Breast cancer early detected can save your life

July 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Early signs of breast cancer.
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Breast cancer is curable, but with only one condition, to be diagnosed in time …

How breast palpation is done correctly and that is during the month when should be done?
Breast self-exam to detect cancer early may improve survival rate of the patients with breast carcinoma. In fact, most breast cancers are initially detected by palpation by the patient and not by the physician. Although in young women are reduced incidence of breast cancer, learning the art of self-examination is important, so it can become a habit.

Breast self-exam is done in front of a mirror while you are in an orthostatic position (vertical) or sitting, to detect breast asymmetry. Skin retraction can be observed by raising the arms above the head or placing your hands on hips.

In the case of premenopausal, monthly breast examination is indicated in the first week after menstrual period. If the doctor can not confirm changes detected by the patient, must be repeated after one month or immediately after the next menstrual period.

What should alarm us and when we need immediate medical attention?

Mammary tumors, especially cancer, are asymptomatic, being discovered by palpation or by screening (mammography and self-examination). Minimum changes occur in the breast during the menstrual cycle. During
premenstrual phase, may temporary occur a slightly elevated swelling. This persistent nodules at palpation, especially present in postmenopausal women, with irregular edges, require immediate medical attention. Moreover, the nipple secretion in women not breastfeeding and its hemorrhagic nature, in the absence of breast palpation, require the need to establish its origin.

What are the main investigation for breast cancer detection and what they entail?

The main investigation applied to the breast are the mammogram, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Breast ultrasound is an imaging technique, commonly used, but not having the same accuracy in detecting breast cancer compared with mammography. Its indications are limited to assessing a benign-looking density, impalpable, detected by mammography.

MRI is a costly investigation, which is generally indicated by evaluating mammograms.

Breast cancer diagnosis is established only by examining tissue taken by biopsy. Who are people susceptible to breast cancer? Breast cancer is approximately one third of all cancers that occur in women and is considered the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Here are some of the risk factors:

* Family history of breast cancer – increases the overall relative risk;
* Diet high in fat, alcohol consumption;
* Hormonal factors;
* Lack of lactation (breastfeeding seems to have a protective role)

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