Checking Your Breast Health

Breast cancer has emerged as one of the leading causes of cancer death among women in the world, especially in economically developing nations. It is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. Early detection of cancer is the cornerstone for outcome of breast cancer treatment and survival. However, the fact that early stages of breast cancer are often asymptomatic makes early detection of breast cancer difficult. Therefore, it is essential that women realize the importance of regular screening tests, such as Mammograms, to detect the presence of cancer that is still in a very early stage.

Here are some of the recommendations made by American Cancer Society that can assist in the early detection of breast cancer in women;

· Women in their 20′s and older should start with their BSE (Breast self examination). Any changes detected in their breast during BSE should be reported to the doctor. To know the correct technique for BSE, one can learn the BSE technique from a health professional.

· Women in their 20′s and older should get a CBE (Clinical breast exam) every three years.

· Women age 40 and older should go for a Mammogram once every year, notwithstanding the fact that they are otherwise in perfect health

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

In many cases, the early detection of cancer is not possible and one only gets to know of the disease after the manifestation of signs and symptoms in the body. Some of these symptoms may be:

· Lump in the breast or armpit

· Swollen or painful breast

· Nipple discharge

· Irritation of breast skin

· Pain or irritation in the nipple

· Change in size and shape of breast

It is absolutely essential that any woman who detects changes in her breast, including the signs and symptoms mentioned above, must contact a health professional immediately for a medical examination.

Treatment

With the advancement in medical science, there are several treatments available for breast cancer. The mode of treatment followed for a patient usually depends on the severity of the cancer and the extent to which it has spread in the human body. Some of the common treatments include:

· Chemotherapy- it involves the use of certain drugs to kill the cancer cells. These are given to the patient in the form of pills or through intravenous tube.

· Surgery- this involves the surgical removal of the cancer tissue

· Radiation Therapy- high energy waves are targeted at that part of the body where the cancer cells are located to kill the cancer cells

· Hormonal treatment-this therapy blocks out the hormones in the body that are needed by the cancer cells to grow

The healthcare professional decides the kind of treatment that the patient needs by taking into account the type and stage of cancer. Doctors will tell their patients the costs, benefits and side effects of each kind of treatment. Taking into account all the factors, the patient may choose from the treatment options available to her and also decide where to get the treatment from. Many patients opt for breast cancer surgery at foreign locales, such as breast cancer surgery in Turkey, to avail the cost benefits associated with it.

Breast Cancer and Breast Health – Take Action Now to Avoid Being a Statistic

For fifteen years I have worked as a professional educator. For 5 of those years I have worked in a healthcare organization. One of the most talked about topics is breast cancer and breast health. The bottom line is that although breast cancer is not preventable, it is usually easily detectable.

Note: Breast cancer is not race specific – all races get breast cancer!

Note: Breast cancer is not gender specific – men get breast cancer too!

When breast cancer is caught in the early stages the chances of survival are very high. Please don’t add yourself or a friend or loved one to the growing list of statistics. Take action today! Here is a simple three part action step plan to help you with the early detection of breast cancer.

Part One: Regular Mammograms

Ladies, this is the most important part of maintaining good breast health: regular mammograms. Mammograms are fast, simple x-rays similar to the x-rays you get at a dentist’s office visit. In fact, mammograms actually use less radiation than a dental x-ray!

Mammograms put you light years ahead when it comes to cancer treatment because they can detect breast lumps long before you or your doctor could physically feel a breast lump. Because early detection is a key to survival, you need to put regular mammograms on your schedule.

The American Cancer Society recommends regular mammograms for all women starting at age 40. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your physician may want you to start a regular mammogram schedule much earlier.

The older you get, the higher your chances of breast cancer. Over 75% of all breast cancers occur in women who are 50 or older. Over 50% of all breast cancers occur in women who are 65 or older.

Ladies – listen to me! Get a regular mammogram! Please! For the sake of your friends and family who love you so much, schedule a yearly mammogram if you are 40 or older or have a family history of breast cancer.

Part Two: Clinical Breast Exam

Only your physician or nurse will do a clinical breast exam for you. All women in their 20′s and 30′s should have a clinical breast exam as part of their annual health checkups at least every 3 years. After the age of 40, this should be done every year without fail.

What Will Happen In A Clinical Breast Exam?

The physician or nurse will take your personal health history by asking you a series of health history questions. This will include asking about family history. Next the physician or nurse will look at your breasts while you stand in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips. Finally the physician or nurse will physically exam your entire breast up to the neck, in your armpit, the center of your chest and to the bottom of your rib cage. Finally they will discuss proper breast health with you as well as show you how to perform breast self-exams. The entire process can take up to 10 minutes. It should rarely be under 5 minutes.

Part Three: Breast Self-Exams

You need to become familiar with how your breasts look and feel regularly so that you are aware of any changes from normal. If you notice changes, report these to your physician immediately.

One of the most important steps you can take is to do monthly breast self-exams. An easy way to remember to do this is to check while you take a shower. Some organizations even have a shower card you can hang from your shower head with punch out holes for each month, so you can easily track when you have done your exams.

Remember that you need to physically exam your breasts by hand as well as look in the mirror for any visible changes. If you think you’ve found a lump or noticeable change, notify your doctor immediately.

Most breast lumps are NOT cancer, but you won’t know until you ask and have it checked out.

Take Action Now!

Begin your regular breast health plan today which includes regular mammograms, clinical breast exams and monthly self-exams. When breast cancer is caught in the early stages survival rates are greatest. Take action now – for yourself, for your friends and family who love you so much!

Why Your Doctor May Not Know About Breast Health

For many women, they trust their doctor as the final authority on their health. They look to their doctor as the be-all-and-end-all of wisdom in keeping them well.

However, doctors are not for keeping you well. Doctors are there to help you get well ONCE you are sick. Asking a doctor to work with you in prevention would be like asking the contractor building your house about the interior decorating. They just aren’t trained for prevention.

On average medical students received less than 25 hours of nutritional instruction, with some receiving as little as 2 hours. Needless to say, doctors don’t learn a lot in that short space of time!

It’s important for women to appreciate that unless a doctor has been specifically trained in nutrition such as a naturopath or a traditional Chinese doctor, the average MD in North America is not qualified to give out preventative advice. It is out of their realm of expertise. However, doctors are well trained in providing treatments through surgery and disease control using pharmaceuticals.

A doctor’s average day is long and intense. Imagine dealing with 50 or 60 patients in a day, being present to every one of them, hearing their concerns and making decisions around their health that can mean life and death. That is a huge responsibility. Is it realistic to believe doctors at the end of the day read medical journals, reports on the adverse drug reaction newsletters that arrive by fax and keep up to date on the newest and latest treatments, including all of the preventative measures? No, they have patient files to complete and families to go home to.

It isn’t what we necessarily want to hear but it is reality for doctors today, who have huge insurance premiums, high overhead and the threat of lawsuits constantly hanging over their heads. It is not uncommon for it to cost $250,000 or more per year for a doctor to run their office and pay for overhead. So they are focused on moving the patients through the system and making a living.

M.D. is a symbol of education and power without a doubt. For many women, it stands for Minor Diety as they look to their doctors as “Gods”. When the doctor speaks, he or she must be right. They assume that the doctor has their highest and best interest at heart, including their breast health. However, a doctor of medicine, a M.D. is a doctor, not of prevention, but of medicine! There is a whale of a difference between the two.

It’s why it is irresponsible on our part to assume that our doctors will ensure that our breasts are happy and healthy. They simply have not been trained to do so. Once we understand this crucial point, then we are in a better frame of mind to take breast health back into our own hands because the doctor never had breast health in mind to start with! It’s why I highly encourage you to be sure and get your free copy of the 21 Secrets Most Doctors Will Never Tell You About Your Breasts.