biopsy (tissue sampling for further histological examination).

The geography of metastasis determined by radioisotope studies (bone scintigraphy), abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography, x-ray examination of the lungs.

Preventive examination by a gynecologist and mammologist with mammography and breast ultrasound is recommended to take place 1 time a year for all women.

Stage breast cancer

Stage breast cancer (outline) Practically any disease in the period of its occurrence is undergoing various stages of its development. Breast cancer is no exception. Classification of clinical manifestations of disease can give a prediction for the outcome of the disease, helps to choose methods and means of treatment.
Now, in fact, to stages of breast cancer:

  • stage 0. At this stage, the cancer is called non-invasive, i.e. benign, not spreading to neighboring tissue.
  • stage I. At this stage, the cancer becomes malignant and begins to spread beyond its original location, while not affecting the lymph nodes. The size of the tumor up to 2 cm.
  • stage II. Signs of this stage:
    • achieving size of the tumor up to 5 cm, or
    • lose axillary lymph nodes from the tumor (she may be less than 5 cm).

    Stage II the next stage distinguish just yet on the condition of the lymph nodes: they must be soldered in conglomerates with each other and with neighboring tissues and skin.

  • phase III in turn is divided into podstawie:
    • A. substage, Again two criteria: either the size of the tumor (over 5 cm), or significant growth and sealing of the lymph nodes with each other and with the border fabrics.
    • substage V. this podstudio tumor size is not considered a diagnostic criterion, it can be any size, but must grow into the skin, chest wall or internal lymph nodes of the chest cavity. In 5-10% of cases this cancer develops podstudio inflammatory characterized by redness of the skin of the breast. On palpation the skin is warm, can be rough, like orange peel. The breast (or part of it) increases, the compacted. The symptoms are somewhat similar to an ordinary inflammation of the mammary gland — mastitis.
  • Stage IV. At this stage the tumor extends not only to nearby tissue and lymph nodes, and metastasis by migrating to brain, lungs, liver, bone, and supraclavicular lymph nodes.

Stage 0 and I, and stage II if the tumor is still massively affected lymph nodes relate to the early stages of breast cancer, and the rest to later.

Treatment of breast cancer

The main treatment of breast cancer has been and remains surgical method. Without radical removal of the affected organ can not do. Any other option of treatment is only slightly delay the time to surgery or death.

The operation can proceed according to several scenarios:

  • complete removal of the mammary gland with surrounding fat tissue and axillary lymph nodes. This option is the most effective;
  • remove only the area of the breast where the tumor is localized, the nearest axillary lymph nodes. Further sessions of radiation therapy on the tumor area;
  • large-scale removal such as breast and pectorally muscles, blood vessels, and sometimes even ribs if the tumor was large in size.

Surgery is usually supplemented with medication. If there are no metastases, then as maintenance therapy for 5 years after surgery used tamoxifen. The reception prevention of metastasis.

The detection of metastases in axillary lymph nodes apply radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation treatment lasts for months, every day, in small doses. Chemotherapeutic agents are injected into a vein.

Prevention of breast cancer

In terms of prevention of breast cancer need to monitor hormonal balance of the body and, if anything, to correct it. It boils down to eliminating hot flashes, weakness and other menopause-related phenomena, use of low doses of hormonal contraceptives. About natural prevention of breast cancer: pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding has been said above. Postmortem (after 30) and nulliparous women are at risk. Those women who have family already there were cases of breast cancer, an annual x-ray examination and mammography is mandatory.

To breast cancer prevention should include a healthy diet with physical activity that will help in the fight against obesity, and moderate alcohol consumption.

Survival rates in breast cancer

The increased survival rates as other cancer diseases, is very strongly dependent on the time of detection of the tumor. Therefore, in developed countries with high income, where active work program for the early detection of breast cancer, for example, in the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, the survival rate reaches 80% or higher, in countries with average levels of wealth – 60%, low income – 40% . This variation could also be explained by the presence, absence and special medical preparations and equipment for treatment of breast cancer.

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