Breast Cancer Explained: Definition, Types, Symptoms, Treatment – Nona Woman
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Breast Cancer Explained

Breast cancer is one of the highest cancer cases in Indonesia. In addition, breast cancer is also the leading cause of death. In 2020, there were 66,000 cases of breast cancer and of these cases, almost 70% were in an advanced stage.

So what are the early symptoms and treatment for breast cancer? Check out the following explanation.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer located in the breast area. This cancer occurs due to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast area.

Patients with breast cancer feel a lump in the breast area. This is because breast cells divide uncontrollably and produce additional tissue (cancer).

These cancer cells are the same as normal cells. These cells can come from the milk duct, mammary glands (lobules), or connective tissue within. However, these cells work abnormally. The abnormal cells then develop into a lump or mass.

These cancer cells can later spread to several other areas, such as the armpits and other body parts. There are two types of breast cancer, namely invasive and non-invasive. Invasive breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. While non-invasive breast cancer is cancer cells that have not spread to other parts of the body.

Read Breast Cancer Awareness - Feel Yourself!

Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer itself is divided into several types and four of them are the most common types of cancer. Some types of breast cancer that often occur:

  • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
    DCIS is a type of cancer that grows in the milk ducts but does not spread to other parts. DCIS is an early stage cancer that can still be treated.

    However, DCIS will also be able to spread to surrounding body parts. For this reason, immediate treatment is needed to prevent the spread of cancer.

  • Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)
    LCIS is a type of breast cancer that grows in milk-producing areas. Similar to DCIS, LCIS cancer does not spread to the surrounding area; however, LCIS is a type of cancer that can increase the risk of developing cancer in both breasts.

  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
    IDC is a type of breast cancer that grows in the ducts. IDC can not only spread around the breast, but can also spread to all parts of the body. IDC occurs in almost 70-80% of breast cancer patients.

  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
    ILC is a type of cancer that initially grows in the mammary glands, but this type of breast cancer then spreads to surrounding tissues. In addition, this type of breast cancer can also spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and lymph channels. ILC has occurred in almost 10% of breast cancer patients.

Breast cancer is a malignant disease, thus you need to pay attention to some of the early symptoms of this disease so that you can deal with it immediately.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Generally, everyone has different symptoms. However, there are some common symptoms that often occur in breast cancer patients, namely lumps in the breast or armpit, skin changes, pain, nipples feel pulled in, and unusual discharge from the nipples.

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, there are several other symptoms of breast cancer that you need to know:

  • Changes in breast size
  • Pain and swelling in the breast
  • Peeling skin around the nipples
  • Blood coming out of the nipples
  • Lumps and swelling in the armpit area
  • Nipples are itchy and pulled in
  • There are ulcers that smell with necrotic tissue and bleed easily (usually this symptom occurs in advanced breast cancer)
  • Lumps that can be moved around by hand easily
  • Breast skin pores enlarge and resemble orange peel

Treatment For Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a treatable disease. However, treatment for breast cancer itself is tailored to the patient's condition and the type of breast cancer itself.

There are several alternative treatments for breast cancer:

  • Radiation Therapy: This therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Becoming one of the most frequently used treatments for cancer patients, one of which is breast cancer. Chemotherapy uses drugs that can kill cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy: This hormone therapy works to prevent cancer cells from getting the hormones they use to grow and develop.
  • Surgery: This surgery will remove the lump (lumpectomy), remove the entire breast (mastectomy), remove a limited number of lymph nodes (sentinel node biopsy), or remove some lymph nodes (axillary lymph node dissection).

Breast cancer can be prevented by self-examination or medical examination. In addition, breast cancer is a disease that must be treated quickly because the faster the treatment, the better the results will be.

To avoid the risk of breast cancer, maintain a healthy lifestyle and practice early detection routinely. Do not forget to eat nutritious food and exercise regularly.

Read more on cervical cancer prevention

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