Cancer affects a female breast more often than a male breast. Every 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer in her lifetime as per the latest health survey.

Few facts about breast cancer:

  1. In early stages of development – the cancer is symptomless in most of the women.
  2. This cancer spreads to liver, lungs and bones in the body and difficult to manage in such situations and death rates are high in such unfortunate individuals.
  3. The cost of breast cancer treatment is very high.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer in women?

  1. Painful or painless lump in one of the breast that gradually increases in size.
  2. Nipple is abnormal in shape – at times retracted.
  3. Nipple discharge – sometimes blood stained serous or watery discharge
  4. Tiny nodes in the armpit or above collar bone.

Breast Cancer - Screening Tests

Are there risk factors for developing breast cancer?

Certain unavoidable risk factors are observed –

  1. Age of a woman: a. Attaining menarche before 12 years age
  1. Having first child after 35 years age
  2. Attaining menopause after 55 years age.
  1. Family history of breast cancer
  2. Mutations in the genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2
  3. Obesity  
  4. Hormone replacement therapy for early menopause

What are the Screening Tests?

Tests done to detect a disease before any symptoms develop are called Screening Tests.

For breast cancer screening-

  1. Examination of the breast by a specialist
  2. Mammogram – it is the x-ray of the breasts
  3. USG of breasts for  – A cystic lump or those sometimes not picked up by mammogram
  4. MRI with contrast study
  5. Guided FNAC for suspected lump seen in the imaging studies
  6. Cytology of the nipple discharge if present

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