Breast facts that every women ought to know: Every woman needs to be aware of some facts about their breasts as abnormal changes in the breast size need medical attention.
The below-mentioned facts help to spread breast-cancer awareness in women:
Perfect breast symmetry
A woman’s breasts are most symmetrical between days 14 and 16 of her monthly cycle due to the hormones released during ovulation.
Predominantly the left breast is slightly larger than the right
Not all women have asymmetrical breasts. Up to twenty percent size difference between the left and right breast is quite normal. Sudden changes in the boob size is not a normal sign and need immediate medical attention.
After a teenager attains her puberty it normally takes 2-4 years for the boobs to develop.
As we get older connective tissues in the breasts are replaced with fat this makes the breasts droopier with age as it loses the firmness.
It’s perfectly normal to have a wider nipple than the other.
Average Breast Weight
On an average the breast weighs 1.1 lbs. and contains 4-5% of the total body’s fat.
Smoking and Breast Shape
Smokers are seen to have sagging breasts as the chemicals in cigarettes break down the body’s elastin.
Similar to the penis, breasts swell up when aroused and about 1% of women are seen to attain orgasm by just stimulating the breast.
The second deadliest cancer that is seen in women is breast cancer. Cancer of the breast is not gendered specific, even males can suffer from this disorder.
Pointers to Prevent Breast Cancer in Women
The following tips help to reduce boobs cancer:
- Watch the body weight.
- Refrain from smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Limit menopausal hormone replacement therapy.
Night Shift Work
The International Agency for Research on Cancer links night-shift work to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer and Age
Women of all age groups can be affected by breast cancer.
Ancient Studies Documentation on The Breast Cancer Occurrence 3500 Years Ago
Ancient writings contain descriptions of conditions that are similar to modern descriptions of breast cancer. Egyptian ancient surgeons described “bulging tumors” in the breast and also stated that it is incurable.
Annual Mammogram Test
Gynecologists recommend women to do annual mammogram after 40 years of age.
Early Detection of Breast Cancer is Critical
They survival rates increases if it is detected in the earlier stage. The American cancer society advises women to get their breast checked for lumps every three years in their thirties and an annual mammogram in forties. More intensive screening is recommended for those at high risk due to genetics. Between clinical exams, one should self-examine the breasts every month.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis
One in eight women around the world, especially in the United States of America, is eventually expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Therapeutic Treatments Depend on The Cancer Stage
The breast cancer stages are divided into the following stages
Stage 0: describes the noninvasive breast cancers.
Stage I: describes the invasive breast cancers with tumors and without tumors but with small groups of cancerous cells.
Stage II: Invasive breast cancers with 2-5 cm tumors or small groups of cancerous cells detected in the breast but cancer is found in the lymph nodes under the arm or breastbone.
Stage III: Invasive breast cancers with a tumor of any size or small groups of cancerous cells detected in the breast but cancer is found in the lymph nodes under the arm or breastbone.
Stage IV: describes metastatic cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.
The treatment of the cancer stage is determined using radiology techniques like X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, and related tests: Biopsy or removal of cancer and often sampling of lymph nodes.
The Cancer Stage is Determined by The Tumor Size and The Cancer Spread.
Stage I: a tumor up to 2 cm in diameter with negative lymph nodes.
Stage II: a 2 to 5 cm tumor with positive nodes.
Stage III: a tumor of any size, which may have spread to axillary lymph nodes or the chest wall.
Stage IV: when the tumor is seen to spread to distant sites.
Medical Terms of the Breast
The medical terms of the breast include “Mamm-o” as in mammography; “mast-o” as in mastectomy; “maz-o” as in “Amazon, ” which literally means without a breast.
Presence of More Than one Mole in Both the Sexes.
Both men (1 in 18) and women (1 in 50) can have one or more extra nipples medically termed as polythelia, which is often mistakenly identified as moles. Any breast tissue, irrespective of its appearance in the standard location or elsewhere along the “milk line,” is vulnerable to the same disorders that affect typical breast tissue.
Breast Cancer Types and Drugs
There are many types of breast cancers and certain medications that treat one cancer type do not work for other cancer types i.e. each cancer type has a specific drug treatment.
The removal of the breast part involved with cancer, along with a margin or part of surrounding tissue is termed as “Lumpectomy”. This long-term treatment is as effective as the radiation therapy used to treat breast cancer stages.
Breast Cancer and Genetics
Women with a family history of breast cancer have a higher rate of getting breast cancer in the future. On the other hand recent survey has shown that 85% of breast cancers have also occurred in women with no family history of the disease.
Gene Responsible for Breast Cancer
Inherited or non-inherited breast cancer is attributed to BRCA or PALB genes.
Preferred Breast Plastic Surgery Option Till Date
Breast augmentation with implants filled with silicone or saline is the most popular plastic surgery procedure for women to date. However, the number of breast lift procedures is growing at twice the rate of implant procedures.
Predominant breast shapes and sizes
Professionals working in the plastic and reconstructive surgery area have coined different terms for some of the common breast shapes that include:
Tubular or “tube sock” breasts– seen predominantly in women with children.
Flat tires, the “saggy” breasts– seen as women ages or in a woman who has nursed a lot.
“Snoopy” breasts– resemble the profile of the famous Peanuts comic strip dog.
Preventive or Prophylactic Mastectomies
This mastectomy is seen to reduce the risk of breast cancer and can be opted by the following women
Cancer in One Breast
If a woman needs to have one breast removed because of a new cancer diagnosis, and also is seen to have a high risk of cancer in the other breast, based on a strong family history or a genetic test, she can get the unaffected breast removed at the same time too.
A family history of breast cancer
If a woman’s mother or sister has had breast cancer, diagnosed before age 50, you may be at increased risk and multiple family members — on a woman’s mother or father side with breast or ovarian cancer, increases the risk of breast cancer occurrence.
Positive results from gene testing
Genetic testing identifies mutations in genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, that are seen to increase the risk of breast or other cancers. If a woman has a strong family history of breast cancer, consider meeting a genetic counselor to discuss genetic testing. Women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have a higher incidence of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Breast changes that significantly increase the risk of cancer
Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is the discovery of abnormal cells in the milk-producing glands of a woman’s breast. LCIS is not a cancer type but is a marker of an increased risk of developing cancer in both breasts. If a woman has a strong family history of breast cancer and a personal history of LCIS, preventive mastectomy may help to manage the risk.
A woman who has had radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Dense breast tissue is associated with breast cancer. The denser breast tissue also makes it harder for doctors to diagnose breast cancer. A woman with dense breasts may consider a prophylactic mastectomy, especially if she has other breast cancer risk factors.
Figures from Cancer Research have shown that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer occurring in women and the survival rates are seen to increase- two out of three women diagnosed with breast cancer can survive beyond 20 years post diagnosis.