Breast Cancer and Mammography

Overview

Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast.

According to studies and reports;-

Over 265,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed each year in women and men.

Approximately 40,000 women and 480 men will die

Breast cancer is the most common cause of death in Hispanic women.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.

One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer.

 There are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States

•Worldwide, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed life-threatening cancer in women. In many less-developed countries, it is the leading cause of cancer death in women; in developed countries, however, it has been surpassed by lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.

 In the United States, breast cancer accounts for 30% of all cancers in women and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths in women.

What is breast cancer

“ Breast cancer is a type of cancer that begins from the breast and spread to others tissues”

Breast cancer cells generally form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump.  Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get breast cancer too.

Note:- It’s important to understand that most breast lumps are benign and not cancer (malignant).

What is non cancerous tumor:- Non-cancerous breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast. They are not life threatening. They are malignant tumours, but some types of benign breast lumps can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

From where Breast cancer starts:- Breast cancers can start from different parts of the breast

• Most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal cancers).

• Some start in the glands that make breast milk (lobular cancers)

• There are also other types of breast cancer that are less common like phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma

• small number of cancers start in other tissues in the breast. These cancers are called sarcomas and lymphomas and are not really thought of as breast cancers.

Types of breast cancer:-

There are following types of breast cancer,and many different ways to describe them. The type of breast cancer is determined by the specific cells in the breast that are affected. Most breast cancers are carcinomas, which are tumors that start in the epithelial cells that line organs and tissues throughout the body. When carcinomas form in the breast, they are usually a more specific type called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells in the ducts (the milk ducts) or the lobules (milk-producing glands).

1.In situ vs. invasive breast cancers:- The type of breast cancer can also refer to whether the cancer has spread or not. In situ breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS) is a cancer that starts in a milk duct and has not grown into the rest of the breast tissue. The term invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer is used to describe any type of breast cancer that has spread (invaded) into the surrounding breast tissue.

2. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS):- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) also known as intraductal carcinoma .

These are non- invasive breast cancer.

3. Invasive breast cancer (ILC or IDC):- Invasive breast cancer also known as infiltrating breast cancer. These types of breast cancer spread into sorrounding of the breast tissues.

The most common types are  invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. Invasive ductal carcinoma makes up about 70-80% of all breast cancers.

Invasive breast cancer has many types, some of which are following;-

  1. Triple negative breast cancer:- Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive type of invasive breast cancer that accounts for about 15% of all breast cancers. It is a difficult cancer to treat.
  2. Inflammatory breast cancer:- Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon type of invasive breast cancer. It accounts for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers.

4.Other rare types of breast cancer:- There are other types of breast cancers that affect other types of cells in the breast. These cancers are much less common, and sometimes need different types of treatment.

1. Paget disease of breast:- Paget disease of the breast starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and then to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). It is rare, accounting for only about 1-3% of all cases of breast cancer.

2. Phyllodes tumor:- Phyllodes tumors are rare breast tumors. They develop in the connective tissue (stroma) of the breast, in contrast to carcinomas, which develop in the ducts or lobules. Most are benign, but there are others that are malignant (cancer).

3. Angiosarcoma:- Sarcomas of the breast are rare making up less than 1% of all breast cancers. Angiosarcoma starts in cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels. It can involve the breast tissue or the skin of the breast. Some may be related to prior radiation therapy in that area.

Symptoms of breast cancer

Breast pain can be a symptom of cancer. If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.

There are following warning sign of cancer;-

• New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).

• Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.

Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.

• Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.

• Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.

• Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.

• Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.

• Pain in any area of the breast.

• Inverted nipples.

• Orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast’s skin.

• A change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.

• Breast cancer can also be symptom free.

Causes of breast cancer

Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it’s not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do. It’s likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic factors and your environment.

Mammography

It is also known as mastography. 

“Mammography is a process of using low frequency x-rays which is usually 30kVp to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening”

The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses.

Procedure:- During the procedure, the breast is compressed using a dedicated mammography unit. Parallel-plate compression evens out the thickness of breast tissue to increase image quality by reducing the thickness of tissue that x-rays must penetrate, decreasing the amount of scattered radiation (scatter degrades image quality), reducing the required radiation dose, and holding the breast still (preventing motion blur). In screening mammography, both head-to-foot view and angled side-view images of the breast are taken. Diagnostic mammography may include these and other views, including geometrically magnified and spot-compressed views of the particular area of concern. Deodorant, talcum powder or lotion may show up on the X-ray as calcium spots, so women are discouraged from applying them on the day of their exam. There are two types of mammogram studies: screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms. Screening mammograms, consisting of four standard X-ray images, are performed yearly on patients who present with no symptoms. Diagnostic mammograms are reserved for patients with breast symptoms, changes, or abnormal findings seen on their screening mammograms. Diagnostic mammograms are also performed on patients with breast implants, breast reductions, and patients with personal and/or family histories of breast cancer.

Home remedies for breast cancer

If breast cancer is in the first stage, then it can be treated by home remedies however there are many types of surgeries, chemotherapy and other medical techniques have been developed to treat the breast cancer even in last stage.

So let’s know those home remedies that can be useful to counter out the breast cancer.

  1. Garlic:-  Garlic has been using for a hundred of years. It contains a chemical name “Ajoene”  that delays the cancer production while selenium is an anti- oxidant. Selenium kills the cancer cells.
  2. Turmeric:- Turmeric has a chemical called “Curcumin”. Curcumin, an antioxidant agent. It has also anti-inflammatory action in human. Curcumin has been revealed to have inhibitory action in all phases of cancer growth.
  3. Carotenoids:-  An active compound known as “carotenoids” possessed by green, herb with leaf, rose hips. These aromatic plants are used as dyeing agents, for example saffron, annatto and paprika. Consumption of vegetables and fruits has been linked with less expansion of different forms of tumor. Intake of carotenoids through diet also decreases the occurrence of tumor. The carotenoid substances are potent antioxidants and show numerous therapeutic activities, such as searching of free radicals, protecting against oxidative damage to cells, improvement of gap intersections, stimulation of   immune system and enzyme’s activity regulation contributed in cancer production and encourage the activity of immune system of the body.
  4. Green tea:-  Anticancer activity is attributed by polyphenolics compounds. Researchers have revealed that green tea possesses antitumor and anti-mutagenic activity.

Studies on animal were performed resulted that green tea polyphenols restricts the cancer cells division and stimulate the necrosis and apoptosis of tumor cells. While catechins  also inhibit the metastases and angiogenesis in tumor cells.

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