Breast Cancer Overview Signs and Treatment options

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer tumor in milk duct.

photo; TipsTimes

Breast cancer usually starts in the lobule cells, which produce milk, or the ducts that drain the milk to the nipple. Sometimes it can even begin in the fatty areas of the connective tissues. Breast cancer usually affects women but men have also been affected by it. Cancer cells have been known to work their way into the lymph nodes which then gives them entry into the entire body.

Signs of Breast Cancer

  • Sometimes there are no symptoms. A lump may be too small to detect from your monthly screening which is why regular mammograms are suggested.
  • Any unusual lump, whether it is hard or soft should be checked out by a physician
  • Unusual swelling on a part of the breast or the whole thing
  • Dimpling or skin irritation
  • Pain in your breast
  • A lump under your arm
  • Any kind of discharge from the nipple other than milk
  • Any thickening of the skin on the breast or the nipple itself
  • Redness or scaly skin around the breast or nipple
  • Pain in the nipple or nipple becoming inverted

Treatment Options

In seeking treatment for diagnosed breast cancer the size of the tumor has to be considered first. Also the extent to which the cancer has or has not spread is very important. Finally, your age and general health will be the final factors in consideration as to which way is best to treat your breast cancer.

  • There are several types of surgical procedures available to treat breast cancer. A mastectomy entails complete removal of the breast. A lumpectomy is only concerned with the removal of the cancerous lump.
  • Radiation can be applied to kill off the cancerous cells. The problem is that it also kills off some healthy cells as well. This process may be used in conjunction with surgery to make sure that all of the cancer has been removed and no additional cells have been missed that can start to reproduce again.
  • Chemotherapy is a popular form of treatment as one of the side effects is loss of hair. Many cancer patients end up shaving their head and just go totally bald. The high powered drugs effectively kill off the cancer cells but there are many physical side effects.
  • Hormone therapy helps by cutting the amount of estrogen your body produces as it increases the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Biological therapy incorporates certain drugs that help the immune system get rid of the cancer cells.