Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control.
There are different kinds of cancer. The kind of cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer.
It can begin in different parts of the breast. A breast is made up of three main parts:
• connective tissue
Men can get breast cancer too, but they account for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases.Among women, breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed, after skin cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, after lung cancer.
On average, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. About two third of women with breast cancer are 55 or older. Most of the rest are between 35 and 54.
Fortunately, breast cancer is very treatable if you spot it early. Localized cancer can usually be treated before it spreads. Once the cancer begins to spread, treatment becomes more complicated.
• A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
• Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
• Changes in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
• A newly inverted nipple
• Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple or breast skin
• Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
• Breast pain
• Bloody discharge from your nipple
• A lump or swelling under your arm
The tumor is up to 5 cm across,and it has spread to several lymph nodes or the tumor is larger than 5 cm and has spread to a few lymph nodes.
The cancer has spread to distant organs, most often the bones, liver, brain or lungs.
There are several types of breast cancer and they are broken into two main categories –
• noninvasive or in situ
while invasive cancer has spread from the breast ducts or glands to the other parts of the breast, noninvasive cancer has not spread from the original tissue.
These two categories are used to describe the most common types of breast cancer, which include –
• Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) –
DCIS is a noninvasive condition. With DCIS, the cancer cells are confined to the ducts in breast and have not invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
• Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)-
LCIS is cancer that grows in the milk-producing glands of your breast.Like DCIS, the cancer cells have not invaded the surrounding tissue.
• Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) –
IDC is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of breast cancer begins in your breast’s milk ducts and then invades near by tissue in the breast.Once the breast cancer has spread to the tissue outside your milkducts, it can begin to spread to other nearby organs and tissue.
• Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC)-
ILC first develops in breast’s lobules and has invaded nearby tissue.
Other, less common types of breast cancer include-
• Paget disease of the nipple –
This type of breast cancer begins in the ducts of the nipple, but as it grows, it begins to affect the skin and areola of the nipple.
• Phyllodes tumor-
This very rare type of breast cancer grows in the connective tissue of the breast.Most of these tumors are benign, but some are cancerous.
This is cancer that grows on the blood vessels or lymph vessels in the breast.
After puberty, a woman’s breast consists of fat, connective tissue and thousands of lobules.These are tiny glands that produce milk for breast feeding.Tiny tubes, or ducts, carry the milk toward the nipple.
Cancer causes the cells to multiply uncontrollably.They do not die at the usual point in their lifecycle. This excessive cell growth causes cancer because the tumor uses nutrients and energy and deprives the cells around it.
Breast cancer usually starts in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. From there, it can spread to other parts of the body.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age.
Women who carry certain mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes here a higher chance of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both.Mutations in the TP53 gene also have links to increased breast cancer risk.
• Family history –
If a first-degree female relative (mother, sister or daughter)had breast cancer, you are two times more likely to develop breast cancer.
• A history of breast cancer or breast lumps –
Women who have previously had breast cancer are more likely to have it again than those who have no history of the disease.Having some types of non cancerous breast lump in areas the chance ofdeveloping cancer later on. Examples include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.
• Dense breast tissue-
Women with more dense breasts are more likely to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer.
• Estrogen exposure and breastfeeding –
Estrogen exposure to estrogen appears to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Breastfeeding, especially for over 1 year, appears to reduce the chance of developing breast cancer.
Women who become overweight or develop obesity after menopause may also have a higher chance of developing breast cancer, possibly due to increased estrogen levels. High sugar intake may also be a factor.
• Alcohol Consumption-
A higher rate of regular alcohol consumption appear to play an important role.
• Radiation exposure –
Undergoing radiation treatment for a different cancer may increase the risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
• Hormone treatments-
Oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), specifically estrogen-progesterone therapy(EPT), is related to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Test and procedures used to diagnose breast cancer include-
• Breast Examination
• Breast ultrasound
• Removing a sample of breast cells for testing (biopsy)
• Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Your doctor determines your breast cancer treatment options based on your type of breast cancer, its stage and grade, size and whether the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones. Your doctor also considers your overall health and your own preferences.
The main treatment options include-
If surgery is necessary, the type will depend on both the diagnosis and individual preference.
Types of surgery include-
• Lumpectomy –
This involves removing the tumor and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. A lumpectomy can help prevent the spread of cancer. This may be an option if the tumor is small and easy to separate from its surrounding tissue.
• Mastectomy –
A simple mastectomy involves removing the lobules,ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, areola and some skin.In some types, a surgeon will also remove the lymph nodes and muscle in the chest wall.
• Sentinel node biopsy –
If the doctor does not find cancer in the sentinel nodes, then it is usually not necessary to remove the remaining nodes.
• Axillary lymph node dissection –
If a doctor finds cancer cells in the sentinel nodes, they may recommend removing several lymph nodes in the armpit. This can prevent the cancer from spreading.
Following mastectomy, a surgeon can reconstruct the breast to look more natural. This can help a person cope with the psychological effects of breast removal.
A person may undergo radiation therapy around a month after surgery.Radiation involves targeting the tumor with controlled doses of radiation that kill any remaining cancer cells.
A doctor may prescribe cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs to kill cancer cells if there is a high risk of recurrence or spread.When a person has chemotherapy after surgery, doctors call it adjuvant chemotherapy.
Sometimes, a doctor may choose to administer chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor and make its removal easier. Doctors call this neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Hormone blocking therapy –
Doctors use hormone blocking therapy to prevent hormone sensitive breast cancers from returning after treatment.
Doctors usually administer hormone blocking therapy after surgery but might sometimes use it beforehand to shrink the tumor.
Hormone blocking therapy may be the only option for people who are not suitable candidates for surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Examples of hormone blocking therapy medications may include-
• aromatase inhibitors
• Goserelin, which is a luteinizing harmone releasing agonist drug that suppresses the ovaries.
Targeted drugs can destroy specific types of breast cancer. Examples include-
• lapatinib (Tykerb)
• bevacizumab (Avastin)
Ayurveda Perspective –
Breast cancer in Ayurveda can be correlated with the Stana Arbuda. From a logical point of view the diffent stages that lead to Cancer must be evaluated from an Ayurveda point of view and its principles. The Tridosha theory about the origin, transformation and destruction phases, in cancer can be accepted as the imbalance of these states at different levels.
• The process of origin greater than the process of destruction can be termed as cancer (untcontrolled growth of cells, Vata type)
• The process of cells transforming into mutated one like a bad copy of itself can be termed as cancer ( Pitta type)
• The inability of the cells to complete its life span and die or go on without perishing can be termed as cancer (Kapha type)
Breast cancers or any cancers do occur because of the disrupting enzymes and mutations in the body. Certain mutations may be Karmic ( genetic dispositions) but most of them are acquired due to our ignorance and lackof knowledge about food and lifestyles.
• Garlic –
• Kanchnar –
• Wheat grass-
• Tulsi –
• Kanchnar Gugglu
• Aarogyavardhini Vati
• Punarnava Mandur
• Heerak Bhasm
• Shila Sindur
• Vasantkusamakar Ras
• Giloy Sat
• Abharak Bhasm
• Vriddhivadhika Vati
Yoga and Pranayama –
It rejuvenates the blocked channels due to cancerous cells and gives strength to the natural immune system of body to fight against cancer.
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