The malignant tumors of breast are one of the oldest cancer forms in the history of mankind. Breast cancer is first mentioned in a scroll of parchment in Ancient Egypt around the year of 1600 BE, being referred to as a disease incurable at that time.
Breast cancer is every woman’s nightmare in modern society. Statistics show that one out of nine women suffers from this disease and that breast cancer is the second mortality factor for women, after lung cancer. The tumors may also appear in men, because the cells in the structure of breast are identical in the both sexes. The number of recorded cases over the last decades has increased by 80%.
Causes and Risk Factors
Modern medicine identified a large number of factors that encourage the occurrence of benign and malignant tumors. Of these, we can mention the following:
- Mutations of BRCA 1, BRCA 2 and p53 genes and alteration of the DNA structure
- Life environment and the conditions it provides (in women who have emigrated from Asian countries to the North American continent there has been a rise in the number of cases)
- Action of viruses upon a body and weakening of the immune system
- Age (between 45-50 and 60-65 years of age there has been a higher frequency of recorded cases; however, the number of cases between 25-35 years of age has grown lately)
- Hormonal disorders manifested by the long presence of increased quantities of estrogen, testosterone or progesterone in the body
- Early onset of menstruation
- Late onset of menopause and lack of a correspondence between the biological age of the uterus and that of breasts
- First pregnancy after 35 years of age
- Affections of the thyroid gland (hypo or hyperthyroidism)
- Hepatic affections (hepatitis, hepatosis, hepatic cirrhosis)
- Endocrine disorders and affections deriving from them, such as diabetes mellitus
- Breast exposure to X and UV rays (sun or tanning devices)
- A diet based on lipids, proteins and glucose
- Mammary traumas
- Administration of birth control pills for long periods
Signs and Evolution
Breast cancer makes its first appearance suddenly or by the occurrence of a nodule formation, the so-called benign tumors. Nodules are well defined “swellings” of small and medium sizes; they can be felt at breast palpation and they are painful or not. Other symptoms may be clear or blood-colored secretions, nipple invagination and changes of skin color and aspect in the breast or nipple area.
If a nodule is found or one of the signs mentioned appear, it is recommended to see a doctor. It is very important that we should deal with their presence in a responsible way; ignoring or failing to treat benign tumors may lead to the occurrence of malignant tumors. Such affection has a very great impact on the human psychic and it changes the way we think about ourselves and the quality of our life.
How Could I Know if I Have a Nodule?
The easiest way to find it out is self examination. However it is not the most reliable. Any woman older than 25 years of age should do this procedure every two days. Out of medical experience, I advise you to examine yourselves in the mentioned period, as I have had female patients who claimed that nodules the size of a nut had appeared suddenly. That is a very seldom process and it is possible only in the event of great psychical shocks. By repeating the procedure every two days, you will know exactly when a change has occurred and thus you can prevent the nodule from turning into malignant tumor by seeing a doctor in proper time.
First of all, you must look at the aspect of breasts, taking into account the following criteria: size, shape and aspect of breasts, skin aspect and color.
What Are the Steps of Self Examination?
The room in which you do your self examination must be well lighted. You must stand before a mirror, hands on your thighs. Look carefully at your breasts and see if there are any wrinkles, dimples, swellings and inflammations (red areas on breast skin). Repeat the procedure holding your arms up above your head.
After that, go to breast palpation. Place your right hand upon the back of your head and palpate your right breast with your left hand. Try using a surface as large as possible of your fingers, not just the hubs of them. It is easier if you divide your breast into sectors and carefully examine each field both at surface and profoundly. Look for swellings, hard parts and painful areas. Do not forget to examine also the area joining the breast with the axilla. Check the nipples and the area around them. By gently squeezing the breast, check if there is any suppuration.
At palpation, a healthy breast does not show any hard formation. If you do not have any nodule, what you are going to feel at palpating your breast should be something similar to touching a balloon blown out at average capacity. If you find a nodule, but it is one that does not hurt, do not neglect it; in most cases, the malignant tumors are not always painful.
The presence of one of the above mentioned symptoms must be followed by a medical examination to determine the nature and the growth stage of the nodule.
However, mind that self examination is not diagnosing but merely detection of a change in the structure of the breast. Diagnosing is done upon results of analyses done by proper medical devices.
A new and painless diagnosing method is the medical computerized thermography. The analysis implies recording of heat values at breast level through special sensors which are positioned on the breast surface. The data taken are processed by a computer and the thermography specialist establishes the diagnosis according to the diagrams and the results obtained.
The result accuracy is given by the fact that the sensors take the data at the level of each tissue layer, as they can also examine the formations deep inside the breast. The procedure is precise and efficient; however, it is neither painful nor invasive and it has low costs. By thermography, the doctor may detect if the tumor in question is a benign or a malignant one from the very first examination. In case of malignant tumors, the tumor growth and the evolution stage of the affection can be established, too. In case of benign tumors, their type is detected: fibrous nodule, cysts, fibro-cysts, dysplasia, placards, adenomas, fibro-adenomas, over added inflammatory process.
Other diagnosing methods are: mammography, echography, CT scan and MRI.
The impact that a breast tumor may have upon human psychic is huge. The probability of a surgery that changes the aspect of the body completely may generate insecurity and fear. There is no point in having this feeling if the nodule is found in time and the person follows an efficient treatment.
Fear and insecurity generally appear because a patient does not have confidence in herself, in the physician or in the efficiency of the treatment. Therefore it is very important that there should be an open and honest communication between doctor and patient. Anything you want to know about your affections, do not hesitate to ask. An unasked question may raise the psychical tension generated by the presence of the illness in itself.
In combination with phytotherapy, acupuncture heals the benign breast affections. The success in treating malignant tumors depends on the stage of the disease at the beginning of the treatment.
Following a medical examination, the nature and origin of the nodule are determined, whether it is an endocrine, psychical or physical one.
Where a nodule occurs because of physical traumas and it is not treated in time, the functions of the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland and the ovaries – in this order – go wrong. Alteration of the hormones quantities in a body affects the activity of the gall bladder and of the liver. That is why other symptoms may appear in this case, too, such as: constipation, hemorrhoids, varices etc.
The nodules of mental origin occur because of disorders in the function of the pituitary gland or the thyroid gland. Behavior alterations may also appear which are expressed by states of nervousness, indisposition, irascibility and anxiety. In addition, the quality of the sexual life is getting poorer.
Occurrence of the endocrine nature nodules is caused by dysfunctions at pituitary gland, thyroid gland, ovaries or adrenals level.
Taking into account the fact that the nodule formations are the result of serious affections in the body, if the affection-cause is not treated, they will relapse or continue their evolution.
Acupuncture and phytotherapy break the vicious circle of the disease and they restore the energy and metabolic balance of the body. The efficiency of the treatment is explained by the direct and simultaneous action upon the context generating the affection, upon the affection itself and upon the effects it generated in the body.
As always, prevention is the most efficient treatment. By combining acupuncture with phytotherapeutic products and natural creams, the energy, physical and mental balance of the body is maintained.
At the same time, do not rely on the fact that you may conceive a baby and the breast nodule will reabsorb by itself as a result of the suckling process. There are very few cases of complete nodule resorption at this stage of life, and in most instances they will relapse after a certain period.