Your Hormones And Cellular Health
A lot of health experts like to talk about breast cancer as something that results from bad genetics, being passed down from mothers to their daughters. This implies that breast cancer cant be avoided and occurs as an unfortunate luck of the draw type scenario. And depending on the type of breast cancer theyre talking about, there may be some merit to this popular theory.
But most types of breast cancer are a result of environment, diet, and lifestyle, all of which dictate how a womans endocrine system produces and balances hormones. In other words, hormone imbalance plays a much greater role in determining breast cancer risk than many people think. Thermography can help qualified physicians determine whether or not a woman has an elevated breast cancer risk due to this often overlooked early indicator.
Coping With Breast Pain
Breast pain can be very distressing, and many women worry that they may have breast cancer. In most cases breast pain will be the result of normal changes in the breasts.
Even though you may feel reassured that your breast pain is normal and you dont have breast cancer, the pain often remains. This can be upsetting, especially if your specialist cant tell you the exact cause of your breast pain.
Women affected by breast pain may feel many different emotions, including fear, frustration or helplessness. Although understanding more about your breast pain wont cure it, it may help you to get back some control over your life.
Having severe, long-lasting breast pain can sometimes affect a womans daily activities which may cause anxiety and, for some, depression. However, this isnt the case for most women and their pain can be helped or managed.
Having breast pain doesnt increase your risk of breast cancer. However, its still important to be breast aware and go back to your GP if the pain increases or changes, or you notice any other changes in your breasts.
What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer Recurrence
You may experience different signs of breast cancer recurrence depending on where the cancer forms.
Local breast cancer recurrence may cause:
- Breast lump or bumps on or under the chest.
- Nipple changes, such as flattening or nipple discharge.
- Swollen skin or skin that pulls near the lumpectomy site.
- Thickening on or near the surgical scar.
- Unusually firm breast tissue.
- Biopsy of the site of suspected recurrence.
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The Course Of A Cancerous Spinal Tumor
A cancerous spinal tumors rate of growth can vary depending on the type. A tumor may be relatively small and contained within the spine, or it could have already spread through blood or lymph from another area of the body. An untreated cancerous spinal tumor is likely to keep growing and may become life-threatening.
Treatment options for spinal cancer may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or surgical removal of the tumor. In cases when the patient is unlikely to tolerate surgery well or has advanced cancer, palliative care may be offered to reduce pain and stay as comfortable as possible, rather than removing the tumor.
Seeing A Palliative Care Or Anesthesia Pain Specialist
You may have a palliative care or anesthesia pain specialist on your treatment team. If not, your oncologist may know of a specialist in your area.
Be sure to ask your oncologist for a referral if:
- Your pain is not controlled
- You have side effects from pain medications
- You are worried about becoming addicted to pain medications
- You would like to discuss more options to manage your pain
- You would like to discuss other sources of distress
- You have concerns about the benefits versus the burdens of your breast cancer treatments
You may only need to see the specialist once. Your health care provider should be able to carry out the pain management plan recommended by the specialist. If the treatment is effective, you may not need to see the specialist again.
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Diagnosing Your Back Pain
Tell your doctor right away if your back starts to hurt. They’ll try to figure out the cause of your back pain to decide on the best treatments.
You may need to have tests that can help your doctor see the bones inside your back. These can include:
Your doctor may also want you to get a blood test to check your calcium levels. If they are higher than normal, it could be a cause of your pain.
Association Between Hip/back Pain And Breast Cancer With Metastasis
The bone is the most common site of breast cancer metastasis or spread. 70% of all metastatic breast cancer patients have bone as the common site of cancer spread/metastasis which can result in bone or back pain.
The spine, ribs, skull, pelvis and upper bones of the arms and legs are often affected during breast cancer metastasis. 13.6% of breast cancer patients diagnosed during stage I-III will develop bone metastasis at 15 years of follow-up.
Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!
No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.
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Changes To The Breast Or Chest Area
After breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy, with or without reconstruction, be aware of any changes to either side, such as:
- swelling on your chest, in your armpit or around your collarbone
- a change in shape or size
- a change in skin texture, such as puckering or dimpling
- redness or a rash on or around the nipple or on the skin
- liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing it
- the nipple has become inverted or looks different, for example changed its position or shape
- swelling in the arm or hand
- a lump or thickening that feels different
How Is Breast Cancer Recurrence Managed Or Treated
Your treatment depends on the type of cancer recurrence, as well as past treatments. If cancer develops in a reconstructed breast, your surgeon may want to remove the breast implant or skin flap.
Treatments for local and regional breast cancer recurrence may include:
- Mastectomy: Your surgeon removes the affected breast and sometimes lymph nodes.
- Chemotherapy:Chemotherapy circulates in blood, killing cancer cells.
- Hormone therapy:Tamoxifen and other hormone therapies treat cancers that thrive on estrogen .
- Immunotherapy:Immunotherapy engages your bodys immune system to fight cancer.
- Radiation therapy: High-energy X-ray beams damage and destroy cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy: Treatments target specific cancer cell genes or proteins.
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Early Signs Of Breast Cancer In Women: Dont Just Look For Breast Lumps
The most common way that conventional doctors look for the first signs of breast cancer in women is to identify lumps in the breast. They most often do this with mammogram x-rays. This offer physicians a basic roadmap for navigating the terrain of breast tissue, which they believe allows them to pinpoint any lumps, masses, or other warning signs of breast cancer that might point to a malignancy.
But mammograms can be a potential cause of cancer due to the ionizing radiation they send into breast tissue. They also arent accurate 100 percent of the time, despite what you may have been told. Lumps and masses in breast tissue can be either benign or malignant , and mammograms dont differentiate between the two. This often leads to false diagnoses and unnecessary treatments with chemotherapy and radiation.
A better option, if you choose to undergo routine cancer screenings, is thermography. This unique screening method allows doctors to not only look for unusual lumps or growths, but look for other breast cancer symptoms in women. This can include identifying whether or not angiogenesis is taking place within the breast tissue, which is a much stronger and more accurate indicator that breast cancer may be present.
Treatments For Breast Cancer In Men
The treatment for breast cancer in men depends on how far the cancer has spread.
Possible treatments include:
- surgery to remove the affected breast tissue and nipple and some of the glands in your armpit
- radiotherapy where radiation is used to kill cancer cells
- chemotherapy where cancer medicine is used to kill cancer cells
- other medicines that help stop breast cancer growing including tamoxifen and trastuzumab
Many men have surgery followed by 1 or more of the other treatments. This can help stop the cancer coming back in the future.
Read more about treatments for breast cancer in men.
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Breast Cancer Types And Symptoms
There are several kinds of breast cancer. Many of them share symptoms.
Symptoms of ductal carcinoma
This is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in your ducts. About 1 in 5 new breast cancers are ductal carcinoma in situ . This means you have cancer in the cells that line your ducts, but it hasnât spread into nearby tissue.
You may not notice any symptoms of ductal carcinoma. It can also cause a breast lump or bloody discharge.
Symptoms of lobular carcinoma
This kind begins in the glands that make milk, called lobules. Itâs the second most common type of breast cancer. Symptoms include:
- Fullness, thickening, or swelling in one area
- Nipples that are flat or point inward
Symptoms of invasive breast cancer
Breast cancer thatâs spread from where it began into the tissues around it is called invasive or infiltrating. You may notice:
- A lump in your breast or armpit. You might not be able to move it separately from your skin or move it at all.
- One breast that looks different from the other
- A rash or skin thatâs thick, red, or dimpled like an orange
- Skin sores
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Muscle weakness
Symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer
Breast cancer is called triple-negative if it doesnât have receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone and doesnât make a lot of a protein called HER2. This kind tends to grow and spread faster than other types, and doctors treat it differently.
Symptoms of male breast cancer
- A small, hard cyst
How Breast Cancer Pain May Feel
If breast cancer is the cause of breast pain, it will often be present in only one breast, whereas benign breast pain is often on both sides.
Breast cancer pain can be persistent and very specific, usually hurting in just one spot. But, breast cancer can be present in your breast before it causes pain. If you have other symptoms of breast cancer, such as nipple retraction, sudden swelling of your breast, or sudden skin changes, consult your doctor for a clinical breast exam.
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How Might Pain Affect People With Cancer
Any type of pain, not just cancer pain, can affect all parts of a person’s life. Some days it may be better or worse than others.
If you have pain, you might not be able to do your job well or take part in other day-to-day activities. You may have trouble sleeping and eating. You might be irritable with the people you love. Its easy to get frustrated, sad, and even angry when youre in pain. Family and friends dont always understand how youre feeling, and you may feel very alone. This is not unusual, so it’s important to talk about your pain with your health care team so they can help.
Association Between Hip Pain And Prostate Breast And Lung Cancers
More than 60% percent of advanced prostate cancer patients develop bone metastasis and subsequent pain in bones and hip.
In a population based study among the United Kingdom primary care patients done by the researchers from Keele University in the United Kingdom, they highlighted that new back, hip, and neck problems were found to be associated with the later diagnosis of prostate, breast, and lung cancers, especially a year after consultation for back, hip and neck problems. They found that the risk of prostate cancer was five times higher a year later, among those men who consulted for back pain.
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Metastatic Breast Cancer & Pain
Metastatic breast cancer may also cause pain. It could be from a larger tumorthese are often over two centimeters in diameteror pain in other regions of the body due to the spread of cancer. If breast cancer spreads to your bones, it may cause bone pain in your chest, or back pain with leg weakness. If cancer spreads to your brain, it may cause headaches.
If breast cancer travels to the adrenal glands, you may feel a dull back pain. If your breast cancer spreads to your liver, you could have pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and develop jaundice .
Breast Pain Linked To Periods
Many women feel discomfort and lumpiness in both breasts a week or so before their period.
The pain can vary from mild to severe and the breasts can also be tender and sore to touch.
You may experience heaviness, tenderness, a burning, prickling or stabbing pain, or a feeling of tightness.
The pain usually affects both breasts but it can affect just one breast. It can also spread to the armpit, down the arm and to the shoulder blade.
Cyclical breast pain is linked to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. The pain often goes away once a period starts. In some women, this type of pain will go away by itself, but it can come back.
This type of pain usually stops after the menopause, though women taking hormone replacement therapy can also have breast pain.
Breast pain can also be associated with starting to take or changing contraception that contains hormones.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast pain can be a symptom of cancer. If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.
Some warning signs of breast cancer are
- New lump in the breast or underarm .
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.
If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
How Lung Cancer And Back Pain Are Linked
When we think about back pain, usually the last thing that comes to mind is cancer. Instead, we associate it with things like physical trauma or a degenerative disease .
While back pain caused by lung cancer shares commonalities with many of these disorders, it also has a distinct difference. Much of these relate to how and where the cancer causes pain, both directly and indirectly. Some of the possible ways in which lung cancer can produce back pain include:
- The direct pressure a tumor can place on the structure of the back, more often than not, is in the mid to upper back rather than lower back.
- A malignancy can irritate the nerves servicing the lining of the lungs and chest wall, triggering a sharp and sometimes chronic nerve pain.
- Cancer spread from the lungs to the spine and bones is an occurrence shared by upwards of 30% of people with lung cancer.
- Metastasis of cancer to the adrenal glands , can cause localized pain due to its location right above the kidney.
At the current time, the majority of people who develop lung cancer are non-smokers , and lung cancer is increasing in young women and men who have never smoked.
In fact, due to the location of the type of lung cancer most common in non-smokers, the typical symptoms most people associate with lung cancer are often absent. These tumors are also more likely than other kinds of lung cancer to spread to bones.
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Breast Upper Back Or Shoulder Pain
It is normal to experience some breast pain around the time of your period, due to hormonal changes. Breast pain may also be a sign of breast cancer, especially if it lasts for more than a few weeks. Pain from breast cancer is most likely to appear in the breasts, underarm, or collarbone. It is also possible for pain to appear in the upper back or shoulder.
Some patients assume theyve pulled a muscle in their shoulder when they have breast cancer. This pain can be due to metastasis, which is when cancer spreads from one part of the body to another. Shoulder and upper back pain are very common and usually dont mean a patient has breast cancer. If youve had shoulder or back pain that wont go away, a doctor can screen you for cancer, along with other conditions.
Nutrient Deficiency And Breast Cancer
If youre not getting enough of the right nutrients in your diet, including vitamin D and iodine, your risk of developing breast cancer is already elevated. Nutrient deficiency is endemic in the West. Many people dont realize that what theyre not eating is increasingly their likelihood of developing chronic health conditions such as breast cancer.
Nearly 75% of the adult healthy population is deficient in iodine, which has been shown to help ward off cancer cells in the breast and elsewhere throughout the body. Vitamin D deficiency is another one of the risk factors in breast cancer. A 2012 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that low vitamin D levels are a hallmark in women with breast cancer. Other studies show similar findings.
A good rule of thumb in todays nutrient-depleted world is to supplement with these and other cancer-fighting nutrients such as selenium and zinc. You may also wish to consult with a trained naturopath or integrative doctor. They can help you identify any specific nutrient deficiencies you might have and help you optimize your unique biological terrain for the very best breast cancer prevention.
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