Introduction to Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor usually occurs in the epithelial tissue of the breast gland. It is one of the most common malignant tumors that severely impacts on women's physical and mental health and even threats to the life, while is rarely seen in male. The main symptoms of breast cancer are: breast lumps, breast pain, nipple discharge, nipple changes, skin changes and axillary lymph nodes swelling.
How to self-diagnose breast cancer?
1. Self-exam when bathing
When bathing, soap your breast at first to make it sliding when checking. Put one of your hands behind your head, with fingers of another hand closed and straighten, carefully check every part of your breast with your finger pulps in spiral manner to see whether there are masses in your breasts. Alternate your hands when checking your two breasts.
2. Checking before a mirror
Stand in front of a mirror with your hands down to see whether the outlook of your breasts is normal and whether there is indentation of your nipples and shrinking or humps of the breast skin. Slightly nip your nipples to see whether there is discharge and check your armpit to see whether there are swollen lymph nodes. At last, hold high your hands above your head and repeat the examination again.
General Symptoms of breast cancer
1. Breast cancer patients in early stage are not able to touch clear lumps, but often accompanied with local discomforts. This situation happens very often specially in women after menopause.
2. Early stage breast cancer patients can reach bean-size masses in their breast grand, which are hard and movable but with no significant pain, while a few patients might bear intermittent pain or pricking pain.
3. Change of the breast shape. Visible skin bulge can be seen in the mass region, local orange peel -like skin, edema, and even discoloration may appear in some cases.
4. Nipples in the center are associated with nipple retraction; breast skin is accompanied with mild depression, nipple erosion, nipple asymmetry, skin thickening, coarsening, and enlarged pores.
5. Axillary lymph nodes swelling. Swelling in ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes is most commonly seen, while swelling in the supraclavicular lymph nodes has fallen into the advance stage.
Diagnostic Methods of Breast Cancer
1. Ultrasound imaging examination: it can clearly reveal the form and boundary of breast tissues and whether there is mass in the breast, if any, its size, shape and texture (cystic or solid), etc. It provides comparatively reliable basis for the distinguishing between benign and malignant cancer. Ultrasound imaging examination has an 80%～85% accuracy to the diagnosis of breast cancer patients of 30 years old. The strong reflected sound caused by the surrounding infiltrated tissues, the damaged normal breast structure, the thickening or indentation of local breast skin above underlying mass, images of all these can be taken as important reference of breast cancer diagnosis. Ultrasound is harmless and can be reused.
2. Thermal imaging examination: it is a method to reveal the temperature distribution of body surface with images. As cancer cells proliferate fast and vessels increase, the temperature of cancer surface rises higher than that of surrounding normal tissues, with the differences of which, diagnosis can be done. However, this diagnosis method lacks of accurate imaging standard, and the thermal abnormal parts cannot correspond to the tumor. Therefore, the diagnostic accordance rate of the method is low. That's why this method is used less and less in recent years.
3. CT scans: it can be used in determining the location of impalpable breast lesions before biopsy and staging breast cancer before treatment, as well as checking whether there are masses in the retromammary area, armpit and internal breast lymph nodes, and helping with treatment plan as well.
4. Cancer marker examination: during the cancerization process, a substance is produced and secreted by cancer cells. It directly releases components of cell tissues and exists in the cancer cells or body fluid of the parasitifer in the form of antigen, enzyme, hormone or metabolite. This kind of substance is called cancer marker, with which the examination methods include carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), iron protein, monoclonal antibody, and so on.
5. Biopsy: only after the diagnosis is confirmed can treatment for breast cancer be performed. Although there are plenty of examination methods for breast cancer nowadays, the result of biopsy is the only basis that can be used to confirm diagnosis.
Breast cancer is one of the most common malignant tumor, whose disease rate makes up 10% of various malignant tumor, threatening female's health severely. The attack of breast cancer leads to females' losing confidence for life and work, and bringing a challenge for a family. How to conquer breast cancer becomes the main issue for the patient and their family. Experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou point out that the New therapy brings a hope of health for breast cancer patients when the happiness arrives.
|I & II||
The common treatments are mastectomy, breast reconstruction, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, for those who can’t tolerate or do not want to take common sugery, the preferred treatment is minimally invasive treatment, including cryotherapy, interventional therapy, microwave ablation, combined therapy of chinese medicine and western medicine, etc for breast cancer stage 1 or stage 2.
In breast cancer stage 3, the preferred tretaments are 125I seed implantation, green chemotherapy, cryotherapy, interventional therapy, microwave ablation, etc. In this condition, patients can choose to take intergrated treatment according to their phycical condition, size of tumor, etc.
In breast cancer stage 4 , the tumor has spread to the other part of the body, such as liver, bone, brain, etc. Open surgery is not effective as a form of treatment while minimally invasive treatment, such as cryotherapy, interventional therapy, 125I seed implantation, microwave ablation, etc. Doctor team at Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou will evaluate patient's condition and discuss the case first, then make a personalized treatment plan to every patient.
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