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Monday, 23 April 2012 10:08

Combat Breast Cancer with Early Detection

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Information about various screening test of breast cancer including self examination. Simple screening tests and examination helps to detect breast cancer at its earliest curable stage and improve survival rate among cancer sufferers.

pink ribbonBreast cancer is the first cancer among the women of all races and Hispanic origin population and it is a second most leading cause for cancer-related death after lung cancer among women.-According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.
Breast cancer is a great concern among women population, the word “Breast cancer” is sufficient enough to cause anxiety and sometimes depression in women. Fear and anxiety related to surgery, death or loss of body image sometimes takes away their sleep. 
Screening is the key to detect and hold the progress of breast cancer.

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Importance of screening methods
Aim of breast cancer screening tests is early identification of breast cancer before the start of symptoms. Experts believe that early detection of breast cancer increases chances of successful treatment and improves survival rate imparting better quality of life to the patient. Breast cancer identified during screening tests is usually smaller and confined to breast only. Treatment started at this earliest curable stage can save thousands of lives each year.
Breast cancer screening means examining women’s breast before the appearance of cancer's signs and symptoms. Most significant and highly recommended screening tests are  

  • Breast self-examination (BSE)

self breast exam_finalBreast self-examination is a systematic and step-by-step approach, where women look and check her breast for unusual changes. Health care provider can teach you proper techniques of BSE to avoid undue errors. Method is cost effective without any side-effects. BSE helps to detect cancer at its earliest stage providing better future outcome.

BSE is recommended in women at a high risk for breast cancer development such as those having family history or older age women.

Checking involves
BSE involves standing in front of mirror and seeing each breast for abnormal changes. Procedure also involves palpating entire breast along with armpit with the pads of fingers. Examination is carried out at different positions for the best possible result.

  • Looking at each breast for change in size, shape, and contour of breast
  • Identifying an area distinct from other
  • Looking for redness, skin irritation, nipple pain, nipple retraction, skin scaling and dimpling
  • Palpating for lump or swelling
  • Checking nipple for discharge especially bloody discharge

When to be conducted
Women can start BSE at age of 20s. 

Pre-menopausal women-preferable examination period is three to five days after the end of menstruation because breast is less likely to be swollen and tender at this period.
Post-menopausal or with irregular menses- examination is advice irrespective of menstrual cycle. BSE must be performed on the same day of each month.

BSE has no effect on breast cancer-related death rate and hence not routinely recommended by health authorities. Moreover, it increases anxiety among women and increases rate of biopsies in non-cancerous growth.

  • Clinical breast examination (CBE)

Clinical breast examination is a breast evaluation performed by health-care professional. CBE helps the women to get familiar with own breast health issues.

CBE is indicated in women having strong family history of breast cancer in close relatives such as mother or sisters.

Checking involves

  • Looking for change in size, texture and shape of breast
  • Looking for redness, rashes and dimpling
  • Palpating for lump or swelling
  • Locating lump if any, detecting weather such  lump is attached to the skin or to deeper tissues
  • Pressing nipple for discharge especially bloody discharge

When to be conducted

  • CBE should be done at least every three years starting at 20 years of age and every year after 40 years of age.

CBE has no profound effect on breast cancer-related death rate.

  • Mammograms

Mammogram uses X-ray picture of breast to identify cancer. Mammography is a screening as well as a diagnostic tool used for early detection of breast cancer. It’s a very effective and valuable technique for reducing breast cancer-related death.
According to National Cancer Institute (NCI), screening mammography helps to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages between 40 to 74 years of age.

Mammogram is recommended in high-risk women having history of breast cancer in first-degree relatives or history of chest radiation.
Screening mammography is used to check breast cancer in women who have no signs and symptoms of disease; whereas diagnostic mammography is used in women who have breast symptoms.

Checking involves

  • Detection of lump, masses or cysts
  • Calcifications; tiny mineral deposits within breast tissues
  • Micro calcification, its size and shape (great concern for diagnosis of cancer)

When to be conducted
Screening mammography is recommended every one to two years after 40 years of age.

Mammography sometimes may miss the cancerous growth or identify unnecessary growth labelled as cancer.
Breast implants make it difficult to see underlying breast tissues.
Repeated X-rays used in a mammogram have been potential to cause cancer. 
Some women may find it uncomfortable as the breast are put between two metal plates and a little pressure is applied, however, most of women experience mild to moderated discomfort which last for few minutes. And it does not damage breasts.

  • Breast ultrasound scans

Breast ultrasound is painless procedure that requires just a few minutes. It’s like ultra sonography of breast. The scans are usually recommended for women under 35 whose breast is too dense or solid to give a clear picture with mammograms.
The Ultrasound scan is also done to know whether the breast lump is solid or it contains fluid (Cyst)

Breast self-examination and clinical breast examination do not decrease the death rate among breast cancer. Hence mammogram is considered as a best screening test for early detection of cancer.
However, It has been found in a recent study that mammogram may lead to over diagnosis and there are chances that women may receive tests and treatment they did not actually need.

Well, as said earlier, the early detection of breast cancer potentially improves the survival rates and quality life of patient. Thus Early detection is key to combat breast cancer…

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Read 5062 times Last modified on Monday, 23 April 2012 11:25


  • Comment Link oil Sunday, 17 June 2012 09:25 posted by oil

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  • Comment Link Peg Feodoroff Monday, 30 April 2012 22:56 posted by Peg Feodoroff

    One reason women do not readily and easily either do self exams or have mammograms is fear of losing their modesty.
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  • Comment Link Maria Tuesday, 24 April 2012 18:06 posted by Maria

    Wow, that article basically concluded by completely contradicting itself, and then adding a final "early detection is best to combat breast cancer"... Not to be too precise, but actually, it is taking proper care of the body, which combats breast cancer. The body is created to fight cancer naturally, but it must have the proper nutrients to do so. Mammograms are only 30% correct!! And for an article to state that this test causes "a little pressure" is unbelievable!! It is more than just a little uncomfortable, it is downright painful. I don't believe that women are meant to undergo this procedure, which does so little to prevent breast cancer. Reading "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer" is extremely eye-opening, and empowering. To fight breast cancer, one must employ many pieces of the health puzzle, of which mammograms are not a necessary part. I've helped so many women, who were wrought with cancer, and who were given no chance at survival. The body can and does heal itself, given the right environment...there are simply too many truthful stories of healing without the conventional intervention, and too many examples of natural means effectively killing cancer cells. There just isn't enough profit in that truth, I suppose, which is a shame! We must educate each other on these truths!

  • Comment Link Hema Sharma Tuesday, 24 April 2012 17:38 posted by Hema Sharma

    This is the very useful & easy way to check..
    it is very important to take Breasdt cancer startin gsymptom to stop it.


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