What Is Breast Cancer?
When the cells in the breast tissue begin to grow out of control, it forms a malignant tumor which is referred to as Breast Cancer. The Breast is made of three parts, The Lobules which is the milk-producing gland, The Duct which is the tube that carries milk into the nipple and the Connective Tissue which is made up of fat and fibrous tissue.
Cancer can start in any of these three different parts of the breast. However, in most cases, it begins in the duct and this is called Ductal Carcinomas and the Lobules called Lobular Carcinoma. This disease has the ability to metastasize out of the breast via the blood vessels and lymph vessels to various parts of the body. Breast cancer occurs in both females and males, however, it is more prevalent in females than in men.
Types Of Breast Cancer
There are two common types of breast cancer and they include:
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma:
- In this type of breast cancer, cancer cells begin at the lobules and metastasize to nearby breast tissues. There is also a chance it can spread to other parts of the body.
Invasive Ductal Carcinomas:
- Here, the cancer cells begin from the ducts and spread to surrounding breast tissues with the tendency of also spreading to other body parts.
Other less common types of Breast Cancer are the Inflammatory breast cancer, the Ductal Carcinoma In situ (DCIS), Pageant disease, Paget’s disease, recurrent breast cancer, and Medullary.
How Do I Know If I Have Breast Cancer?
You cannot tell if you have breast cancer just by observing signs and symptoms, however, when you notice any of these signs, you should immediately pay your doctor a visit for proper breast screening.
- A lump in the breast that feels different from the surrounding breast tissue.
- Changes in the color, size, and shape of your breast.
- When the areola (i.e. the pigmented area around the nipple) begins to peel, form crusts or flake off.
- A nipple that suddenly becomes inverted.
- Redness of the skin close to the breast.
Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can be diagnosed with either of the procedures listed below:
- Breast Examination: This can be done by you or your doctor. Breast examination is done by feeling both breast and lymph nodes which are located under the armpit. The aim is to feel for any lump in those regions. Your doctor can also show you how self-breast examination is done.
- Breast Ultrasound: This test is done to determine if the lump found in the breast is a cyst filled with fluid or if it is in solid form.
- Mammogram: This is the most common way to screen for breast cancer. In this test, the doctor will take an X-Ray of your breast and if he sees anything abnormal, he will recommend a further diagnostic mammogram.
- Biopsy: For a biopsy test, the doctor will take a tissue sample from the suspected cancerous area for examination.
- Breast MRI scan: The doctor uses the MRI machine to take images of your breast so as to figure out where the lump is located.
There are other forms of tests used to diagnose breast cancer which can be done based on the doctor’s recommendations. However, if you suspect breast cancer with all the aforementioned signs and symptoms, you can register on the Sehat Cloud EMR website to book an appointment online with a Physician. After speaking to the doctor, you may be scheduled for a mammogram with any healthcare facility. By signing up with us and having your mammogram secured via our cloud-based EMR, you also have the opportunity to follow up on treatment plans as the Physician and Radiologist are available on a 24/7 basis. You can even do this from the comfort of your home.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
Depending on your doctor’s findings after diagnosis and tests, a treatment option will be given to you for cancer. Some treatment options available for breast cancer include:
Breast Surgery: Surgical procedures such as mastectomy, lumpectomy, axillary lymph node dissection, sentinel node biopsy and removal of both breast can be recommended.
Targeted therapy drugs.
Early detection is always key in the treatment of breast cancer and this can be done with a regular self-breast examination. You can also make it a habit to have a periodic medical checkup with your Physician. Sehat Cloud can make this possible when you make use of our Patient Portal to manage your medical appointments.