Medical Conditions | Uncategorized

Breast cancer

The commonest potentially fatal cancer in women. It is estimated that 3 to 5 per cent of women are likely sufferers. The peak age for breast cancer is between 40 and 50, but it can occur in much younger women. It seems that an abnormal reaction to oestrogen is a factor in its origin; use of the contraceptive pill on the other hand does not seem to have an effect. Research has also established a number of other risk factors: early first menstruation, child-bearing at a late age, and breast cancer in other members of the immediate family. The role of breast-feeding is not clear. Much thought has been given to methods whereby breast cancer can be detected early. Women are encouraged to undergo regular X-ray and physical checks, particularly if they are members of high-risk groups. Increasing numbers of women examine their own breasts, and are less inclined to postpone a visit to the doctor when they discover a lump. Treatment of breast cancer can be by surgery, associated with radiation therapy and the use of anti-hormones, hormones and medication to inhibit cell division. Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer and the type of cancer cell.

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