We are living a life in which everything from the air we breathe to the food we eat is dangerously adulterated. Adding to this, our wrong lifestyle has made us ill, very ill and has given birth to innumerable deadly diseases. Among all these diseases, cancer is among the top of the list. There are hundred types of cancer, though today we are going to through light upon Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the world. Breast cancer doesn’t only occur in women but also target men. That is why it is very important to know about this deadly disease in depth.
Cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. When abnormal cells grow and invade healthy cells in the breast, it is termed as breast cancer. Breast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread to other areas of the body.
How Breast Cancer develops?
Cells are the basic building blocks that combine together to make tissue. The body's cells reproduce themselves throughout your lifetime, as tissues wear out and their cells are replaced in a controlled manner. But sometimes, the process of cell growth goes wrong and new cells form when the body doesn’t need them and old or damaged cells do not die as they should. When this occurs, group of cells often forms a mass of tissue called tumor.
Breast cancer occurs when these tumors develop in the breast. These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood that disintegrates into tissues throughout the body.
Many women even don’t know the symptoms of breast cancer, even if they face, they try to ignore it or take it lightly. But in a long go, it can become chronic and untreatable. So if you face the following symptoms, rush to the doctor because it could be a breast cancer:
- First sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast.
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast pain
- Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- Discharge and bleeding from nipples
- Lump in the underarm area
These changes can be signs of less serious conditions that are not cancerous, such as an infection or a cyst. But it is very important to get any breast changes checked out promptly by a doctor.
Now it’s a time to note the reasons behind breast cancer. One should know the causes so as to discourage them:
- Alcohol consumption and smoking
- Obesity with excess caloric and fat intake
- Intake of harmful insecticides & pesticides through daily diet
- Radiation treatment to the chest
- Age of menstruation- starting periods too early or ending too late
- Use of oral contraceptives for longer time
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Having dense breast tissue
Various medical examinations are there to diagnose the breast cancer such as Mammography, Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nipple Discharge Exam, Biopsy and Nipple Aspiration.
Also there are the ways by which women can self examine their breasts to notice any of the symptom of breast cancer. The following steps must be followed on regular basis because ‘Prevention is always better than its Cure’:
Look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and arms on your hips. Look if there is any unusual size, shape, dimpling, bulging, swelling or distortion and unnatural colour of skin of breast and nipples.
Look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Use right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion. Now observe if there is any cyst or pain.
If you see any of the above changes, bring them to your doctor's attention.
Besides performing these steps to self-examine breast cancer, you can indulge the following ingredients in your diet because they can reduce the risk of breast cancer to a great extent:
Turmeric has a compound called curcumin that can inhibit cancer cells, such as breast, gastrointestinal, lung and skin cancer. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds and flavones which help in preventing breast cancer. It is also effective in killing cancer cells present in the body.
Spinach is packed with the antioxidant lutein that plays a key role in guarding against breast cancer. It is also rich in zeaxanthin and carotenoids that remove free radicals from body before they cause damage.
Pomegranate encompasses natural compounds like urolithin B that suppress estrogen prevent the growth of hormone-responsive breast cancer tumors.
Broccoli has cancer-fighting compounds known as indole-3-carbinol that help suppress breast tumor cell growth.
Tomatoes carry lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can prevent the development of breast cancer by retarding cancer cell growth.
Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans that protect against estrogen-dependent cancers like breast cancer. Flaxseed supplies omega-3 fatty acids, which fight against cancerous cells.
So stay aware and chow down these foods regularly and keep the risk of breast cancer at bay.
Feature Image Source: likehealthylife.com
This was first published in Nov 2015