Understanding Breast Cancer


Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. It occurs when cancerous cells develop in· the tissue of the breast, to this effect knowing the anatomy of the breast is essential, most cases of breast cancer originate in the cells that line the duck. Breast cancer is mostly found in women but men too can also get it.

Understanding breast cancer helps one to know something about the normal structure of the breast. A woman’s breast is made up of glands that make breast milk called lobules ducks (small tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple) fatty and connective tissues, blood vessels and lymph vessels. Some breast cancer also begins in the beginning and others start from other tissues.

Breast cancer can spread through the lymph system. It can enter the lymphatic vessels and begin to grow in lymph nodes.

Every woman wants to know what she can do to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Most cancer aren’t inherited. This means that there are so many things to be done to reduce the risk of being diagnosed of it.  If you have no history of it, there are also steps you can take to keep your risk as low as it can be.

Researchers are working to learn how factors in the environment outside and inside your body may work separately and together to affect your health and the risk of developing it. The environment inside your body include “genetic hormones level and illnesses”, while the environment outside your body include air, water, food and everything else you can come in contact with everyday.

Its risk factors include age, as you grow older there is a high possibility of increase in developing breast cancer:

Family and personal history of breast cancer doubles the risk.

Other factors include race, alcohol consumption, family planning choices, genetics and finally a young girl menstruating below the age of 12, etc.  Its symptoms are: Discharge from the nipple, persistent tenderness of the breast, pain in the nipple, swelling or mass in the armpit, a lump that can be felt no matter how small it is. Sometimes there are no symptoms when it is in the early stage, it may cause no pain or discomfort. Also a change in the shape, colour and texture of the breast too.

Some of the possible ways of preventing breast cancer and the risk factor are:

Maintaining a healthy body weight minimise or avoid alcohol, consume as many fruits as possible, regular exercises, avoid fatty, packaged and processed foods, minimise pharmacologic estrogens and xenoestrogens, take your supplements daily

Avoid omega 6 fat and increase your omega 3 fats.

Maintain a positive mental outlook.

If you notice anything unusual report to your doctor, self breast examination is one of the best ways to notice any change in the breast. Having a regular mammogram and clinical breast examination by your health professional can help you understand changes in your breast and remember many lumps and rashes are benign (not cancerous) and can respond well to proper treatment.

Mimontu is an undergraduate of Mass  Communication,  RSUST, Port Harcourt.

Avor Mimontu Rosy