Do I have Breast Cancer?… Recognising the signs

A DPI mini-feature

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Ladies, one morning you may be taking a shower and during that process feel a simple lump in your breast and ignore it. But be warned, you may have breast cancer! While in some cases there may be no outward signs or appearance of the disease, that does not mean it isn’t there.

Doctors in the medical fraternity have confirmed that the mere fact of being a woman puts one at risk of developing breast cancer.

But what is Breast Cancer?

When cells begin to grow out of control in the breast and form a tumor, you may have breast cancer. The tumor is considered malignant if the cells can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.

So, you have detected a lump in the breast, how do you confirm that it is cancer?

Apart from a lump, others signs that can indicate the presence of cancer are the thickening of an area on the breast or a dimple in the breast. Less common signs include breast swelling and redness or an enlarged underarm lymph node.

So, what should you do?

It is recommended that after a self-examination and signs of cancer have been confirmed, women should move to an Oncologist who would be able to carry out a clinical examination, which would result in a detailed diagnosis since there are many types of breast cancers.

Tests carried out by the Oncologist would include mammograms, MRI scans, and breast ultrasound among others.

You have been officially diagnosed with breast cancer, now what?

There is a line of treatment that you may have to go through depending on the stage at which you were diagnosed with cancer. Treatment could include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

You might hear of other methods to treat it or treat the symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments and could include vitamins, herbs, special diets, among others.

You may wonder about these treatments.

Some of these have been known to help, but many have not been tested. Some tests have been shown not too beneficial and a few have even been found to be harmful. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor about the treatment you are considering whether it’s a vitamin, a diet, or something else.

The challenge of weight or hair loss is common effects of fighting breast cancer, there are others, but once treatment is successful you are only required to comply with regular doctor appointments and take prescribed medication.

After breast cancer treatment, you are considered a cancer survivor. As long as your body fights the cancer and there are little to no traces reoccurring in your system, you can live a normal life.

 

By: Delicia Haynes

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