Breast Cancer – Discovered Quickly, Healed Quickly
Did you know !?!
Breast cancer is the No. 1 cancer in Thai women and is increasing every year. There is no vaccine for cervical cancer.
3 out of 4 patients have no risk factors, and that means every woman is at risk for breast cancer.
- Unusual lumps or hard areas found in the breasts
- Lymph fluid and blood flowing from the nipple
- Changes in the skin around the breast, including a depressions or swollen skin, like the skin of an orange peel.
- Nipples feeling like they are pulled into the wrong position
- Changes in the skin around the nipple area, such as rashes.
- The breasts are different in size or shape
A mammogram is very useful because it can detect small breast cancers even if a lump is not found. This is particularly beneficial for older patients (more than 40 years old) whose breasts are not very dense. A mammogram examination can show a lot of detail but in younger patients it will be difficult to interpret the mammogram, and if a hard area is found, it cannot be certain whether it is water or a lump of tissue.
- UltrasoundUltrasound has the advantage that it can be used in young patients and can help diagnose whether various hard areas in the breast are water or lumps of tissue. Making the treatment plan easier.
- SurgerySurgery is the initial treatment for breast cancer and requires detailed planning at every step, regardless of which method of surgery is selected as more appropriate; breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. We consult with patients on whether they want breast augmentation right away and consider whether or not the lymph nodes must be removed.
- Radiation TherapyRadiation may be necessary after breast-conserving surgery in the case of a large cancer or if the cancer cells have migrated to the lymph nodes.
- ChemotherapyChemotherapy and anti-hormone drugs can be used after surgery if a removed tumor was larger than 1 cm or if the cancer cells may have moved into the lymph nodes.
What might be cancer ??
Breast lumps may not hurt, but can be very scary
Most women, when feeling breast tenderness, begin to notice or feel for lumps in the breasts. However, even if lumps are not found, or you are not sure, you should see a doctor or specialist to ensure that it is not breast cancer. Cysts are often painful, but cancer usually does not hurt. There are three main groups of diseases that can cause lumps in the breasts:
- breast cysts
- malignant breast tumors (not dangerous)
- breast cancer
Breasts cysts will change according to the menstrual cycle. They will be large prior to menstruation and small afterwards. In most cases, patients with cysts feel soreness in the lumps. However, patients with either tumors or cancer will not feel any pain. In addition, 90 percent of people with breast cancer will initially have no lumps. Many women misunderstand that lumps that do not hurt are okay and consequently leave them until the cancer has become larger and painful.
How can you know if it is cancer?
It can be observed that breast cancer lumps are hard and rough or can be simple cubes in shape. Other indications include indentations in the skin of the breast as well as abnormal breast shape.
There may be lesions on the nipples and around the nipples, or lymph or blood flowing out of the nipples. Some people find a lump in the armpit area, and occasionally find some swelling due to breast cancer. In addition to abnormalities in the breasts, mammogram and ultrasound breast examinations can also detect small breast cancer even with no other symptoms. These examinations may find lumps or mineral concretions in the breast tissue.
Can blood tests and genes tell if it’s breast cancer?
Blood tests for breast cancer are relatively inaccurate because tests for indicators such as CA15-3 and CEA are found to be abnormal in less than 20 percent of people with breast cancer, whereas patients who have normal blood may already have breast cancer.
In the case of gene testing, such as for BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, which would be abnormal in cases of breast cancer and which would run in a whole family, detection does not mean that a patient has cancer. This simply indicates that the chance of finding breast cancer in that person is higher than in the average person, and these genes are only found in 5-10 percent of all breast cancer patients. Therefore, even if such genes are not found in a patient, this does not mean conclusively that they do not have breast cancer.
Now that you know, protect yourself!
Perform regular breast examinations by yourself, see a doctor if you have symptoms,
do not leave it until it hurts, and have an annual mammogram starting from the age of 40.