Breast cancer is affecting approximately 200,000 women each year all over the world. From those, about 5% will die from the disease. The key factor is early detection. The prognosis time frame to treatment time frame varies on the type of testing done.
Initial testing should be done at home. It is a simple test of palpating the breast in a circular motion from outer to inner patterns. This test is performed weekly so that you are able to distinguish differences. If any lumps or hardness is found an immediate report to the physician should be made to schedule more definitive testing.
Mammograms are performed annually. This is the most effective detection test. Women have been skeptical of this testing method due to it’s discomfort. However, the benefits of knowing outweigh this greatly.
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) usually detects breast cancer in the opposite breast of women previously diagnosed with breast cancer.
After either of these tests are performed, a biopsy is performed to determine the nature of it’s source. In other words, to see if the material is cancerous.
One of the more evasive tests is a BDL (Breast Duct Lavage) This test extracts tissue starting from the milk ducts and continues to the nipple through a special pump that covers the nipple. The suction draws out a tiny amount of fluid that tells the physician which ducts to lavage. A catheter is then inserted in the opening of the nipple and saline is used to wash and withdraw more cells. Cancerous cells typically start in the cells that line the ducts. The sample is then studied looking at the cells to determine if they have malignant qualities.
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are common treatments. Results of tests are seen by the doctor within 3 to 7 days. At that point your physician will sit down with you to discuss your unique treatment situation. From there you will learn which method is going to give the best results.
When choosing surgery, consider the act itself one that will go quickly. After, there is still more testing to be done and could even call for additional surgery at a later date.
Both chemotherapy, and radiation therapy require a longer process.
Depending on how much cancer is detected determines the quickness of treatment as well as level of treatment. Cancer of any kind is a curious creature. With the various forms of treatment, more and more women are surviving breast cancer everyday.