Breast Cancer a threat and burden to Women

 Posted on: 5 September 2015    Health

Breast-Cancer-AwarenessBreast cancer is the top cancer in women both in the developed and the developing world. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in the developing world due to increase life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles.

Although some risk reduction might be achieved with prevention, these strategies cannot eliminate the majority of breast cancers that develop in low- and middle-income countries where breast cancer is diagnosed in very late stages. Therefore, early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

“Cancers figure among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 millions new cases.”

The problem:

  • Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012, only the breast cancer took 521 000 deaths.
  • Around one third of cancer deaths are due to the 5 leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
  • In 2011, in UK, just under 50,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Most women who get it (8 out of 10) are over 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.

The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.

WHAT IS CANCER?
breast-lumpCancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body, and the defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasizing. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms.

“Detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.”

What Causes Cancer?
Cancer arises from one single cell. The transformation from a normal cell into a tumor cell is a multistage process, typically a progression from a pre-cancerous lesion to malignant tumors. These changes are the result of the interaction between a person’s genetic factors and 3 categories of external agents, including:

  1. Physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation;
  2. Chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant) and arsenic (drinking water contaminant); produce milk.

When a woman has a baby, the milk is delivered to the nipple through tiny tubes called ducts, which allow her to breastfeed. The body is made up of billions of tiny cells, which usually grow and multiply in an orderly way. New cells are only produced when and where they are needed. In cancer, this orderly process goes wrong and cells begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably.

Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.

You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:

  • Change in the size or shape of one or both breasts.
  • Discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood).
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits.
  • Dimpling on the skin of your breasts.
  • A rash on or around your nipple.
  • A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast. Further tests can also be used to detect the breast cancer such as mammography (breast screening) or biopsy.

“Breast pain isn’t usually a symptom of breast cancer.”

Types of Breast Cancer

There are several different types of breast cancer, which can develop in different parts of the breast but often, the most common are:

Non-invasive breast cancer
Also known as cancer or carcinoma in situ. This cancer is found in the ducts of the breast and hasn’t developed the ability to spread outside the breast. This form of cancer rarely shows as a lump in the breast that can be felt, and is usually found on a mammogram (breast screening) The most common type of non-invasive cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

“The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age, most likely due to the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older.”

Invasive breast cancer
This type of cancer has the ability to spread outside the breast, although this doesn’t necessarily mean it has spread. The most common form of breast cancer is invasive ductal breast cancer, which develops in the cells that line the breast ducts. Invasive ductal breast cancer accounts for about 80% of all breast cancer cases and is sometimes called “no special type”.

Other types of breast cancer
Other less common types of breast cancer include:

  • Invasive lobular breast cancer, which develops in the cells that line the milk-producing lobules,
  • Inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease of the breast..

It’s possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph nodes (small glands that filter bacteria from the body) or the bloodstream. If this happens, it’s known as “secondary” or “metastatic” breast cancer.

“As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, all women who are 50-70 years old are invited for breast cancer screening every three years. Women over 70 are also entitled to screening.”

BREAST CANCER STAGES
Once a person is determined to have a malignant tumor or breast cancer, the healthcare team will determine staging to communicate how far the disease has progressed, and this helps to determine the best way to contain and eliminate the breast cancer.

Stage 0 & 1
These lowest numbered stages represent the earliest detection of breast cancer development. At Stage 0 and 1, the cancer cells are confined to a very limited area.

Stage 2 (ii) & Stage 2a (iia)
Stage 2 of breast cancer is still in the earlier stages, but there is evidence that the cancer has begun to grow or spread. It is still contained to the breast area and is generally very effectively treated.

Stage 3 (iii) A, B, And C
Stage 3 of breast cancer is considered advanced cancer with evidence of cancer invading surrounding tissues near the breast.

Stage 4 (iv)

Stage 4 of breast cancer indicates that cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body.

TREATING BREAST CANCER
If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to nearby parts of the body. Breast cancer is treated using a combination of surgery.

Chemotherapy
Cancer-therapyIt’s a type of cancer treatment, with medicine used to kill cancer cells. It kills the cancer cells by damaging

them, so they can’t reproduce and spread. Is used if a cancer has spread or if there’s a risk that it will to try to cure cancer completely; to help make other treatments more effective; to reduce the risk of the cancer returning or to relieve symptoms.

Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy is a treatment involving the use of high-energy radiation. It’s commonly used to treat cancer. Almost half of all people with cancer have radiotherapy as part of their treatment plan. Radiotherapy can be used, alone or in combination with chemotherapy (Chemoradiotherapy), to try to cure cancer.

For people with incurable cancers, radiotherapy is a very effective way of controlling symptoms. It can be given in two different ways:

  • From outside the body (external radiotherapy): usually involves a series of daily treatments over a number of days or weeks; and usually they use a machine called a linear accelerator, which focuses high-energy radiation beams onto the area requiring treatment. External beam radiotherapy is completely painless.
  • From inside the body (internal radiotherapy). This involves the placing of a small piece of radioactive material temporarily inside the body near the cancerous cells (known as rachytherapy), or the use of a radioactive liquid that’s swallowed or injected. The radiation emitted by internal radiotherapy is painless, though the procedure to insert the source can sometimes cause mild discomfort.

LIVING WITH BREAST CANCER
breast-caner-awarenessBeing diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stage it’s at and what treatment you’re having. How women cope with their diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. You can be reassured that there are several forms of support available, if you need it. For example:

  • Your family and friends can be a powerful support system.
  • You can communicate with other people in the same situation.
  • Find out as much as possible about your condition.
  • Don’t try to do too much or overexert yourself.
  • Make time for yourself.

As Christians, we have to understand that the only way to survive this kind of life threats is the salvation through our Lord JESUS. For he said in John 15:4-5 that except in abiding in him and him in you, for without him you can do nothing. In Isaiah 43:11 says that he is the LORD, and beside him there is no saviour. So let him stay in your life he will give you rest:

  • Give your life to JESUS!
  • Lead a holy life
  • Let him be number one in your life For there is nothing impossible to GOD (Luke 1:37), and by his blood we ware made whole. He is a healer and he can heal you. RWM

“As the causes of breast cancer aren’t fully understood, it’s not possible to know if it can be prevented altogether.”

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