Health News of Saturday, 5 June 2010

Source: By Akwele

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer : By Akwele

Breast cancer has a big psychological impact. There are threats to survival and sexual relationships. One in eight women will develop breast CA during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer society it is 100 times more common in women than men. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men. Risk factors in men include exposure to radiation, heavy alcohol consumption and men with many female relatives who have breast CA. Symptoms in men include breast lumps, nipple discharge and pain in the breast. The idea that men have a worse prognosis may be because men are diagnosed at a later stage.
Certain conditions place a woman at high risk for breast CA. One whose mother, sister or daughter has breast CA. Women who have their first child after age thirty have a higher incidences of developing breast CA than younger women. Women who menstruate at an early age and those who have a late menopause, as well as those who never bore children. Monthly self-examination and mammogram can assist in the detection of breast CA in the early stages. Most malignant lumps (cancerous tumors) are painless and may feel firm with irregular shapes. No lump should be taken for granted. The risk of developing breast CA increases as the factors rise.
When cancer is confined to the breast, the five year survival rate is 97%. When it spreads to surrounding tissues, the five year survival rate is 76%. When the disease metastasizes, (spread to other areas in the body including the liver, lungs and brain) the rate drops to 21%. Screening methods for breast CA include physical examination, mammography, breast ultrasound and biopsy of suspicious tissues. Surgical options include lumpectomy (removal of the tumor) and mastectomy (removal of the breast). The patient may also receive chemotherapy, hormone replacement, radiation therapy or a combination of these.
People with breast CA now live longer due to advances in medicine and technology, although sometimes the cancer might return. Check your partners for lumps in the breasts and seek medical advice. Do not feel shy about it. You could save each other’s life by doing so. Stay fit.

Disclaimer: This should be regarded as information only. Consult your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment.