The month of October is observed as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ across the globe. Oncologists refer breast cancer as the most common type of cancer, mostly affecting women.

Unfortunately, it is ranked as number one among the type of cancers affecting Indian women. Breast cancer is a disease that develops when cells in the breast tissue change and keep multiplying. These abnormal cells cluster together to form a tumour, entering areas of the breast through the bloodstream or lymphatic fluids.

Breast cancer usually occurs in the cells of milk-producing glands and caused due to the genetic mutation in the DNA of the breast cancer cells. It is diagnosed in women over age 50.

Some Of The Risk Factors Of Breast Factors Include:

Age and gender

Family history

Gene mutation

Hormone imbalance

Overweight

Alcohol consumption

Radiation exposure

Late pregnancy above 30 years 

Symptoms Of Breast Cancer 

The symptoms of breast cancer differ from person to person, but if you feel an area of thickening breast tissue or a lump in your breast which is generally painless or an enlarged underarm lymph node, consult your physician.

Early Signs And Symptoms

A new mass in the breast or armpit with or without pain. Mostly a hard mass but can be soft as well. Not all mass is cancerous it can be benign or a cyst.

Change in breast size or shape. Observe for any swelling, thickening, or shrinkage, especially in one breast.

Lumpiness or redness, peeling or scaling breast skin.

Red, scaly, or inverted nipple. Clear or bloody secretion from nipple.

Soreness or unusual heat, it could be a sign of inflammation in the breast.

Engorged lymph nodes under the arm or around breast region, is a sign that breast cancer is spreading.

Breast Cancer Screening And Diagnosis

Early detection is very crucial with breast cancer, the earlier the disease is diagnosed the less it has advanced and the better the treatment outcome. A mammogram can help to identify the presence of cancer before the rise of symptoms.

Women at high risk of cancer are also advised to screen with a breast MRI. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer family history or gene mutation should go for a mammogram test every year after 30 years of age.

Dietary Management

Foods are always believed a part of a healthful diet in general, and they may help to prevent the development of breast cancer:

Go for a broad spectrum of colourful fruits and vegetables. In specific these vegetables and fruits are potent in preventing breast cancer that includes green leafy vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, citrus fruit, carrots, broccoli, onions, apples, pears, peaches and strawberries.

High fibre rich diet that covers whole grains, beans and legumes.

Skimmed milk or low-fat milk and milk products.

Include soy and soy-based foods- tofu, soy milk and soy nuts.

Foods rich in vitamin D (mushroom, fortified cereals and juices, egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel)

Include anti-inflammatory rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, berries, pineapples, chia seeds, flaxseeds and turmeric.

Foods To Avoid

Some foods are considered a high risk of breast cancer, and people are advised to cut down on alcohol, added sugar, fat, and red meat.

Treatment Options:

In case, if you are diagnosed with breast cancer – do not get scared. Being brave and fighting the disease is the key to healthy survival. Modern medicine and advanced cancer care techniques can help in treating the breast cancer.

Consult an oncologist to learn about best treatment options available including radiation, chemotherapy and mastectomy (removal of complete or partial breasts), if required.

Eat healthy and take good rest and bid an adieu to breast cancer.