Cancer is a magnanimous term, including multiple diseases caused by the abnormal growth of cells inside the human body. Cancer in breasts- breast cancer is the most common cause of women dying off. The frequency of deaths due to breast cancer is increasing with every passing year. Every year, the month of October is observed as the month of Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide. Pink Ribbons are the symbolic representation of support to breast cancer victims. In the following article, we will list complete, comprehensive, and informative facts about women in Pakistan and breast cancer to spread awareness.
What Is Breast Cancer?
When the cells in the breast grow out of the regular pattern, they develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is more common in women, but men are also prone to the disease. There is no scientific evidence that men stay safe from any chances of developing breast cancer. Breast Cancer is more prone to appear after the age of 40 and menopause among women. The causes of breast cancer are as follows.
Causes Of Breast Cancer?
Cells are the basic building blocks inside the human body. The group of cells together makes a tissue. There is a natural procedure of cell production, growth, and death inside the body. When there is a disturbance in the normal cycle and working of cell production and decomposition, the healthy cells get manipulated with the bad DNA or cell inside the tissues, which results in tumours or cancer inside the body, causing damage. The same is the case with breast tissues and cancer.
No such causes of breast cancer are the only responsible ones. There are multiple causes, but risk factors are often associated with breast cancer development inside both men and women habitants. However, genetics, environmental and personal factors are highly affecting in causing the disease.
Risk Factors Associated with Breast Cancer
The risk factors associated with breast cancer are generally developed into two types: fixed risk factors and modified risk factors. The fixed risk factors are unchangeable, like age, psychological status, genetics, and gender. On the contrary, the modified risk factors can be changed with efforts like habits, lifestyle, and living location.
The factors like age, gender, race, obesity, family history, personal histories like earlier such as diagnosis, menstrual and reproductive history, and breast tissue density.
Lifestyle and Environmental Factors
Poor diet, lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese, use of substances and alcohol, and therapies to the breasts before the age of 30 increases the risk of breast cancer.
Facts About Breast Cancer
- In 2022, 287,500 cases of invasive breast cancer and 51,400 cases of non-invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in the US. Whereas in Pakistan, 25,928 patients were reported nationally in 2020.
- Nearly 40 thousand women die due to breast cancer every year in Pakistan.
- Pakistan has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer among the south Asian countries. Every 1 woman out of 9 is at risk.
- Whereas in the US, 1 in 8 women is at risk.
- Breast Cancer is also a men’s disease. In the US, 2710 men are calculated to be breast cancer effects. In Pakistan, 1-3 out of 9 men are at risk of breast cancer.
Types Of Breast Cancer
I am starting with types of breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, inflammatory breast cancer, and metastatic breast cancer are the types of breast cancer.
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a form of non-invasive cancer in which the lining of the breast milk duct has been found to contain abnormal cells. The surrounding breast tissue has not been invaded by the abnormal cells that have left the ducts. Ductal carcinoma in situ is a relatively curable, early-stage cancer that has the potential to spread to the breast tissue if ignored or undiagnosed.
With Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), aberrant cancer cells that initially developed in the milk ducts have moved outside the ducts and into other breast tissues. Invasive cancer cells can also spread to different body regions. Additionally known as infiltrative ductal carcinoma.
- IDC accounts for 70–80% of all breast cancer diagnoses, making it the most prevalent.
- IDC is the form of breast cancer that strikes men the most frequently.
A condition known as Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) occurs when abnormal cells are discovered in the breast’s lobules. The abnormal cells outside of the lobules have not invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
LCIS seldom develops into invasive carcinoma and is very curable. However, if you have LCIS in one breast, you are more likely to get breast cancer in either breast.
Breast cancer that has invaded the epidermis and lymphatic vessels of the breast is referred to as inflammatory breast cancer. It frequently results in no clear tumour or lump that is localised in the breast and can be felt. However, symptoms start to show up when the breast cancer cells obstruct the lymph veins.
Breast cancer in Stage 4 also includes metastatic disease. Other bodily areas have been affected by cancer’s spread. Typically, this involves the brain, bones, liver, lungs, or liver.
Stages of Breast Cancer
There are four breast cancer stages: stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4. In the following, a piece of information about all stages is available.
Cancer is present in stage 1 breast cancer, although it is confined to the region where the first aberrant cells first appeared. Because it was found early, breast cancer can be treated very well. One can subdivide Stage 1 into Stage 1A and Stage 1B. The size of the tumour and the number of lymph nodes showing signs of malignancy define the difference.
Stage 1 is very manageable, but it does need medical attention, usually in the form of surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of the two. In addition, depending on the sort of cancer cells discovered and your extra risk factors, you might think about hormone therapy. Like stage 0, the initial stages of cancer frequently do not require chemotherapy.
When breast cancer is in stage 2, it is either still contained within the breast, or the tumour has only reached the adjacent lymph nodes.
Level 2A and Stage 2B are the two groups that make up this stage. The difference affects the tumour’s size and whether the breast cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes. Chemotherapy is typically used for Stage 2 breast cancer before surgery and radiation treatment.
Breast cancer in stage 3 has expanded past the tumour’s original area and may have entered surrounding muscles and lymph nodes, but it has not yet reached distant organs. Even though this stage is regarded as advanced, more efficient treatment options are available.
Level 3A, Stage 3B, and Stage 3C are the three groups that make up this stage. The distinction is based on the tumour’s size and whether the malignancy has spread to the lymph nodes and nearby tissue.
Breast cancer reaches stage 4 and goes to the brain, bones, lungs, liver, and other organs. Even though Stage 4 breast cancer is incurable, it is typically manageable. Because of recent developments in science and medicine, more women can manage their condition as a chronic illness with quality of life as their top priority. Stage 4 breast cancer may respond to a number of treatment choices that can extend your life for several years with quality care and support, as well as individual motivation.
Myths About Breast Cancer
- There are various myths about breast cancer which need to be burst. Some of the most commonly-known breast cancer myths are as follows.
- Men do not get breast cancer- Contrary to the statement, men are also prone to the disease of breast cancer. Although, the ratio is lesser in men as compared to women.
- Deodorants and antiperspirants cause breast cancer- There is no truth in this myth.
- Breast Cancer is contagious- However, you cannot catch breast cancer from one body to another body. It is caused by a miscalculation inside the human body- an entirely functional and chemical problem of human biology.
Breast Cancer in Pakistan
According to the study, Pakistan has a 19.33 per cent breast cancer growth rate among the world countries. It stands the country at the world rank of 58. In addition, women in Pakistan are not so aware of it. Therefore, they do not put enough care and focus on their breasts’ health until the stage advances and becomes uncurable.
Preventive Measures for Breast Cancer
Breast self-examination can help you become more aware of your breasts. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any changes, lumps, or other strange symptoms.
Stay Active: Set a goal to work out for 30 minutes daily, at least five days a week.
Do not overuse postmenopausal hormones: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hormone therapy with your doctor.
Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, reduce your weight. Reduce your calorie intake while gradually increasing your workout.
Make a conscious effort to eat a healthy diet, concentrating primarily on plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Pick healthy fats over unhealthy ones, such as olive oil over butter and fish, instead of red meat.
Breastfeed your kids: Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces a mother’s risk of developing pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer.
Breast Cancer is a deadly disease—many people lose their precious life at the hands of breast cancer. In Pakistan, the awareness about it is far less in comparison to developed countries. In addition, women are not conscious of their health due to economic, educational, and social barriers. It is high time to make people equally aware of breast cancer to safeguard human lives. Let us come together to make our people aware of breast cancer and break the stigma to develop the confidence to keep diligent care of ourselves. It is better to say every ribbon makes a difference. Play your part today for a better tomorrow.