The most commonly found type of cancer in women is breast cancer. After lungs cancer, breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer and the second main cause of death. It is a type of cancer which affects both mind and body. It develops from the breast tissue. There are many symptoms of this cancer but in an earlier stage, you may not experience any symptoms or show any signs. But as it progresses, some physical change can be noticed such as:
- A lump in your breast
- The shape of the breast gets change.
- Dimpling of the skin
- Fluid coming from your nipple
- A newly inverted nipple
- A red or scaly patch of skin
If you see any of the above changes, then go to your doctor and get your breast check. The direct cause of breast cancer is not clear. There are some factors of environment and biology that increases the chance of this cancer. Some of the biological risk factors are given below:
- Being a woman
- Having dense breast tissue
- Having your period before age 12
- Having menopause after age 55
- Having a family background of breast cancer
Some Of The Environmental Factors That Cause Breast Cancer:
- Having poor diet
- Regular smoking tobacco
- Taking certain hormones for menopause
- Before age 30, having radiation therapy to your chest
- Regularly consuming beverages that have alcohol
- Being overweight
When the breast cancer increases and reaches to the higher stage, then along with these symptoms, it also spread to distant sites and there may be the pain in bone, lymph nodes get swell, and breath gets a short or yellow skin. There are many risk factors, some of them we have studied above but the most common modifiable risk factors are obesity and drinking alcoholic beverages. The risk of breast cancer appears to increase due to smoking tobacco. The risk is increased by 35% to 50% for those who are long-term smokers.
In 2012, according to the World Health Organisation’s data, 1.67 million new cases of the diseases were diagnosed, which accounted for 25.2% of all cancers in women. 14.7% of all cancer-related deaths i.e. 522,000 deaths in women are caused by this disease. This type of cancer can have a stressful impact on the lives of women of all ages. But technology has improved survival rates since 1989. In the United States, there are around 3.1 million women who have breast cancer. The chance of the death of any women is around 2.7% i.e. 1 out of 37.
Many patients are not able to handle the news of cancer well and become so worried and pessimistic. They could not able to sleep well and also lost their appetites. Whether you are newly diagnosed or a long-term survivor, the breast cancer can affect how you feel inside and out. You have to deal with the emotional strain of the diagnosis and the challenges of the treatment along with the daily stress.
During the treatment, there are many changes which are experienced by a woman. Some of them are given below:
- Hair loss: Chemotherapy can cause hair loss by attacking cells of hair.
- Menstrual changes: The treatment can disrupt the production of normal hormone and you can experience night sweats, joint pain, weight gain, infertility, vaginal dryness etc.
- Swelling: There is a risk of developing lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition in which liquid collects in some parts of the body and due to this, it gets swells.
- Skin changes: During treatment, you may experience a red rash which looks same as sunburn. The breast tissue also feels swollen.
- Weight gain
- Underarm hair loss
A range of treatment is available which includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The treatment will depend on the type, stage of the breast cancer and the preferences and the health of the women. Breast cancer also affects the emotional health of women. There is a huge impact on the family also. The very common and normal responses of women and family to this life-changing experience is a feeling of depression, anxiety, and fear. The change in the image of the body can affect the women’s level of confidence.