8 Tips | All You Need To Know About Breast Cancer

8 Tips | All You Need To Know About Breast Cancer

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Now that is a staggering enough fact that ensures why we need to take a minute from our busy lives to think about breast cancer.

Breast Cancer is a disease in which cancer cells develop in the breast tissues. These cells can also attack the surrounding tissues however like any other cancer; detection at earlier stages can save lives. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females worldwide and it is also sometimes seen in males.

With education about how to identify potential symptoms, men and women can learn preventative behaviors and early detection skills. We have listed all the information you need to know to get make sure you are not in the line of fire.

Early symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Thickened tissue in the breast or a lump
  • Swelling (lump) in one of the armpits
  • Pain in the armpits or breast that does not seem to be related to the woman’s menstrual period
  • Change in breast shape
  • Dimpling of the skin
  • Secretions from the nipple
  • Red scaly patch on skin

Breast cancer can begin in different areas of the breast — the ducts, the lobules, or in some cases, the tissue in between. While we do not exactly know what causes breast cancer, we do know that certain risk factors are linked to the disease. These risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Hormone replacement therapyduring menopause
  • Radiation
  • Early menstruation
  • Having children late or not having children at all

There are different stages of Breast Cancer which ranges from early detection to curable to metastatic breast cancer. The stages of breast cancer are determined based on the four characteristics:

  1. The size of the cancer
  2. Whether the cancer is invasive or non-invasive
  3. Whether cancer is in the lymph nodes
  4. Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

The following treatments are then determined based on the stage of the cancer. The main treatment options include radiation therapy, surgery, targeted drug therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. In addition to these treatments one more important therapy involved is nutrition therapy.

Proper Nutrition is very important during and after cancer treatment as it affects your appetite, eating habits and weight. Drugs and chemotherapy causes side effects like changes in appetite, nausea/ vomiting, constipation, sore mouth, diarrhea etc. However with a fighting spirit and a healthy body backing you, no disease can pull you down. Following are some tips that you need to include in your lifestyle to get your body up to the task of fighting cancer.

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight. This means avoiding weight loss as well as weight gain.
  2. Eating several small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal.
  3. Getting essential nutrients for healing such as proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients such as carotenoids.
  4. Staying active by taking a daily walk. If you sit or sleep too much, you may lose muscle mass and increase your body fat.
  5. Increasing fluid intake, especially water. If water tastes bland, opt for juices, soups or tea.
  6. If food tastes bland, try seasoning it with flavorful spices such as garlic, cayenne, dill and rosemary.
  7. Avoiding processed foods which are loaded with preservatives and artificial flavorings.
  8. Low-dose dietary supplements, such as multivitamins, may be appropriate for people with cancer who are not able to get all of their nutrients through foods.

Just like the prior stages, nutrition is equally important after treatment to build up the depleted nutritional stores. A balanced diet along with regular physical activities can help you get towards leading a healthy life, so go ahead and load up on some healthy foods such as:

  1. Proteins: Include enough proteins to develop lost muscle mass and for repairing and maintenance of body tissues. Meat, fish, milk and milk products, cheese, eggs, soya and pulses are the major sources of protein.
  2. Fruits and vegetables: Load up on these nutrition powerhouses full of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Add some green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and onions to all your meals.
  3. Whole-grains: Power up on whole grain cereals like wheat, bajra, oats and ragi in the diet as they provide B-complex vitamins and minerals required for energy production along with the valuable fiber.
  4. Low fat products: Reduce oil and fat consumption by including more of low fat products. Steer clear of high fat foods, fried foods, junk foods and sugary products.
  5. Water: One of the most essential fluids for our well-being. Drink up on plenty of water but avoid fluids like soft drinks, energy drinks and alcohol.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to get yourself frequently checked for breast cancer. You can conduct a self-exam to notice something unusual and if you do spot something different, don’t think twice before heading to the doctor.
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