Cancer is a broad term for a class of disease characterized by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body. Breast cancer starts in the cells of the Breast as a group of Cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.
All people, whether male or female, are born with some Breast cells and tissue. Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissue can still develop Cancer. Even so, male breast Cancer is very rare.
Less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men, and only One in a Thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast Cancer.
Early stage or Stage 0 breast cancer is when the disease is localized to the breast with no evidence of spread to the lymph nodes
Stage 1 Breast cancer: The cancer is 2cm or less in size and it hasn't spread anywhere.
Stage 2A Breast cancer is a tumour less than 2cm across with lymph node involvement, or a tumour that is larger than 2(but less than 5) centimetres across without underarm lymph node involvement.
Stage 2B is a tumour that is greater than 5cm across without lymph node involvement, or a tumour that is larger than two but less than 5cm across with lymph node involvement.
Stage 3A is a tumour larger than 5cm and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, or a tumour that is any size with involvement of 4-9 auxiliary lymph nodes.
Stage 3B Breast cancer is a tumour of any size that has spread to the skin, chest wall, or internal mammary lymph nodes (located beneath the breast and inside the chest). Inflammatory breast cancer falls into this category.
Stage 3C Breast cancer is a tumour of any size that has spread to more than 10 auxiliary lymph nodes.
Stage 4 Breast cancer is defined as a tumour, regardless of size, that has spread to places far away from the breast, such as bones, lungs, liver, brain, or distant lymph nodes.
Symptoms and signs
* A lump in a breast.
* A pain in the armpits or breast that does not seem to be related to the woman's menstrual period.
* Pitting or redness of the skin of the breast; like the skin of an orange.
* A rash around (or on) one of the nipples.
* A swelling (lump) in one of the armpits.
* An area of thickened tissue in a breast.
* One of the nipples has a discharge; sometimes it may contain blood.
* The nipple changes in appearance; it may become sunken or inverted.
* The size or the shape of the breast changes.
* The nipple-skin or breast-skin may have started to peel, scale or flake.
* Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
* Biological therapy (targeted drug therapy)
* Hormone therapy
Physical exercise - exercising five days a week has been shown to reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
Bodyweight - women who have a healthy bodyweight have a considerably lower chance of developing breast cancer compared to obese and overweight females.
Diet - some experts say that women who follow a healthy, well-balanced diet may reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. Dietary fats may increase your risk of developing breast cancer, and fruits, vegetables, and grains may help to reduce the risk.
Breastfeeding - women who breastfeed run a lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to other women.
Alcohol consumption - women who drink in moderation, or do not drink alcohol at all, are less likely to develop breast cancer compared to those who drink large amounts regularly. Moderation means no more than one alcoholic drink per day.
If you use contraception, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of birth control pills.
Early detection and treatment is still the best strategy for a better cancer outcome. The following is a common strategy, but ask your doctor exactly what you should do to help prevent breast cancer or find it early:
Check your breasts once a month, three to five days after your menstrual period ends. Have thorough medical checkups twice a year, and have annual mammograms. If you use contraception, ask your doctor about the pros and cons of birth control pills.
Extracts from: http://www.webmd.boots.com/breast-cancer/default.htm