Breast cancer awareness Month is celebrated from October 1st to October 31st. Every year lakhs and lakhs of women fall victim to breast cancer. Many are not even aware about it .
Inorder to aware women about it this month is dedicated for awearing them. It is one of the most common cancer among women.
How breast cancer occurs?
Breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally and divide more rapidly than healthy cells do, forming lump. Cells may spread through the breast to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Ageing, longer menstrual history, family history of breast cancer, obesity especially after menopause, high fat diet, excess alcohol consumption, delayed first pregnancy and less breast feeding, prolonged hormone replacement therapy are some of the common causes of breast cancer.
How to test at home?
Here is the step-by-step guide as to how you can check for breast cancer at home. These easy steps is best for Breast self-exam at home.
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here’s what you should look for:
Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:
Dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin
A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you’ve reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.
Make this as part of your everyday routine. Inorder to stay updated and aware all the time. Breast cancer is curable at early stage so don’t worry and keep in check and if you see any formation of lumps than
Different stages of breast cancer are
The different stage of breast cancer is broadly classified –
Broadly breast cancer can be divided into:
Early stage (stage 1&2)
Locoregionally advanced stage (stage 3)
Metastatic stage (stage 4).
Stage 1 & 2
“In stage 1 and 2, size of lump is less than 5 cm with single, mobile lymph node in armpit, says Dr Nikhil Kalyani, Consultant, Radiation Oncologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.
“Stage 3 comprises lesion of more than 5 cm or fixed lymph node in armpit or node in neck,” adds Dr Kalyani.
Patients with Stage 1 to 3 are offered curative treatment comprising of combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy depending on stage and receptor status, says the oncologist.
Stage 4 comprises of disease which has spread to other organs like bone, lung, brain etc.
Breast cancer tests must be done every day at home and without any fear, one must contact a doctor. If you see any changes in the breast area.