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Saturday, March 21, 2009

breast cancer

Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the cells of the breast in women. Worldwide, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer after lung cancer ( both sexes counted) and the fifth most common cause of cancer death.

Signs and symptoms

The first symptom, or subjective sign, of breast cancer is typically a lump that feels different from the surrounding breast tissue. According to the Merck Manual, more than 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the first medical sign, or objective indication of breast cancer as detected by a physician, is discovered by mammogram. Lumps found in lymph nodes located in the armpits and / or collarbone can also indicate breast cancer.

Indications of breast cancer other than a lump may include changes in breast size or shape, skin dimpling, nipple inversion, or spontaneous single-nipple discharge. Pain is an unreliable tool in determining the presence or absence of breast cancer, but may be indicative of other breast-related health issues such as mastodynia.

When breast cancer cells invade the dermal lymphatics, small lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, its presentation can resemble skin inflammation and thus is known as inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include pain, swelling, warmth and redness throughout the breast, as well as an orange peel texture to the skin referred to as peau d'orange.

Another reported symptom complex of breast cancer is Paget's disease of the breast. This syndrome presents as eczematoid skin changes such as redness and mild flaking of the nipple skin. As Paget's advances, symptoms may include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain. There may also be discharge from the nipple. Approximately half of women diagnosed with Paget's also have a lump in the breast.

Occasionally, breast cancer presents as metastatic disease, that is, cancer that has spread beyond the original organ. Metastatic breast cancer will cause symptoms that depend on the location of metastasis. More common sites of metastasis include bone, liver, lung and brain. Unexplained weight loss can occasionally herald an occult breast cancer, as can symptoms of fevers or chills. Bone or joint pains can sometimes be manifestations of metastatic breast cancer, as can jaundice or neurological symptoms. These symptoms are "non-specific," meaning they can also be manifestations of many other illnesses.

Most symptoms of breast disorder do not turn out to represent underlying breast cancer. Benign breast diseases such as mastitis and fibroadenoma of the breast are more common causes of breast disorder symptoms. The appearance of a new symptom should be taken seriously by both patients and their doctors, because of the possibility of an underlying breast cancer at almost any age.

Why do it?
Get to know yourself. Nobody knows your body better than you. A routine breast self-exam could help save your life one day!
What to look for?
First, check yourself out in the mirror and ask yourself these questions:
Do my breasts look the same?
Is one larger or smaller than the other?
Are my nipples the same shape?
Are the veins more noticeable on one breast than the other?
Is there any dimpling or puckering of the skin, bruises or bulges?
Is there a lump, hard knot or thickening of the skin?
Other changes that you should watch for include:
• Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
• Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
• Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
• Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
• New pain in one spot that does not go away

How to Check Yourself?

Best time to do a breast exam?
Ten days after the first day of your period when tenderness and swelling are low.
If you notice any changes or feel pain, call your doctor and schedule an appointment.
The single most important tool for surviving breast cancer is EARLY DETECTION.


How Smoking effects Your Health

There are no physical reasons to start smoking. The body doesn't need tobacco the way it needs food, water, sleep, and exercise. In fact, many of the chemicals in cigarettes, like nicotine and cyanide, are actually poisons that can kill in high enough doses.

The body is smart. It goes on the defense when it's being poisoned. For this reason, many people find it takes several tries to get started smoking: First-time smokers often feel pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or even throw up the first few times they try tobacco.Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis (pronounced: ahs-tee-o-puh-row-sus), a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power.

Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke.

The consequences of smoking may seem very far off, but long-term health problems aren't the only hazard of smoking. Nicotine and the other toxins in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can affect a person's body quickly, which means that teen smokers experience many of these problems:

* Bad skin. Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy.Smoking also increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.
* Bad breath. Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.
* Bad-smelling clothes and hair. The smell of stale smoke tends to linger — not just on people's clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it's often hard to get the smell of smoke out.
* Reduced athletic performance. People who smoke usually can't compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance.
* Greater risk of injury and slower healing time. Smoking affects the body's ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.
* Increased risk of illness. Studies show that smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia than nonsmokers. And people with certain health conditions, like asthma, become more sick if they smoke (and often if they're just around people who smoke). Because teens who smoke as a way to manage weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop, and fight off illness properly.

Effects of tobacco smoke
Tar in cigarettes coats the lungs and can cause lung and throat cancer in smokers. It is also responsible for the yellow–brown staining on smokers' fingers and teeth.

Carbon monoxide in cigarettes robs the muscles, brain and blood of oxygen, making the whole body — especially the heart — work harder. Over time this causes airways to narrow and blood pressure to rise, and can lead to heart attack and stroke. High levels of CO, together with nicotine, increase the risk of heart disease, hardening of the arteries and other circulatory problems. A first-time smoker will often feel dizzy and sick.

Immediate effects
Soon after smoking tobacco, the following effects may be experienced:

* initial stimulation, then reduction in brain and nervous system activity;
* enhanced alertness and concentration;
* mild euphoria;
* feelings of relaxation;
* increased blood pressure and heart rate;
* decreased blood flow to body extremities like the fingers and toes;
* dizziness, nausea, watery eyes and acid in the stomach; and
* decreased appetite, taste and smell.

So stop hurting yourself and quite smoking. You can get a lot of info on how to quit smoking now days. so best of luck for you guys

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