About the disease
Breast cancer is considered the most widespread tumor among women, occupying almost 15% percent of all cancers among female population. It can either be benign or malignant. Interesting fact: breast cancer is more common in developed countries than in developing areas. This can be explained by long because life expectancy in developed countries is much longer and breast cancer is usually detected in women over 55 years of age. This statement is substantiated by the fact that 85% of breast cancer cases occur after a woman is 55-60. Menopausal women are at risk too. Also eating habits and lifestyle can influence the occurrence rate of breast cancer.
There are various types of breast cancer. Most common one is lobular carcinoma. It originates in lobules, milk producing glands. Lobules are connected with nipple. Breast cancer may be invasive and noninvasive. Invasive cancer can spread metastases into other organs while non-invasive can`t.
This statement is substantiated by the fact that 85% of breast cancer cases occur after a woman is 55-60. Menopausal women are at risk too. Also eating habits and lifestyle can influence the occurrence rate of breast cancer. There are various types of breast cancer. Most common one is lobular carcinoma. It originates in lobules, milk producing glands. Lobules are connected with nipple. Breast cancer may be invasive and noninvasive. Invasive cancer can spread metastases into other organs while non-invasive can`t.
- Pain in the chest
- Lump in breast area
- Pain under armpits
- Nipple changes: it may become thickened or discharge blood
- Flaky skin
Existence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that there is a malignant tumor. Many women can have lump in the breast which is not dangerous. However, they must have regular check ups. During the regular diagnosis they will be able to understand the nature of lump and choose the right treatment course.
- Clinical breast exam can detect lump in breast. The size of the lump mainly depends on the breast cancer stage. Doctor can also notice if there is any kind of discharge from nipples or if the nipples have strange form. During Physical exam, doctor can check for presence of other change s in breast.
- Another diagnostic method is biopsy of breast tissue containing malignant cells.
- Mammography is the most common diagnostic method of breast cancer, for the reason that it can detect the malignant formation.
- Reconstruction with an expander or allo prosthesis is usually performed after resection of breast tissue and it aims to reconstruct female`s breast.
- Diep-flap plastic reconstruction with own tissues is also a reconstruction technique when doctors can use patient's own tissue from belly.
- Reconstruction with own tissue or implant is a similar technique but in this case doctor can use an implant.
- Radical mastectomy is a removal of the whole breast tissue.
- Brachytherapy is a commonly used type of radiation, when radio frequency source is placed close to affected zone. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, this type of treatment uses catheters that are inserted into tumor and connected to the machine that has iridium, radioactive substance.
- Lumpectomy is a removal of the affected tissue. In this case doctors do not remove the breast muscles. This is done only if cancer does not metastasize largely and is subjected to surgical intervention.
- Radiotherapy usually aims to destroy the cancerous cells by special radioactive beam. It may be performed after surgical intervention and the course of chemotherapy. Usually it is done one or two months after surgery. Radiation sessions last only a few minutes, but a person may need to undergo several sessions in order to get rid of malignant cells completely. Another type of radioactive intervention is breast brachytherapy, which prevents the recurrence rate of breast cancer in future. It last about a week and it gives very good results.
- Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill the malignant cells. Sometimes patients take drugs before the surgery so that the amount of malignant cells will be less. It may be complicated for a surgeon to identify and heal all malignant cells, that's why doctors do everything they can to decrease its number. Nevertheless, such drugs are very powerful and they can have certain side effects. For instance, people who had them lose their hair, have crumbly nails, frequent fatigue, and nausea.. They can also feel nauseated. Usually people who underwent chemotherapy and radioactive intervention experience hot flashes, when they are hot even if it's cold. Such flashes finish after the completion of chemotherapy course. Additional chemotherapy course may be administered in case of presence of malignant cells after the surgery.
- Sectoral resection with flap plastic is another type of breast cancer surgery.