A to Z about breast cancer
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Breast cancer is a dreaded disease regardless of gender. A great majority of the affected ones usually belong to the female group but cases have also been found to afflict the males, though a few in number. This condition requires immediate attention from the patient and family members alike because the experience of pains linked to breast cancer are not limited to physiologic but also emotional.
Just like any other kind of cancer, it has to be seen to it that the sick person is constantly surrounded with a support system to help in coping with the disease. Various treatment methods exist depending on the stage of the disease process.
There are basically 5 stages of the malady namely zero, one, two, three, and four. During stage zero, there is absence of external evidence of malignancy. Simply put, the infected cells stay within the breast tissues. However, the diagnosis is finalized by means of a mammography. There is minimal pain during this time but still medications are aimed at alleviating the symptoms and in conjunction with other treatment methods.
Stage one exhibits breaking through of cells from the breast and out to neighboring tissues. Although the lymph nodes are not affected yet as of this point, there is a nagging pain felt upon motion especially when lifting heavy objects.
Stage two breast cancer is distinguished in that there may or may not be a spread of the tumor to the nearby the lymph nodes of the axilla. This situation is already alarming in itself. Mild to moderate pain upon moving the arm proximal to the affected breast is usually felt during this period.
The third stage is a more distressing situation because there is definitely involvement of lymph nodes. In this case, the immune system is compromised making the individual more prone to contracting other viral ailments. The spread may have reached the breastbone or the chest wall, and constant gnawing pain is suffered.
The advanced phase, also known as the fourth, is distinct in the sense that cancer cells have reached lymph nodes and other organs, causing these systems to acquire the cancerous cells as well. This process is called metastasis, and is unique for this period. Because of the extent of this scenario, pain may be extreme and intolerable.