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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Contrary to popular belief – most breast cancer is an “acquired” cancer – the genetic mutation that occurred to cause the cancer happened some time (or a number of mutations) during our life time – they are not hereditary cancers.

Only 5-10% of cancers are thought to be hereditary or “germline” inherited genes. Examples of this are BRCA, PALB2, HBOC… all of which can be discovered through genetic counselling.

The great news: We have a great deal of power in preventing breast cancer.

  • 246,660 women and 2,600 men are estimated to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2016
  • 54,000 additional women are estimated to be diagnosed with DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ)
  • Mortality… 40,890 women and men are estimated to die from breast cancer in 2016

… these stats courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.

Cancer researchers agree, there are 3 lifestyle choices that have the greatest influence in the prevention of breast cancer – and many other cancers:

  • Maintaining lower body fat levels
  • Keeping physically active = Exercise + regular, multiple times/day physical activity
  • Minimizing alcohol – and NO! A glass of wine each day is NOT good for your health. This myth went to fairy dust years ago.

One drink equals: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Many studies show us the deleterious effects of alcohol on cancer (and heart disease) start from the very first glass. The effects of the alcohol rise exponentially when combined with smoking.

Let’s look at the bigger picture, albeit, simplified. All 3 of these contributing factors can severely increase a person’s (both men and women) estrogen exposure. Higher estrogen exposure is associated with a greater risk of the disease. And sources of estrogen exposure vary for women pre menopausal vs. post menopausal.

Estrogen is stored in body fat, along with other nuisance hormones. For this reason, excessive amounts of body fat upsets hormonal balance, raises estrogen levels in the body.

And why does exercise reduce the risk? Numerous studies from around the world agree regular physical activity dramatically reduces the serum levels of estrogens. Women who also restrict dietary intake could further reduce their serum levels of estrogens.

Alcohol: Always worthy of a warning while on the topic of cancer. We have numerous studies – the largest alcohol and cancer study released in July 2016- that prove to us, alcohol causes breast cancer, and many others. Alcohol contributes to breast cancer in a number of ways – which is why women need to know, they must minimize alcohol… Just to name a few…

  • Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
  • Alcohol (ethanol) is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde in our body, damaging the DNA, in a number of possible ways and preventing cells from repairing this damage
  • Alcohol is a solvent. When someone consumes alcohol and smokes they exponentially increase their risk for cancer as the alcohol enables the mutagenic chemicals in the tobacco to be better absorbed into the body.
  • Alcohol is a cause of oxidative stress, producing ROS – Reactive Oxygen Species which alter the DNA
  • Alcohol encourages the body to store fat. It provides the body with almost as many calories as fat, yet there is no benefit to the body, only burden. As we referred to earlier, body fat cells can be thought of as active endocrine glands, secreting hormones upsetting hormonal balance. Hormonal balance is critical in disease prevention.

The National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. In 1988, the IARC (International Agency for Cancer Research) declared alcohol a carcinogen

In our daily lives, we are exposed to many chemicals which are known endocrine disruptors. Many of these chemicals are used in our personal care products, make up, food additives, plastics… for another article!

The great news is… there is much we can do to prevent breast cancer. Understanding the disease from our DNA to guide our lifestyle choices, is true breast cancer awareness.

Shira Litwack, Medical Fitness Professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist, Medical Exercise Specialist
Proud creator of thousands of health enthusiasts & corporate health cultures world wide…

Understanding the Basics of Breast Cancer

There is no sense in worrying about something that you don’t understand or know much about. Breast cancer carries the stigma of an indiscriminate killer but there is much about this disease that people do not know. If you are worried about it, you should know why it is legitimate to worry and why, in some ways, it isn’t.

Breast Cancer Statistics

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2017. About 63,410 new cases of CIS (carcinoma in situ), the earliest and non-invasive form of breast cancer, will be diagnosed the same year. Additionally, about 40,610 women will die from the disease.

These numbers are significant as breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, but there is another important number to put these into perspective: The total number of women living in the United States today is over 120 million, or 120,000,000 numerically. Just over three million of these are breast cancer survivors (including women who are still being treated and those who have completed treatment).

It is a dangerous disease and should be taken seriously, but it is by no means a death sentence thanks to advances in medicine and in improving understanding of the relationship of cancer to the body.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast start to grow out of control. These cells often form a tumor, which may be felt as a lump or seen on an x-ray. The tumor is considered cancer (malignant) if the cells invade surrounding tissues or metastasize to farther areas of the body. While the disease occurs predominantly in women, it is possible for men to get it.

Most breast cancers start in the milk ducts (ductal cancers) while others start in the glands that make breast milk (lobular cancers). There are also other, less common, forms. It is important to note that not all cause a lump in the breast, so being aware of other signs and symptoms is valuable. Any lump or change (even if just in appearance) needs to be checked by a doctor.

Mutations in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become cancerous. Certain DNA changes can be inherited from parents and can greatly increase a person’s breast cancer risk. Other risk factors include lifestyle factors such as your level of exercise and what you eat. While research is still being in conducted in this area, there is a consensus that eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding any known risk factors can help reduce one’s risk. Hormones are also said to play a role in many cases.

How It Spreads

When cancer cells get into the lymph or blood system, it can be carried to other parts of the body. Your lymph system is a network of lymphatic vessels throughout the body that connect lymph nodes and carry lymph fluid, helping rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system, however, is to transport the lymph fluid, which contains white blood cells, throughout the body.

Know Your Risk, Own Your Health

Being well-informed about any risks to your good health is important, not just for shaping your lifestyle, but in decisions for the future. That’s where we come in! At reveal23, we are committed to providing individuals with affordable access to genetic cancer testing so you can find out what your DNA says about your health.

Best 10 Health Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

October is Breast Cancer Prevention Month. It is every woman’s duty to take care of their health. Here are some tips to protect your breasts from cancer.

Exercise Regularly: “Keep moving every day”. Exercise is your best friend when it comes to any health-related problem. The more you sweat, the more calories you burn and this helps you stay healthy.

Go for regular checkups: Visit your doctor every now and then, especially if you have any doubts. This is not a condition where you can think and postpone your doctor visit to the next month or even later. The earlier you get diagnosed, the earlier you will save yourself!

Know your family history: It is important to know your family history, because most cancers are hereditary. If anyone in your family suffers or has suffered from cancer, then you are prone to a high risk.

Encourage breast feeding: If you are a new mom, do not stop breast feeding for any reason. Breast feeding makes you and your baby stay healthy and energized. Besides giving good nutrition to the baby, it also helps to keep your breasts in good physical shape.

Choose the right food: Food plays a vital role for any problems we might have. Avoid charred meat, unfermented soy products, genetically engineered foods and sugar. Try to consume a good amount of iodine, foods rich in Vitamin A and D and naturally fermented food.

Reduce Stress: Stress is a waste of time – just try to relax! Engage yourselves in stuff that makes you feel busy. Stress is your health’s biggest enemy and the very best friend of all diseases.

Quit smoking: As everyone knows, drinking and smoking support and help cancer survive in our body. Quit smoking and alcohol today and protect yourself from this disease.

Focus on your weight: Studies show that women who have gained too much weight since the age of 18 are more likely to develop breast cancer. When you reach high obese levels then you are at a high risk. It is always considered safe to check on your weight scale and BMI rate.

Get a mammogram done: This is the best way to detect breast cancer. Some may say it has potential risks, but in the end, it gives an accurate result like no other method out there. It is recommended to do this type of screening every year.

Enough Sleep: Getting a good night sleep helps you stay healthy. Continuous 8 hours of sleep make the human mind and body feel fresh and relaxed. Some people don’t give it much credit but they should. Consult your doctor today and discuss this to get the right solution and stay on a safer side.

Simple Tips For Detecting and Avoiding Breast Cancer

When it comes to cancers, women have to be vigilant about what is going on with their bodies. Amidst the most common forms of the malady is that of breast cancer. While it claims thousands of lives annually, it can be detected early, treated, and in many instances completely eradicated. Women today should be aware of how to detect for these cells, as there are some ways to figure out whether or not something is awry. Aside from that, a little bit of prevention may help keep cancerous cells from forming, and can help with healing down the line.

Self-Testing

The first thing that women can do is focus on self-testing. This is a solution that involves pushing and feeling the breast tissue all over. The goal is to press against the tissue to feel for lumps or cells that seem compacted. Even a small lump can be something to deal with. When this is found, do not wait to see a specialist, as it could very well be something to worry about. A doctor can focus on whether or not this is an impacted duct, or it’s a growth. In most cases, women that test themselves, don’t have cancer, so don’t panic if you feel something.

Get A Mammogram

You can test yourself, or have a partner feel for changes. However, if that doesn’t yield results, and you’re older than 35, it’s time to see a specialist. Going to a doctor to get a mammogram may seem irksome, but it’s absolutely important. These tests are done by experts and they look through the tissue of the breasts to figure out what is going on, if anything. In most instances, tests come back negative. If there’s anything, a biopsy can be done, and can rule out the disease. Now, if it is malignant, don’t panic, there are paths to treat this early, and fast. While some are extreme, others are not. This depends on early detection, genetics, treatment, and more.

An Ounce of Prevention

When it comes to preventing cancer, there are a few things that you can do to fight back. While it’s imperative not to miss doctors’ appointments, self-test, and know your body, there are other things that you can do to help prevent the issue from occurring. While these aren’t “cures” they have been shown to lower risks of every forming the issue. These things include the following tips and tricks.

Losing weight and managing eating habits have been shown to help improve overall health, cardiovascular circulation, breathing, and tissue normality. Being physically active can help with improving oxygen rich blood flow, as well as ensuring that cell mutations do not occur as often. Avoiding vices like drinking excessively and smoking are also important to consider. Knowing your family history, avoiding certain prescription medications, and lethargy are also helpful in prevention.

At the end of the day, the best thing that you can do is simple, maintain a healthy routine. If nothing else, staving off cancers is a matter of chasing good health, and getting regular checkups with your doctor, just in case.

Understanding the Different Types of Breast Cancer

A person’s treatment options and prognosis is dependent on the specific type and progression of their breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the most common types are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma.

Determining Type

Most breast cancers are carcinomas, which start in the cells that line tissues and organs. More specifically, they are often adenocarcinomas, which start in the milk ducts or lobules of milk-producing glands. Less common forms are sarcomas, which start in the cells of connective tissue, fat, or muscle.

If the cancer is described as “in situ,” it means that it has not spread. If it is described as invasive or infiltrating, it means that the cancer has invaded the surrounding breast tissue.

Breast Cancer Grade

An important piece of information, a breast cancer’s grade determines how quickly it is likely to grow and spread. A grade is determined by checking the cancer cells under a microscope to see how much the cancer cells look like normal cells. A lower grade number typically means the cancer is slower-growing and less likely to spread. A higher grade number refers to a faster-growing cancer. The grade helps predict prognosis as well as helps determine which treatments may work best.

Most Common Types

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. Since DCIS has not spread, it is the easiest form of cancer to treat successfully.

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), while the name sounds like cancer, is not actually a cancer. In this type, cells that look like cancer cells grow in the lobules of the milk-producing glands but they do not spread through the lobular wall.

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer. It starts in a milk duct, spreads through the wall of the duct and invades the fatty tissue of the breast.

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) starts in the lobules (milk-producing glands) and spreads into outside tissue.

There are also sub-types of invasive carcinoma, some of which may have a better or worse prognosis than standard invasive ductal carcinoma. These special types are often named after specific features that have been identified under the microscope. These sub-types include adenoid cystic carcinoma, low-grade adenosquamous carcinoma, medullary carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, papillary carcinoma, tubular carcinoma, metaplastic carcinoma, micropapillary carcinoma, and mixed carcinoma (which has features of both ILC and IDC).

Less Common Forms

There are a few types of breast cancer that occur but are more uncommon. Inflammatory breast cancer (invasive) accounts for approximately one to three percent of all breast cancers. Another, rarer, type of breast cancer is Paget disease of the nipple, which starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the skin of the nipple and areola. There is also Phyllodes tumor, which are rare breast tumors which develop in the stroma (connective tissue) of the breast. Finally, there is angiosarcoma, which starts in the cells that line lymph vessels or blood vessels, but rarely occurs in the breasts.

Symptoms and Protected Measures for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer, like other cancer, is very dangerous and signs or symptoms must be readily known so that the necessary actions can be taken to prevent it in its early stages. It is equally important to know some of the protective measures to be undertaken by individuals, especially women who are the most targeted culprits of this unfortunate disease.

One of the noticeable signs of potential breast cancer is the apparent changes noticed in the appearance, size and shape of the breast. When a woman quickly notices that the size and shape of one or both breasts have increased superficially and/or abnormally, she must treat it as a matter of urgency to visit the health facility for a prompt examination or test for the disease. Also, since breast cancer is mostly formed as a result of clusters of divided cells that form lumps in the breast, as soon as a woman recognises those lumps or thickening which is somewhat different from the surrounding regions of the breast, she must consult a health professional for screening and examination for the disease. This is not to say that every lump or lumps evident in the breast are indications of cancer of the breast since some are normal and do not alarm a development of the disease.

In addition, discharges or fluids from the nipples of the breast that sometimes contain blood and/or give a pungent scent can be an early sign of the infection and must be a source of worry that needs immediate attention by a physician. Moreover, any unusual changes in the skin of the breast region such as dimpling or redness of the skin in the breast area need an early attention for possible contraction of the disease.

Furthermore, a newly inverted nipple as well as peeling or flaking of the breast skin is early potential signs of breast cancer infection. When a woman notices the formation of a lump or swelling in the armpit that causes severe pain that extends to the breast region, she has to visit a health facility for an examination for possible breast cancer infection.
Studies have shown that some practices and diets can serve as potent barriers to resist breast cancer infection. For instance, regular exercises of the body which lasts for barely half an hour five times in a week is seen to curtail possible infection. This is due to the fact that regular exercise burns and lowers the oestrogen and testosterone levels that make women susceptible to the disease. Also, the calories in the fatty diet are also rid off since it is a potential driver for the infection.

Also, women who engage in breastfeeding are likely vulnerable to the breast cancer infection. This is so because, in the breastfeeding state, the ovaries of the woman rarely produce eggs that may cause ovarian cancer in the breast. In addition, breastfeeding regular alters the breast cells, making them resilient to any potential cancerous condition in the breast region. This may probably be an explanation for the higher number of breast cancer cases in women in developed countries in comparison with those in developing countries. This is justified because women in developing countries give birth more often to the higher number of children and thus, prolonged breastfeeding period, unlike the women in developed countries who give birth to few children, reducing their breastfeeding period, making them more susceptible to breast cancer attacks.

Research has shown that there are some diets that can reduce the risk factors associated with breast cancer. It is estimated that good dietary choice can prevent nine out of every hundred cases of breast cancer. Thus, as a protective measure, women must take in those diets to form a high resilience toward the disease. The intake of monosaturated and poly saturated fats in vegetable and olive oils as against animal fats protects women from the infection. In addition, the eating of more fibrous meals like wheat and cereals builds up the immune system against possible cancer of the breast. The eating of a lot of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis can also protect women from the disease.
The heavy intake of sugar with a high concentration of fructose has been noted as weakening the protection of women against breast cancer. Therefore, women especially must reduce the quantity of sugar in their diet. Studies have revealed that Vitamin D and Iodine are good fighters against the disease. As such, women must eat meals with higher ratios of iodine and vitamin D to build a strong resilience against any form of cancer development in their breasts.

Finally, women must endeavour to go for regular screening and examinations regarding breast cancer in hospitals. Allotting time for such health check pays off greatly because it aids in identifying symptoms at their formative or early stages and potential cure that is far less expensive. With the advent of technology, there is a pool of breast screening technological devices in health facilities such as the 3D Mammography with Tomosynthesis, 4D Ultrasonography, Vacuum-assisted Biopsy and others that can detect every unusual lump formation or signs in the breast region that may inure to the development of cancer. Women with high-risk factors for breast cancer must take advantage of special counselling services on the disease championed by many health agencies and NGOs. Individually in their personal homes, women can undertake self-examination through a simple lymphatic breast massage and report any abnormal situations to a professional health personnel for speedy attention, advice and cure.

Breast cancer is taking a toll on the vibrant, productive women of societies, mitigating the expected socio-economic development the entire globe yearns for. Therefore, there is the need to eradicate this disease which has been a bane of development from the globe. Women must respond swiftly to symptoms of breast cancer for early detection and cure to save the army of women globally whose indispensable contributions change the face of the world, making it a good haven to live.

Sleep Inducing Hormone Puts Breast Cancer Cells to Rest

The connection between a fatal car accident with a driver’s lack of sleep is reasonably simple to comprehend. However, have you ever thought that there may possibly be a connection between inadequate sleep and breast cancer? 101 women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer participated in a study in 2012 that was trying to establish that a lack of sleep in such women patients triggered more aggressive tumours.

A research team from the Michigan State University (USA) published a report in Genes and Cancer that tried to portray the relationship between melatonin, a hormone involved in sleep-wake cycles with breast cancer stem cells along with trying to determine the promise of melatonin as a cancer curative.

In order to pursue their research under clinical environment, the scientists created breast cancer cells known as mammospheres. This three dimensional cell mix was produced bearing a resemblance to configuration that may be found in an actual tumour in the body that was perceived to be the trigger behind the uninhibited tumour progression and relapse. David Arnosti, a Michigan State University professor and co-author on the study, best explains the significance of using the mammosphere method by saying, “You can watch bears in the zoo, but you only understand bear behavior by seeing them in the wild. Similarly, understanding the expression of genes in their natural environment reveals how they interact in disease settings. That’s what is so special about this work.”

The research utilized cancer cells that were classified as estrogen receptor (ER) -positive. The first stage of the trial examined the influence of melatonin on estrogen’s capability to upsurge the progression and magnitude of the mammospheres. The second stage, the team decided to dig a little deeper and studied melatonin’s effect from a genes and proteins standpoint. Transitioning through the cell wall, estrogen which is a steroid hormone unites the receptor inside the cell that travels to the cell’s nucleus to that particular area of the DNA that can stimulate the genes. A protein known as OCT4 is produced by one of these activated genes. This plays a key function in a stem cell’s capacity to indeterminately make reproductions of itself and to sustain its unspecialized, stem cell state. The expansion of the ER-positive breast cancer cells are hence driven via estrogen initiated cellular route. When melatonin was added to the cells, the investigation brought forward that estrogen- and BPA- enthused combination of the estrogen receptor to the OCT4 gene in the mammospheres was repressed.

Collating these reflections, the research team put forward that by using the mammosphere technique, the growth in the breast cancer tumour could be suppressed by inhibiting genes responsible for driving the stem cell-like properties of the breast cancer stem cells. Melatonin, a key factor in the entire process is produced by the brain’s pineal gland which is only active at night which on release can induce sleep. If however, the patient is suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia, the possibility of melatonin levels as an effective method to block estrogen driven cancer growth is significantly lessened.

James Trosko, whose MSU lab perfected the mammosphere technique, sees these breast cancer results in a larger perspective. He says, “This work establishes the principal by which cancer stem cell growth may be regulated by natural hormones, and provides an important new technique to screen chemicals for cancer-promoting effects, as well as identify potential new drugs for use in the clinic.

How Do I Know If I Have Breast Cancer? Symptoms & Treatments

What are the signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer?
There are several common and some distinct signs that are seen when breast cancer develops.

The signs and symptoms of cancer include:

  • Lump in breasts
  • Change in size/shape/appearance of breast
  • Change/new dimple on breast skin
  • Recently inverted nipple
  • Peeling/flaking of skin around nipple (areola)
  • Redness over breast skin

The cause for the development of cancer is yet unknown however, when the cancer affects the breast it results in abnormal development of breast tissue cells. The cancer-affected cells in the breast begin to multiply faster and uncontrolled which then begin to form lumps (tumorous growths). The cancer is also known to spread (metastasize) to the other surrounding tissue and organs, including the lymph nodes.

Breast cancer is mostly seen beginning in the tissue cells of the milk-producing ducts (also known as invasive ductal carcinoma) or it may begin in the lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) as well as any other part of the breast.

How is Breast Cancer diagnosed?
It is treated successfully when it is diagnosed sooner and treated accordingly. These are some of the best and most common diagnosis tests for detecting breast cancer:

Breast examination – This is a physical examination of the breasts that lets the doctor check the breast tissue for lumps. The doctor will check the breasts and the lymph nodes in the armpit for abnormalities.

Mammogram – This is an x-ray imaging test for the breasts. These are very useful in seeing any abnormal growth in the breast tissue.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound test uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed of the internal structure within the breast. This test will effectively highlight any type of abnormal lump or mass in the breast.

Biopsy – The surgeon will use minimally invasive surgical method to remove a small portion of the suspected cancerous tissue from within the breast. This breast tissue sample is then sent to a pathology laboratory for detailed analysis.

Breast MRI – The breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an advanced diagnostic imaging test. It uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create a significantly detailed cross-sectional image of the breast tissue. A contrast dye is often injected before the breast MRI to help highlight any abnormality in the breast tissue.

These tests help in diagnosing cancer. If breast cancer is found in a person, then the doctor will advise one of these tests to stage the breast cancer:

  • Blood test – A CBC (complete blood count) test is most useful in determining the stage of breast cancer.
  • Advanced mammogram
  • Breast MRI
  • Breast CT (computerized tomography) scan
  • Breast PET (positron emission tomography) scan

The staging process helps the doctor to determine the extent of growth of the breast cancer and this in turn helps to determine the best-suited breast cancer treatment for the particular case.

How is Breast Cancer treated?
There are various different methods for treatment of cancer. The type of treatment mainly depends on several factors, such as the stage of the cancer, its size, are of affecting along with the patient’s age, overall heath level, etc which the doctor will consider.

These are the various types of the cancer treatments:

Surgery
Surgical removal of breast cancer is one of the most common and effective treatment methods. In this, there are sub-types of surgical processes that are performed, including:

  • Lumpectomy – This is a selective cancer surgery treatment for smaller sized breast tumors. The surgeon will use a wide local excision method to remove the cancerous tissue as well as a small margin from the surrounding healthy tissue as well to prevent chances of the cancer from recurring.
  • Mastectomy – This is one of the major surgeries for cancers. It involves removing the entire mammary gland tissue, including the lobules, fatty tissue, milk ducts, nipple, areola as well as some portion of the skin.
  • Sentinel node biopsy – This surgical treatment of mammary gland is helpful in determining if the cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes. The surgeon will remove a few of the closest-situated lymph nodes near the breast to check for cancerous cells or drainage from the tumor.
  • Axillary lymph node dissection – In case the surgeon finds cancer cells in the sentinel lymph nodes the additional lymph nodes near the armpit might also need to be removed surgically.
  • Contra lateral prophylactic mastectomy – This surgery involves removing both the breast tissues completely even if the cancer is found to be affecting one of the breasts. This is done to prevent the risk of the cancer recurring in the affected breast and the cancer from spreading to the other healthy breast tissue.

Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy, also known as radiation therapy, is a breast cancer treatment method involving the use of high-energy x-rays (or protons) to target and destroy the cancer cells in the breast tissue. Radiotherapy can be done as an external procedure or the surgeon might use minimally invasive surgical method to insert a small radioactive device into the breast (brachytherapy) for closer access in giving an effective radiation dose to the cancerous breast tissue cells.

This is often used in combination with a surgical breast cancer treatment in case the surgery is not able to remove the entire cancerous tissue.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer involves using a combination of specially designed medicinal drugs that are aimed to destroy the cancerous cells in the breast. This treatment method is also used before treating a large sized breast tumor. The medicinal drugs are effective in reducing the size of the large cancerous tumor in the breast which can then be safely removed using surgical methods.

Understanding the Mechanisms of Breast Cancer

What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a malignancy of the breast tissues that is usually identified as a small extra mass or lump in the breast in the beginning. If left undetected for some time, it can spread to other parts of the body including the surrounding lymph nodes. Most of the cancer of breasts occur in women, but men can get it too in some cases.

What Causes Breast Cancer and How Does it Spread?
A lot of research has been done to understand the mechanisms and pathogenesis of breast cancer. It is, however, difficult to predict who will develop it as scientists do not still know the exact causes of breast cancer fully. There are, however, several risk factors that may put a person at higher risk than others. These include a personal history of breast cancer, family history, age, gender, previous radiation therapy, hormone therapies, and excessive alcohol drinking.

A recent study published in ‘Cancer Cell International’ Journal found that pepsinogen C (PGC) that belongs to aspartic protease family and is secreted by gastric chief cells is linked to cancer development. Another report published in BMC suggests that penetration of the mammary gland basement membrane by cancer cells is an important step in the progression of the tumor from the mammary glands to other surrounding tissues. These findings also indicate that peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) plays a crucial role in cancer cell transfer and movement. A research on a mouse model of ductal carcinoma in situ shows that inhibition of peptidylarginine deiminase 2 activity can maintain basement membrane integrity in xenograft tumors. PAD2 depletion or inhibition can suppress cell migration and alter the morphology of cells and can serve as a potential treatment option in future.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer?
We can little do to prevent cancer since we do not know the exact cause. However, in view of the recent findings and the knowledge of probable causes of the cancer, researchers have come up with a list of things that can benefit toward a cancer-free life. Pomegranate is a nutrient-rich unique fruit that has been used for centuries for the prevention and treatment of various inflammation-driven diseases. This has been proved through certain studies published in reputed journals of nutrition. A few studies suggest an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and breast density. As breast density is considered a risk factor for breast cancer, monitoring your vitamin D levels can offer a starting point as a prevention strategy. Some studies reinforce the assumption that higher levels of 25(OH)D pre-menopause and vitamin D are associated with lower breast density. Screening is an established approach to keep a track of what is going on in your body. Doctors recommend a regular screening after every three years after the age of 40. If you are a higher-risk individual, it may be recommended to start the screening even earlier and more often. Keeping your weight under control, nutritious diet intake, and limiting alcohol consumption are other elements of your cancer prevention strategy.

To know more about breast cancer, please visit our breast cancer center here.

Mohd Salman, MBBS, is a medical science professional and is associated with DiseaseFix as a content guide and researcher. DiseaseFix develops health information modules for patients and provides a unique platform to allow access of summarized reliable information of a variety of types obtained from thousands of information sources.

6 Little Known Facts About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a major concern for both men and women in the United States. People are well-aware of the dangers, thanks to the breast cancer awareness movement. Some women are proactively seeking screenings to detect cancer early on and are adopting healthier lifestyles to help prevent it. Those who are diagnosed with the illness can resort to alternative cancer treatment options. Alternative cancer treatment centers offer different forms of integrative medicine, including chelation therapy and ozone therapy.

If you are interested in learning more about this disease in order to safeguard yourself, then you will find the following tidbits to be informative.

Second Most Common Cancer

Did you know that in the U.S., breast cancer is the second most common cancer found in women? It is also the second highest cause of cancer-related deaths in women of all ethnicities and races. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of the risks, which are increased by poor lifestyle choices. If you were diagnosed with this type of cancer, you can consult with a physician at an alternative cancer treatment center. He or she will advise you of diet and lifestyle changes needed to improve your condition.

It’s an Epidemic

This dangerous disease is on the rise, especially for American women. Numbers reveal that there will be 230,000 new invasive breast cancer cases in America this year. About 39,000 of those women will die from the illness. What’s more inspiring is that there are over 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer in the U.S. It’s proven that early detection is key for surviving the disease. Death rates for this type of disease have decreased over the past couple of decades. Women younger than 50 are showing the biggest signs of improvement.

Your Genes Play a Role

If you have a close blood relative, such as a mother, daughter or sister, who has had breast cancer, your risk of cancer doubles. However, it’s also important to note that over 85 percent of patients have no family history of the disease. Unfortunately a lot of women over 40 skip annual screenings because they don’t have a family history of the illness.

Men Are at Risk

This comes as a surprise to a lot of people because it is a topic that is rarely brought up in the media. However, it is true that men can develop this type of cancer. This year, it’s estimated that there will be 2,100 new invasive breast cancer cases in men. About 450 is expected to die from the illness. The chances of a male developing this is 1 in 1,000. Although this number is small, men shouldn’t downplay breast cancer as a possibility.

Benign Breast Lumps

A lot of women find lumps in their breasts, which turn out to be benign growths. This means they are non-cancerous. These turn out to be cysts, blood clots caused by a trauma, benign tumors like fibroadenomas, mastitis, nodules or scar issue. None of these have been linked to cancer.

There’s No Age Limit

It’s possible for both the young and old to develop breast cancer. However, the risk of it occurring increases as you grow older. According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of getting this disease at 20 years old is 1 in 1,760. At 30 years old, this increases to 1 in 229, then 1 in 69 at 40 years old and 1 in 29 at 60 years old. By the time you’re 70, your risk increases to 1 in 27. The overall lifetime risk for breast cancer is 1 in 8.

Obtain Naturopathic Cancer Treatment

A holistic approach to breast cancer detection, treatment and prevention can be achieved with the assistance of an alternative cancer treatments physician.