Cancer, which had been a taboo for many decades, has undergone a tremendous change owing to the ever growing medical research and innovations happening worldwide. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers striking women and can affect both women and men. According to the BBC, in the U.K., about one in every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point. Nonetheless, breast cancer can be treated successfully enabling women to live comfortably after combating the illness.
It is an important fact that many patients having breast cancer may die of reasons other than breast cancer. Improvements in treatment techniques can enable people to survive successfully even after being diagnosed with breast cancer. A favorable outlook can go a long way in fighting the condition and helping the body and mind cope up with the challenge.
5 vital considerations which can give a boost to breast cancer survival have been enumerated here. These can help ease the condition and gain motivation to promote successful survival.
Tips to Survive Breast Cancer
Early Detection is Important
Experts advise that early diagnosis of breast cancer can serve as a crucial pathway for successfully treating the condition. It is usually recommend that girls begin self examining their breasts for any abnormality from age 13 and make it a periodic habit thereafter.
Screening plays an important role in early breast cancer detection. Before symptoms appear, screening can diagnose breast cancer earlier. If a breast cancer is diagnosed after the appearance of symptoms, it is more likely to have spread and caused more harm. The size of breast cancer and its spread are important factors in determining the outlook and survival rate of a woman with the illness.
Disease-Free Breast Cancer Survival May Improve
According to Mayo Clinic, a non-profitable global pioneer in health care services, using Herceptin with chemotherapy can give a boost to breast cancer treatment.
The researchers suggest that Herceptin should be used with chemotherapy, and not after, when treating breast cancer among women. This can improve treatment of HER2+ breast cancer, and serve as a best implementation of Herceptin. The parallel use of Herceptin and chemotherapy can decrease the risk of cancer recurrence in women considerably.
Treatment and Monitoring
If a cancer is suspected, several investigative tools like x-rays, blood tests and scans may be implemented. The exact treatment would depend on varied factors like the stage of the tumor, its spread, health of the patient, whether she has had menopause or not, the receptor status, etc.
In order to manage the cancer, there has to be a team effort comprising of different specialists including oncologists, surgeons and breast care nurses. If the tumor is big, a mastectomy is more likely to be recommended. However, most women with breast cancer essentially do not get the breast removed in order to treat the illness.
A lumpectomy, or removal of the cancerous lump, may do the job. A woman can have a reconstructive surgery to bring back the appearance of the breast following (or even simultaneously) a breast removal or breast surgery.
Optimism and Perseverance Play Crucially
The seriousness of cancer cannot anyhow be diminished. Fortunately, the ever growing medical research and studies bring out positivity in treatment and promote survival from breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), America alone has more than 10 million cancer survivors, and the number may increase over time with promising research outcomes.
There are some vital aspects of breast cancer survival – age, health, outlook and presence of hormone receptors being the major ones among others. A sound support system in the form of close-knit family members, friends and relatives also helps the sufferer overcome the emotional trauma arising out of the illness. Life may return to normal for most women within two years of accomplishing treatment, but the emotional setback may need extended time period for recovery.
The Risk Factors and Prevention
Although breast cancer can happen to anyone and everyone, women are more likely to have it than men. Even without a family history, breast cancer can happen to a person indicating that genetics essentially do not have the most important role to play here. However, having it in the genes can be indicative of the disease, particularly in case of first degree relatives.
Different cancers have different risk factors depending on the illness and its outcomes. Although risk factors may not be complete in themselves, a word of caution should always be heeded. In case of breast cancer, a person’s age, race and lifestyle have been found to play an important role.
Older women may be at a higher risk of having breast cancer than younger women (below 30 years of age). Smoking tobacco, consuming alcohol and lack of sufficient physical activity have also been considered as cancer-causing factors. It is important to keep a regular check on breast cancer through periodic self-examination of breasts.