Breast cancer can be detected earlier by examining cells in breast milk, according to presentations made ??by the American Association for Cancer Research.
Analysis of epithelial cells may determine the risk of each mother to cancer.
Doctor Kathleen Arcaro at the University of Massachusetts Amherst said that about 80% of women give birth to children and non-invasive testing of breast milk for early detection of cancer indicators could provide early screening for most women when it is difficult to diagnose breast cancer. Early diagnosis increases the chances of making the necessary treatment at time.
Breast cancer – things to know
What is breast cancer?
Every month a woman’s breasts go through a series of temporary changes associated with menstruation, which include the formation of a nodule. Although most of these lumps are not cancerous, any lump that occurs should be examined by a doctor immediately.
Nodules are most common in the lobules -the small sacs that produce milk – or the ducts that carry milk to the nipple. But sometimes they form in other tissues. The two main types of breast cancer are lobular and ductal carcinomas.
Breast cancer usually begins with the formation of a small and well-defined tumors. Some tumors are benign meaning they don`t invade other tissues, others are malignant, or cancerous. Malignant tumors have the potential to metastasize, that is to spread. Once such a tumor reaches a certain size, is more likely to irradiate cells spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
Different types of breast cancer grow and spread with different speeds, some tumors need years to spread outside the breast, while others are spreading rapidly.
Men also can get breast cancer, but their number is less than half percent of all cases. Among women, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths – after lung cancer.
Statistics show that among the eight women who could reach 85 years,one will have this disease at some point in her life. Two thirds of women with breast cancer are over 50 years, and that the remaining, most have between 39 and 49 years.
Breast cancer is treatable
Fortunately, breast cancer is treatable if is detected early. The tumors finded can usually be treated with successfull before the cancer spread, and in 9 of 10 cases, sick woman will live at least another five years. Experts generally believe that during the 5-year survival is a cure.
Once the cancer begins to spread, getting rid of it completely is more difficult, although treatment can often keep it under control for years. Improved procedures for screening and better treatment options that are more than seven in ten women suffering from breast cancer survive five years after initial diagnosis, and half of them survived more than 10 years.
What are the causes for breast cancer?
Although the precise causes of breast cancer are unclear,they are known major risk factors for this disease. The risk is slightly higher for women who have benign breast lump and increases significantly for women who have had breast or ovarian cancer.
A woman whose mother, sister or daughter had breast cancer, risk is two to three times more likely to develop disease, especially if in the family are affected by this disease at least two first-degree relatives . Researchers have already identified two genes responsible for some occurrences of breast cancer in the family – called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Approximately one in 200 women carries the genes. Woman who has the gene is prone to cancer, but that does not warrant the onset.
In general women older than 50 years have a higher risk of breast cancer than younger women and women of African-American race had a higher risk than those of Caucasian race to develop breast cancer before menopause.
Exposure to estrogen
Gradually it becomes increasingly clear link between breast cancer and hormones. Researchers believe that withthe increase exposure of women to estrogen,the risk of getting sick of breast cancer is higher. Estrogen control the divide of cells, as cells divide more, so is more likely to be abnormal, possibly becoming cancerous.
Women’s exposure to estrogen and progesterone varies in life, being influenced by the age at which she has her the first or last menstruation, average length of her menstrual cycle and age at first child birth.
The risk that a woman exposed to breast cancer increases if:
•she had first menstruation before age 12
•her first child is born after 30 years
• has the last period menstrual after 55 years , or
• the length of her menstrual cycle is outside the range of 26 to 29 average days (that is shorter or longer).
Current information indicates that probably the hormones in birth control pills do not increase breast cancer risk. Some studies suggest that taking hormone replacement therapy after menopause may increase risk, especially when the therapy lasts more than five years. High doses of radiation may also be a factor, but not low-dose mammography hardly shows any chances.