What to Know About Breast Cancer: Early Detection and Treatment

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, and it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass, which may be hard, painless, soft, round, tender, or even painful. If you suspect that you might have breast cancer, it is important to speak to your doctor about getting a physical exam, mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, or needle biopsy to determine if there is cancer. If cancer is detected, you and your doctor will need to discuss treatment options.

These may include mastectomy and surgery to replace a breast (reconstruction), which can cause scar tissue or fat cells to build up. Having a history of breast cancer increases your risk, including your own personal history if you have had it before and your family history. Researchers have identified hormonal, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer. Fortunately, breast cancer survival rates have increased and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining due to earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment, and a better understanding of the disease.

Early signs of breast cancer can vary from person to person, so something that might indicate breast cancer in one person may not be breast cancer in another. In addition, some people don't have any signs of breast cancer when the condition is in its early stages. As with other types of cancer, breast cancer responds best to treatment when diagnosed in its early stages. Women can choose to familiarize themselves with their breasts by inspecting them from time to time during a breast self-exam to check if they are aware of their breasts.

Eczema can cause changes in breast skin texture, for example, and many diseases can cause swollen lymph nodes. Doctors estimate that 5-10 percent of breast cancers are related to genetic mutations transmitted from generation to generation in families. If the disease has spread beyond the breasts and lymph nodes, surgery is usually not recommended and the main treatment is medical therapy.Knowing your breasts can't prevent breast cancer, but it can help you better understand the normal changes that breasts undergo and identify any unusual signs and symptoms.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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