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Breast cancer is usually caused by genetic abnormalities as a result of aging process and “wear and tear” in general. Only about 5-10% of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from the parent.

Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth that can invade or spread to other parts of the body and can form malignant tumors.

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells that develops from breast tissue.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women; it is the largest leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules (milk producing gland) or ducts (the passage that drains milk from the lobules to the nipple). Less commonly breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues (including the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast).

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Signs of breast cancer may include:

A lump in the breast
Change in breast shape, size and appearance
Dimpling of the skin
Fluid coming from the nipple
Newly inverted nipple
A red or scaly patch of skin
RISK FACTORS

Hormones: women with early menstrual periods (starting before the age of 12) and late menopause (after age 55).
Pregnancy history: having no children or having children late
Aging
Alcohol intake
Obesity
Family history of cancer
Radiation exposure
Hormone replacement therapy during menopause
Breast cancer gene 1(BRCA1) and breast cancer gene2 (BRCA2) are the most common inherited mutated genes that can increase the likelihood of the ailment.

Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease and not all risk factor have the same effect. Some women will get the ailment even without any other risk factor that they know of. Talking to a doctor on how to lower the risk and about screening is important when you have risk factor.

PREVENTION OF BREAST CANCER

Screening in women 50-74years old every 2 years
Moderation in alcohol intake
Maintaining a healthy weight
Healthy eating or diets
Regular exercise
Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy
Breast feeding
Familiarity with breast through breast exams( it can prevent it, but may help to better understand changes in breast and identify unusual signs and symptoms
Preventive medications for women with high risk
Preventive surgery i.e. removing of healthy breast surgically for high risk persons.
TREATMENT

Treatment regimens differ widely based on the type of cancer, its stage, sensitivity to hormones, the patients’ age and health, and other factors. Surgery and radiation are mainstays of breast cancer treatment.

With this aliment, early detection is key. The earlier the disease is diagnosed the less it has progressed, and the better the outcome with treatment.

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