In terms of visibility and awareness Breast Cancer stands head and shoulders above the rest. All over the world efforts have been made by government health departments and their counterparts in the private sector to help create awareness of Breast Cancer. The pink ribbon is now an internationally recognized symbol of Breast Cancer awareness. Traditionally tagged as a female-oriented disease (the numbers concur), there is nevertheless a significant number of men who suffer from this cancer to warrant the extension of education and awareness to the male population. There are many Signs of Breast Cancer to look out for if one is to beat this pestilence.
Traditionally one is advised to feel for strange lumps in the breast. This indeed could be an indication of Breast Cancer or, as is often the case, a benign lump. There are however various other signs to look out for and schedule early screening in order to get an accurate diagnosis.
A general swelling of the breast, with or without the presence of a lump, is one such indicator. A breast discharge (other than milk) is another sign to look out for. Pain in the nipple and in the breast itself point to a mammary disorder that may (or may not) point to cancer. One should also be on the lookout for inward-turning nipples, thickening of nipple or breast skin, scaliness and redness. Enlargement of pores and change in skin texture (dimpling, for example) around the breast area are also possible Signs of Breast Cancer. Be on the lookout too for a pain in one spot that does not go away and, sometimes, a lump in the underarm area. It is necessary to reiterate that these changes do not necessary mean that one has Breast Cancer. They could be, indeed often are, benign breast conditions. Only a doctor can determine this.
Regular self examination (checking for lumps) and mammography screenings provide a fairly accurate early warning system against Breast Cancer. In this one respect Breast Cancer differs from most cancers in that early detection is possible, making any remedial action taken that much more effective. Detecting Breast Cancer in pregnant or nursing women poses a bit of a challenge. This is a time when a woman’s breasts will naturally grow bigger and sometimes lumpy through normal hormonal changes. The breasts may also become denser making the detection of small lumps that much more difficult, even using mammography. It is therefore recommended that women examine themselves before giving birth, during pregnancy and after giving birth. The importance of Clinical Breast Exams (CBE) by a health professional during this period cannot be gainsaid.
Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are the traditional fall-back treatments for most cancers. These methods are by their very nature intrusive and do sometimes conform (due to their debilitating effects) to that old chestnut of the cure being worse than the disease. In this age credible and efficacious alternatives do exist. Alternative or Integrative Treatments have produced positive results that bypass the ravages occasioned by the more traditional methods especially chemotherapy.
We are always glad to discuss Integrative Treatments with you. Please get in touch and a Patient Representative will walk you through the process.