Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

It was around ten years back that one of my cousins called me and said she has been diagnosed with an incurable disease. When she told me the name, a chill ran down my spine. I could not believe it. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We all hear about cancer, but when our near or dear one is detected, the whole perspective changes.

Only then I came to know that nearly all parts of our body can have cancer. Cancer is a lump or tumor which is formed in any part of the body and gives a lot of pain. Generally, it is not diagnosed at the early stage. If diagnosed at the early stage, the treatment is fast and can be completely successful.

Breast cancer can be found in both the sexes but it is rare in men. It’s incidence is greater in women because of the hormonal changes which occur quite often due to different stages like late pregnancy, early menopause, overweight, use of alcohol, menarche before the age of 12, hormonal contraceptives, etc. Women are generally advised to do self examination of their breasts once a month. If you find any lump, swollen or itchy patch on or around the breast area, changes in shape of the breast or texture, nipple  tenderness, nipple movement inward or outward etc, it is best to contact your doctor immediately. The breast cancer in women is usually found on the left side.

There are different stages of breast cancer. It all depends upon the size of the tumor that is developing in the body. It spreads in the complete body, if not cured early and can even cause death. Stage 0, Stage I, Stage IIA, Stage II B are the primary stages of cancer and can be treated with surgery, followed by Chemotherapy or radiation, as required or advised by the doctor. Stage III A, Stage III B and Stage IV are called the advanced stages. In these stages, the infection of the cancer has damaged nearly all the areas of the infected part, and started spreading to the other parts of body and harming them. In these types of cases, the only treatment is to remove the breast or the infected part, but it is difficult to fully cure it.

Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy have their own side effects like nausea ,vomiting, hair loss, higher risk of infections, loss of appetite, mouth sores etc. So, I suggest you all regularly do self examination and immediately consult a doctor if you find any unusual changes in your breast.