Early detection and education for breast cancer saves thousands of lives every year. If everyone would follow the guidelines set by the American Cancer Society for early detection of breast cancer it would improve the chances that the cancer would be detected early so the treatment can begin early.Using the screening exams for early detection is to find the cancer before the systems start. Defining screening means to have tests and exams that the doctors use to diagnose a disease without the systems, like cancer.
Usually once breast cancer symptoms are evident the cancer has probably spread beyond the breast. Whereas if they find the cancer with early detection they may be able to contain it to the breast before it spreads.
The mammograms and self exams have been a life saving experience for a lot of women, however, sometimes the mammogram cannot find the cancer and it goes undetected. A mass or a new lump is a good indication of the most common symptom of breast cancer. These masses or lumps can be painless, hard, tender, soft or rounded and can have irregular edges are more likely to be cancerous and also painful. If you find any changes at all you need to be checked by your doctor.
Some of the other possible signs of breast cancer you could have are as follows:
* Even if no lump is found swelling of all or part of the breast.* A dimpling or skin irritation on the breast.* Pain in the breast or in the nipple.* The nipple turning inward or retracting.* Thickening of the nipple or breast skin along with redness and scaliness.* Other than breast milk having a discharge from the nipple.* Swelling of the lymph nodes.
Developed from cells in the breast, breast cancer is a tumor that is malignant. The ducts that are the passages that move the milk from the lobules to the nipple or the cells of the lobules which are the milk producing glands are where the breast cancer usually starts. Included with the fibrous and fatty connective tissues in the breast sometimes the cancer can start in the stromal tissues.
The cancer cells are alive and can invade other parts of the body from the breast. They can travel into the healthy breast tissue and move into the lymph nodes. Once the invasion into the lymph nodes begins they can make a pathway to any part of the body and sometimes it is a vital organ that they settle in. Depending on how far the cancer cells have already spread is what stage the cancer is in.
If breast cancer is suspected by your doctor he will order a series of tests not only on the cancer but also on the surrounding areas. This will tell about the tissues that surrounds the cancer. After the doctor completes the initial biopsy or in some cases a lumpectomy. Also a mastectomy is required sometimes. When any testing is done the doctor gets a report from the laboratory that provides your doctor with information that he will need to find out the treatment that he will use to best suit you.
Some of the characteristics that your doctor will look for in your test results are as follows:
* The cancer’s size and appearance.* How quickly the cancer is growing.* Signs on whether the cancer has spread to healthy tissues in other parts of the body.* Factors linked with the cancer’s development and growth to see whether certain things are inside the body such as hormones. Also genetic mutations (genes that could have changes) could play a part in the cancer.