Breast cancer : zoom on symptoms, diagnosis and possible treatment
First cause of death by cancer in women, the breast cancer breast cancer is the easiest to treat when it is detected in time. Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, discover what are the warning signs of this tumor disease, and how to put all the chances on your side to improve its cure.
Breast cancer: what are the symptoms ?
One woman in 8 is affected by breast cancer and if it is still the most deadly, the However, the chances of survival are 85%, five years after diagnosis. Although thought to be exclusively female, breast cancer also affects less than 1% of men.
Thanks to the implementation of early detection and awareness campaigns (pink october), more and more women are being screened in time. If the number of new cases reported is increasingly high, with the effectiveness of treatments, the The mortality rate is constantly decreasing.
It is important to learn to detect the symptoms of breast cancer to apprehend it as quickly as possible :
- You feel a hard mass with irregular contours in your breast, fixed or mobile.
- Your lymph nodes in the armpits are swollen and hard, without being painful.
- You have an redness, edema or a warm breast area.
- You notice a changes of your nipple or the appearance of the skin of the breast.
- A abnormal fluid greenish or blood-colored discharge from your nipples.
When the cancer is invasive, cancerous cells, then called metastases If the number of new cases reported is increasing, with the effectiveness of treatments, the cancer migrates via the lymph in the lymph nodes, then by the bloodstream to the liver, lungs, bones, brain, etc. to develop and multiply. D’other symptoms appear then: fatigue, weight loss, nausea, pain in the bones or vision problems.
How to diagnose breast cancer ?
The first diagnosis of breast cancer is the palpation by your doctor, your gynecologist or yourself. This will allow the detection of this hard mass formed by cancer cells which is the first sign of a breast cancer. We then speak of malignant tumor.
If you suspect cancer, your doctor will prescribe a breast cancer screening breast ultrasound. Sometimes a Breast MRI can be considered.
Good to know From the age of 50, screening is organized by the health authorities. Women can undergo a mammography every two years, fully covered by social security.
If a tumor is confirmed on a mammogram, only a tissue sample will determine if the tumor is cancerous or benign. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, the removal will be done by cytological puncture or biopsy.
What are the possible treatments ?
When breast cancer is confirmed, the therapeutic management of the cancer will depend on the stage of the cancer:
- Stage 1 the tumor is less than 2 centimeters, without lymph node involvement.
- Stage 2 the tumor is between 2 and 5 centimeters or one to three nodes are affected.
- Stage 3 The tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and more than four lymph nodes are affected.
- Stage 4 cancer cells have spread to other organs and become metastatic.
When the cancer is not at an advanced stage, the first treatment is the breast surgery The treatment consists of removing the tumor. Today, if the size of the mass is not too large, theremoval of the breast (mastectomy) is no longer systematic. However, if a mastectomy is to be performed, a reconstruction surgery is offered to recreate the damaged breast.
Other treatments will depend on the size of the tumor:
- Radiation Therapy The objective is to irradiate and therefore to remove any trace of cancerous tumor with radiation. It is systematically considered when the breast is preserved.
- Chemotherapy The treatment can be started either before surgery to increase the chances of success, or after surgery in the case of more aggressive tumors.
- Anti-hormonal treatment It is prescribed to avoid recurrence and proliferation of cancer cells.
- Targeted therapies Breast cancer surgery: it is for women with a very aggressive type of breast cancer (HER2 positive).
As with chemotherapy, the side effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer are significant. However, there are solutions to alleviate the discomfort caused by both oncology treatments and patient management, even psychological, is now part of the care protocols.
To conclude For early detection of breast cancer, every month after your period, perform a breast self-examination. If there is any doubt, it is important to consult a specialist.