Breast cancer is when cancer develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin. Risk factors for developing breast cancer include obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, ionizing radiation, early age at first menstruation, and having children late or not at all. Once diagnosed with cancer, a number of treatments may be used such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Types of surgery vary from breast-conserving surgery to mastectomy (removal of the whole breast). Surgery involves the physical removal of the tumor, typically along with some of the surrounding tissue. Once the tumor has been removed, if the patient desires, breast reconstruction surgery, a type of plastic surgery, can be performed to improve the aesthetic appearance of the treated site.
How do I check my breasts, and how often?
There’s no specific way to check. Look at your breasts and feel them with any part of your hand or fingers. Check all parts of your breast, your armpits and up to your collarbone. There is no set time when to look and feel.
Does stress cause breast cancer?
There’s no conclusive evidence that stress increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Stress can affect our general physical and emotional health.
My mother has breast cancer. Am I at risk?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer and most breast cancers are not inherited and do not increase the lifetime risk for other family members.
Myomectomy, sometimes also fibroidectomy, refers to the surgical removal of uterine leiomyomas, also known as fibroids.
Colposcopy is a medical diagnostic procedure to examine an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix and the tissues of the vagina and vulva. Many premalignant lesions and malignant lesions in these areas have discernible characteristics which can be detected through the examination.
A Caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which one or more incisions are made through a mother's abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterectomy) to deliver one or more babies. A Caesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby's or mother's life or health at risk.
Childbirth is an intense event with very strong emotions. The process of normal childbirth is categorized in three stages of labour: the shortening and dilation of the cervix, descent and birth of the infant, and the placenta being expelled. The most prominent sign of labour are the strong contractile waves that move the infant down the birth canal.
Menopause is the stage in a woman's life when menstruation stops and a woman can no longer bear children. This phase leads to gradual depletion in the production of female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Infertility is the inability of a person to conceive children. Female infertility includes inability of the woman to conceive as well as inability to carry a pregnancy to full term until the child birth. About 40% of the issues involved with infertility are due to the man, another 40% due to the woman, and 20% result from complications with both partners.
Cervical cancer is a cancer arising from the cervix. It is the abnormal growth of cells that invade or spread to other parts of the body. Worldwide, cervical cancer is both the fourth most common cause of cancer and deaths from cancer in women.
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus or womb. Depending upon the type of procedure that is performed and the reason for the surgery, hysterectomy may also include removal of the adjacent Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Hysterectomy is the most common major surgical procedure (unrelated to pregnancy) performed on women.