Every woman should take proper care of her body, especially of the more sensitive parts, such as breasts. Regular breast examination, which can be easily performed at home, can help you detect any breast anomalies early.
If these anomalies are breast cancer, it means that your chances of successful treatment significantly increase. Having regular breast ultrasounds once or twice a year is also important.
In the past decade, a number of health organizations are trying to raise awareness among women on the risks of breast cancer and the importance of taking preventative measures. Funds have also been raised for further research on a breast cancer cure.
Knowing the early symptoms of this cancer gives you the advantage of acting promptly and having successful treatment. The symptoms are typically easy to identify.
LOOK BEYOND THE LUMPS
One of the first warning signs is lumps. Once a lump is detected, a doctor will require further examination, such as a mammogram X-ray. Thus the method is highly effective in detecting any masses, lumps or deformities that may be malignant.
What’s alarming is the fact that mammograms themselves use the process of radiation ionization, which is believed to be a possible cause of cancer. Moreover, the results aren’t 100% accurate.
Breast cancer can appear in 2 forms – benign and malign. The second one is dangerous. However, mammograms cannot differentiate between the two. That’s why this diagnostic method doesn’t give precise identification of the type of cancer, which can result in unnecessary treatment involving radiation and chemotherapy.
An enhanced alternative to mammograms is thermotherapy, which allows doctors to see the lump as well as to determine if there’s a process of angiogenesis in the breast. Angiogenesis occurs when a new set of blood vessels starts to form in order to supply blood to newly developing breast tumors.
CHECKING CELL HEALTH & HORMONES
Genetics play a major role in cancer development according to a majority of health experts. Namely, breast cancer risk increases exponentially in daughters to mothers who’ve had cancer.
Aside from genetics, other risk factors include:
- Environmental factors
All of these factors affect the function of the endocrine system including hormone production and regulation. According to research, hormone imbalance is a major risk factor in breast cancer.
Although lumps are generally considered the warning sign of breast cancer, any type of pain in the breast is also an alarm to consult a doctor. Breast pain can range from mild to throbbing and can indicate breast anomalies as well. The thing is breast cancer sometimes appears in the form of dispersed seed-like tumors which may also grow into the tissue as tiny tentacles.
Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, explain that breast cancer does not necessarily appear in the form of lumps. Other symptoms are possible too, and these include irritation, inflammation, abnormal discharge from the nipple (outside lactation), the formation of dimples, inversion of the nipple, skin becoming red or thick near the nipple. In the words of Dr. Naoto Ueno of MD Anderson Cancer Center, breast cancers can sometimes only be marked by a tiny lump. Often, there’s no lump at all, simply the skin looks a bit different than normal, which is why breast cancer often goes undetected in its early stages.
THE LINK BETWEEN BACK PAIN & BREAST CANCER
If you are experiencing upper back pain that feels as if originating deep in the bones, it’s a serious sign to discuss with your doctor. Studies confirm that this can be an early warning sign of breast cancer. This does not necessarily mean that all kinds of back pain are related to breast cancer. Chronic back pain that persists even after physiotherapy could indicate breast cancer in its early stage. Other accompanying signs, such as pain that grows in intensity along with pressure due to tissue growth, also require immediate medical attention.
DEFICIENCY OF ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Getting sufficient nutrients is critical as prevention against breast cancer. Iodine and vitamin D are particularly important, so if your diet is low in these nutrients, your risk of breast cancer increases. As there’s the prevalent deficiency of these nutrients among Americans and Europeans, it’s no wonder breast cancer rates have raised so drastically in the past few decades.
A number of studies confirm that nearly 75% of healthy adults are actually deficient in iodine, and this deficiency is one of the major causes of the development of cancer cells. This doesn’t only include breast cancer, but other types of cancer too. Similarly, vitamin D deficiency is also considered a major risk factor.
A 2012 study, published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that lack of vitamin D is a common denominator in females suffering from breast cancer. Other studies have confirmed this theory as well. Leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes a well-balanced diet full of essential nutrients, is the most important preventative measure against many types of cancer.
Consulting an integrative doctor or experienced nutritionist who should recognize a deficiency of any particular nutrient can also be extremely beneficial. Experts of this kind can help you achieve optimal natural balance thus reducing the risk of breast cancer.