Cancer originates when mutations take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations allow the cells to divide and multiply in an uncontrolled way. According to a report of cancerindia.org, breast cancer in India is among the top 5 types of cancers that are usually diagnosed in women. Though the disease mostly affects women but men also suffer from the same.
Often women feel shy, in telling things related to their sexual organs due to the stigma attached to it. Breast cancer is such a stereotype that should be broken and this initiative should be taken by the breast cancer oncologist in Delhi.
Post- puberty, a woman’s breast consists of fat, connective tissue, and thousands of lobules. These are tiny glands that produce milk for breastfeeding. These tiny tubes like structures, or ducts, carry the milk towards the nipple. The breast cancer originates in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. This is then spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can also develop in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within your breast. The uncontrolled cancer cells often increase day by day thus, invading other healthy breast tissue and can travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. The lymph nodes are a primary pathway that helps the cancer cells move to other parts of the body.
When to see a doctor?
In the initial stage, breast cancer does not produce any tangible symptoms. As, there are many cases the tumour may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on a mammogram. However, each type of breast cancer has different symptoms.
8 most common symptoms that you must be aware of:
- Breast pain
- Blood discharge from your nipple
- Peeling, scaling, or flaking of skin on your nipple or breast
- A sudden, unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast inverted nipple
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
- Changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
- A lump or swelling under your arm
- Red, pitted skin over your entire breast
So, if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms then there are chances of having breast cancer. In this situation, one should immediately consult the best oncologist in Delhi.
How breast cancer is staged?
Cancer is divided into stages that is determined on various factors like how large the tumour or tumours are and how much it has spread in the body. So, as with breast cancer, the cancers which are large enough or have invaded nearby tissues or organs is known to have cancer which is at higher stage. On the other hand, cancers that are small and are in the breast are known to have cancer at the initial stage.
5 Stages of a breast that you should be aware of:
- Stage 0
If your cancer cells are confined to the ducts of the breast and is not spread in nearby tissue, there is not much to worry.
- Stage 1
- 1 A
The primary tumour is around 2cm wide or less than that and here the lymph nodes are not affected.
This is a little advanced stage where the cancer is spread in nearby lymph nodes, and either there is no tumour in the breast, or the tumour is smaller than 2 cm.
- Stage 2
With the little advancement in stage 2, the tumour is smaller than 2 cm and has spread to 1–3 nearby lymph nodes, or it’s between 2 and 5 cm and hasn’t spread to any lymph nodes.
Here, the tumour is between 2 and 5 cm and has spread to 1–3 axillary (armpit) lymph nodes, or it’s larger than 5 cm and hasn’t spread to any lymph nodes.
- Stage 3
- The breast cancer has reached its later stage where it has been spread to 4–9 axillary lymph nodes or has enlarged the internal mammary lymph nodes.
- The other condition is that the tumour is largerthan 5 cm and the cancer has spread to 1-3 axillary lymph nodes or any breastbone nodes.
Here the condition becomes little serious as the tumour invades the chest wall or skin and may or may not have invaded up to 9 lymph nodes.
Cancer is spread in 10 or more axillary lymph nodes like lymph nodes near the collarbone, or internal mammary nodes.
- Stage 4
This stage is above all, breast cancer can have a tumour of any size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs being a much serious condition.