breast cancer signs

Breast Cancer, Signs, Diets and Treatments

Navigating Breast Health

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, accounting for nearly 30% (or 1 in 3) of all new female cancers each year. Due to the frequency of breast cancer, many advancements in treatment exist, such as targeted therapies like Kisqali, a medicine used to treat a type of breast cancer. It blocks certain proteins in the body that help cancer cells grow. By doing this, it helps slow down or stop the cancer from getting worse. This article will discuss the signs, diets and treatments related to breast cancer.

Carcinogenic Drinks to Avoid

  • Soda.
  • Sugary fruit juices.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Alcohol.
  • Sweetened iced tea.
  • Processed fruit drinks.
  • Flavored waters with artificial sweeteners.
  • Sweetened coffee drinks.
  • Sports drinks with added sugars.
  • Canned iced coffees and teas.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Like with most cancers, early detection is one of the best ways to improve the prognosis significantly. The best way to catch breast cancer early is by giving yourself regular breast exams, being aware of what feels normal and abnormal in your body and getting mammograms. It is important to note that there is no such thing as “normal” or “typical” breasts. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. That is why establishing a baseline understanding of what feels normal for you is essential, particularly when it comes to early breast cancer detection. Here are some signs that should prompt an immediate consultation with a healthcare provider:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Changes in breast shape or size, with unusual and persistent changes.
  • Skin changes such as dimpling, puckering or a rash.
  • Nipple discharge, particularly if it's bloody or clear and occurs without squeezing.
  • Changes in the nipple such as inversion or persistent tenderness.
  • Thickening or swelling in a part of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

While having one or more of these symptoms does not automatically mean that cancer is present, it is still important to talk to your doctor right away upon detection to learn the source.

Diet and Lifestyle Options for Breast Cancer

Diet plays an integral part in cancer prevention and management. While no single food can prevent cancer, a healthy diet can strengthen the body’s defenses:

Plant-based Foods

Foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants–such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains–can help reduce cancer risk.

Lean Proteins

Fish, poultry and legumes are preferable over red and processed meats, which have been linked to higher cancer rates.

Healthy Fats

Sources like avocados, nuts and olive oil should be incorporated instead of trans and saturated fats.

Avoid Carcinogenic Substances

Limit intake of smoked or charred foods, and reduce alcohol consumption, as these can contribute to breast cancer risk.

In addition to a healthy diet, experts encourage an active lifestyle to reduce your risk of breast cancer, particularly for women in menopause or postmenopausal. After menopause, the ovaries stop the creation of estrogen. However, most estrogen comes from fat tissue, which can raise estrogen levels and increase the chances of getting breast cancer. Women who are overweight also tend to have higher blood insulin levels, which has been linked to a higher risk of getting cancer, particularly breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week.

Treatment Options for Breast Cancer

Treatment for breast cancer varies depending on the stage and type of cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health. There are many options available, including:

  • Surgery: Options for surgery include lumpectomy (removing the tumor and a small margin of surrounding tissue) and mastectomy (removal of one or both breasts) are popular and effective treatments for breast cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is often used after surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is perhaps one of the most common treatments for breast cancer, utilized to shrink or kill cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is often used for cancers that are sensitive to hormones, like estrogen.
  • Kisqali: Kisqali is a drug used alongside other medications to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer. It works by blocking certain proteins that help cancer cells grow. Oncologists typically prescribe Kisqali as part of a broader treatment plan for breast cancer.

Comprehensive Breast Cancer Care

Breast cancer is a complex disease that requires comprehensive understanding, early detection and effective treatment strategies. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is crucial for timely diagnosis and intervention. Additionally, adopting a healthy diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants can support overall well-being and potentially influence treatment outcomes. From surgery and radiation to chemotherapy and targeted therapies like Kisqali, advancements in breast cancer treatment continue to offer hope and improved survival rates.

By staying informed and proactive and working closely with healthcare professionals, individuals can navigate the journey of breast cancer with resilience and optimism, emphasizing the importance of early detection, healthy lifestyle choices and access to innovative treatments.

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