Doctors insist that every woman should know the symptoms of breast cancer, as this disease is a leader in the ranking of oncology. The problem is that at an early stage, the symptoms are not very pronounced and therefore, women complain to doctors late when only cardinal treatment is appropriate.
The first signs of breast cancer
It is quite accidental that a woman may find nodules and “balls” localized in her breast – this is not always a sign of cancer! Such seals may indicate the development of mastopathy or mastitis, so an accurate diagnosis should be made in any case in a specialized clinic. And yet, seals are the first signs of breast cancer, which can be detected by examining the breast on your own:
- You need to examine the breast visually in front of the mirror – you can detect nipple retraction and breast deformity;
- Fingers to touch the breast – you can find seals, bumps, unevenness of structure;
- when the hands are raised, painful sensations are observed in the area of the armpit cavities;
- when you press the nipples, you may see a pink/white color highlight;
- focus redness of the mammary glands, which is visualized in front of a mirror.
The early stage of breast cancer may be accompanied by other signs:
- changes in the skin of the breast – psoriasis-like spots, hyperemic hearths, small rashes;
- periodic increases in body temperature;
- chest pain syndrome that occurs just before menstruation.
Breast Cancer Stages
In oncology it is common to distinguish the following stages of breast cancer:
- Stage 1 – breast enlargement and thickening of the breast are small, there are no metastases, lymph nodes are periodically enlarged, but remain painless;
- Stage 2 – the size of the compaction increases and may reach 5 cm in diameter, metastasis is detected in close lymph nodes, the examination may reveal remote metastases;
- Stage 3 – the size of the neoplasm exceeds 5 cm in diameter, metastases in breast cancer at this stage are in large quantities not only in the lymph nodes, but also in remote organs and systems.
The fourth stage of the disease in question is characterized by an excess of the boundaries of the neoplasm beyond the breast, multiple metastases in the body. In this case, the diagnosis of “invasive breast cancer” will be made.
Depending on which stage of breast cancer will be diagnosed, the specialist will also choose the treatment tactics – it can be conservative methods or surgical intervention, up to removal of the breast.
Treatment of breast cancer
Most often, after diagnosis, the patient is sent to a specialized oncology clinic, where she will be prescribed effective treatment. It is believed that a full recovery is possible only if the treatment of breast cancer is carried out surgically, and then – hormonal drugs and radiation exposure. If the diagnosis was carried out on a non-serious breast cancer, doctors perform surgery to remove the neoplasm while preserving the breast. Such treatment is only possible if the size of the malignant tumor does not exceed 4 cm in diameter, and metastases have not yet been detected in the close lymph nodes or in remote organs/systems. After surgical removal, the tumor is sent to the laboratory for histological examination – this will help to clarify the stage of the disease. After the surgeon removes the tumor, the patient will have to undergo a course of therapy:
- Chemotherapy for breast cancer. Taking powerful and highly toxic drugs has a detrimental effect on atypical cells and helps get rid of small single metastases in lymph nodes. Such a course of therapy has a negative impact on the immune system of the patient, so it is carried out only in hospital conditions and with constant monitoring of the blood formula.
- Radiation therapy for breast cancer. It can be carried out in two ways. The first – the impact of ions is directed directly at the breast, the second – the rays are directed at the tissue in the focus of malignant tumor. In addition, women are prescribed hormonal drugs, which most often have to take a long time – from 10 months to 3 years, and if the breast was removed completely, the supporting therapy will be prescribed for life.