breast cancer symptoms: lumps & bumps shouldn’t be ignored

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The sooner a disease or disorder is detected, the more chances of getting it treated.  Especially, when the disease is as lethal as cancer, detecting the early symptoms may reduce the risk factors to a much extent.

But, often most of us ignore unusual swellings in the body, only later we realize that these inflammations needed much attention than ignorance. Any sort of swelling, lumps, and bumps shouldn’t be under-looked as they may be the initial symptoms of an underlying problem.

Early symptoms of breast cancer

Some of the most common signs of breast cancer include the formation of lump/lumps in the breast and also, development of a painless, hard mass in the breast having irregular edges. In some cases, breast cancer appears as red or thickened skin rather than a lump.

Other common symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Swelling in breast
  • Nipple retraction (nipple turning inwards)
  • Pain in breast or in nipple
  • Discharge from nipple (not milk)
  • Redness of breast or of the nipple
  • Skin irritation or dimpling

Are all lumps needed to worry about?

No, you don’t have to pay much attention about all limbs. Small swellings (less than a centimeter), which has been present for years should not be of much worry. Also, lumps from a trauma or acute injury or an infectious process need to be differentiated from those with malignant potentials.

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Is uterine cancer curable?

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Once you’re diagnosed with uterine cancer, you have to approach the health care provider for an effective cancer treatment. Surgery is the most important treatment for uterine cancer, although there are different methods to treat this cancer that depend on the personal circumstances.

Your doctor will recommend you the treatment based on a variety of factors, including the tumor type, the tumor’s grade and stage, and other related medical issues.

Uterine cancer treatment

Usually, uterus cancer is treated by one or a combination of different treatments, such as radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. In most of the cases, combinations of treatments are recommended. Treatment options and recommendations depend on various factors, such as the type and stage of cancer, risks as well as side effects, and the overall health of a woman.

Surgery

This process is the removal of the tumor and the surrounding healthy tissue during an operation. It is the first treatment used for uterus cancer.

Common surgeries for uterine cancer include:

  • Hysterectomy. In the process, the doctor removes the uterus and cervix or radical hysterectomy the removal of the uterus, cervix, the upper part of the vagina, and surrounding tissues take place. For patients who have gone through menopause, the doctor will perform a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy that means the removal of both fallopian tubes and ovaries. To perform hysterectomy the surgeon will either use a traditional surgery with 1 large incision or laparoscopy, which uses several smaller incisions.
  • Lymph node dissection. During the process of hysterectomy, the surgeon may also remove lymph nodes surrounding the tumor to check whether cancer has spread beyond the uterus.
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy. In some cases, a sentinel lymph node biopsy is performed. This biopsy helps the doctor to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Radiation therapy

In this therapy, the doctor uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. A radiation therapy schedule usually has a specific number of treatments given over a set period of time. The most common radiation therapy is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is given from a machine outside the body.

The type of radiation therapy for endometrial cancer may include radiation therapy directed towards the whole pelvis or applied only to the vaginal cavity often called intravaginal radiotherapy (IVRT) or vaginal brachytherapy.

Chemotherapy

In this therapy, the surgeon use drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by inhibiting the cancer cells to grow and divide. Systemic chemotherapy gets into the bloodstream to attack cancer cells throughout the body. The most common ways chemotherapy include an intravenous (IV) tube inserted into a vein using a needle or in a pill or capsule that is taken orally.

Hormone therapy

This therapy is used to curb the growth of specific types of uterine cancer cells that have receptors to the hormones to them. Hormone therapy for uterine cancer consists of a high dose of the sex hormone progesterone, given in the form of pills. Other hormone therapies include the aromatase inhibitors (AIs) that are used the breast cancer in women, such as exemestane (Aromasin), Letrozole (Femara), and anastrozole (Arimidex).

Side effects of hormone therapy in some patients’ fluid retention increase in appetite, insomnia, muscle aches and weight gain.

Types of treatment depending on the stage

Stage I

  • Surgery alone
  • Surgery along with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy with a progesterone-type drug
  • Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Stage II

  • Surgery with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy

Stage III

  • Surgery with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy

Stage IV

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy

signs and symptoms of uterine cancer

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What is uterine cancer?

Cancer is a condition in which cells of the body grow vigorously. It is always named from the part where it arises, even though it spreads to other parts of the body in the later stage.

When cancer arises in the uterus, which is a pear-shaped organ located in a woman’s pelvis, it is named as uterine cancer. The uterus is also called as the womb, is the place where the baby grows when a woman is conceived.

There are different types of uterine cancers, but endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer found among women. This type of cancer is formed in the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium.

Early signs & symptoms of uterine cancer

Women with uterine cancer experience many symptoms, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, during or after menopause, is the most prominent sign of this problem.

Signs & symptoms of uterine cancer are following:

  • Vaginal discharge that doesn’t happen normally to you.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding. Abnormal bleeding means when it happens, after you gone through menopause, bleeding between periods, or any other bleeding that is longer or more blood flow than normal for you.
  • Pain while urinating.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Pain in the pelvic area.

Stay alerted about your body, and recognize what is normal for you and what is not. Consult a doctor, if you find any changes in vaginal bleeding.

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polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and weight gain

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If you’ve been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you might have noticed that waist number have scaled up no matter what you do and that is really annoying. For women with the polycystic ovary, shedding off extra pounds becomes a constant struggle.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is most commonly found hormonal disorder among childbearing age women, which can also result in issues related to fertility.

Gaining weight is one of the most common symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. This happens because women with PCOS have higher levels of male hormones and the body has difficulty in using insulin or become insulin resistant. As a result, many women are overweight or obese and can be at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and uterine cancer.

How polycystic ovary syndrome causes weight gain?

Polycystic ovary syndrome makes the body insulin resistant, which means body loses its capability to use the hormone insulin. This hormone helps in breaking down starches and sugars from the food to produce energy. The condition is called insulin resistant that can cause insulin and sugar- glucose to accumulate in the bloodstream.

A presence of high insulin levels leads to the production of male hormones called androgens. Higher levels of androgen cause symptoms including acne, hair growth, irregular periods and weight gain. As the weight gain has been stimulated by male hormones, so the fat build up is more in the abdomen, where men likely to put on weight. Hence women with PCOS will have more of an apple shape, instead of the pear shape.

Building up fat in the abdomen is the most dangerous type of fat. This is because it is linked with higher chances of getting heart disease and other health conditions.

Risks associated with PCOS-linked weight gain?

Women who are suffering from PCOS are more prone to develop many health problems along with weight gain and insulin resistance, such as:

  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes

       Most of the above-given health condition can lead to heart disease. Women who have PCOS are four to seven times more prone to get a heart attack than women of the same age without PCOS.

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why depression leads to weight gain in women

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When people think of depression the first thing that comes to there is sadness and inactiveness, but depression includes way more than this. People with depression often show symptoms, such as loss of interest in earlier pleasurable activities, feelings of sadness, change in sleep and appetite, frustration, frequent thoughts of death and suicide attempt, and feelings of worthlessness.

Different gender depicts differences in rate depression and the symptoms related to it. As per the studies, rates of depression among women are considerably higher as compared to men.

Depression in women

One of the reasons for this considerable gender difference when it comes to depression is the life stressors that women are likely to have greater rates of depression. Several reasons can add to the feeling of negativism and lack of confidence, such as unequal status and power. Also, women are taking care of two jobs, including homemaker and bread earner. These double roles could result in increases in stress and feeling of worthlessness.

Adding up to the above factors, women face higher rates of physical and sexual abuse that can severely influence their emotional well-being.

As studies suggest, women’s bodies handle stress in a different way by producing higher levels of stress hormones.

Mostly, women experience unusual depression. So, instead of losing their appetite and lose in the amounts of sleep they start to sleep and eat more. According to the research, women who are going through depression will tend to increase the amount of food intake, especially carbohydrates, and they will sleep for a longer time, which results in considerable weight gain. As women start to put on extra pounds their feelings of remorse, guilt and helplessness increase, and to suppress these emotions they rely more on food, therefore lead to extensive weight gain.

Another reason to take into consideration is hypothyroidism, which can also cause depression and weight gain.

Risks related to depression

Depression is a severe emotional illness that can lead to emotional as well as physical problems. There are varieties of risks that can result from depression such as anxiety, work or school problems, interpersonal conflicts, addiction and substance abuse, isolation, heart disease, and suicide.

Treatment & Management

Symptoms of depression can be managed through therapy and medication.

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signs & symptoms to identify piles (haemorrhoids)

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Piles (Hemorrhoids) – A painful condition in which a person experiences swellings inside and around the back passage (anus).

There is a group of small blood vessels within the inner wall of the anal canal. Sometimes, these blood vessels become large and puffed up because of more blood supply than normal. These puffed up veins and the overlying tissue may then form into one or more small swellings called piles.

Symptoms may vary from temporary and mild, to persistent and painful. In some cases, there will be no appearance of symptoms and an individual may not realize that they are suffering from piles.

Some of the common symptoms are following:

  •      Bleeding at the time of passing stools. The blood color is usually bright red and may be easily noticed on the toilet tissue, in the toilet seat or layering the stools.
  • Itching in and around the anal passage.
  • Swelling or a painful lump near the anus.
  • A mucous anal discharge.
  • Pain or tenderness during bowel movements.

Hemorrhoid can prolapse and can be felt outside the anus. Usually, it is pushed back after the toilet, but in severe piles condition piles remain prolapsed permanently and cannot be pushed back after the toilet.

Small piles inside the anal passage do not cause any pain. Bigger piles may result in pain, mucous discharge, irritation, and itching near anal.

A possible risk of piles that prolapsed is that the blood supply to hemorrhoid can be cut off. This condition could be extremely painful. Another problem is a blood clot within hemorrhoid, which is uncommon, but causes extreme pain if it occurs.

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Can menopause cause sleeping disorder?

Menopause is a stage that every woman has to go through; it is when her ovaries lose the ability to produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as her menstrual cycle stops. It is a part of aging and marks the end of a woman’s reproduction. This condition usually occurs when women are in between their late 40’s to early 50’s. It can also cause several sleep problems.

When the ovaries lose the ability to produce enough amounts of estrogen and progesterone, this loss can give rise to various symptoms, such as sweating and hot flashes. Around 75%- 85% of menopausal women experience hot flashes, which can last for five years.

Hot flashes and sweating can lead to sleeping problems, such as insomnia. As per the research, nearly 61% of women with menopause have sleep issues. Further, these sleeping problems can lead to other problems, including daytime drowsiness.

Insomnia is a disorder that prevents you from getting enough sleep, which generally means that you have a difficulty in falling asleep.

Signs & symptoms of Insomnia

People with insomnia may have these signs:

  • Take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
  • Get less than six hours of sleep on three or more nights in a week
  • Doesn’t  feel refreshed after sleeping
  • Wake up too early
  • Feel tired throughout the day
  • Worry about sleeping for a longer period

Over time, the lack of sleep can lead to other health issues.

  • You may feel anxious
  • Irritable
  • Stressed
  • Hard to focus or pay attention
  • Experience more accidents and errors
  • Difficulty in remembering things
  • Frequent headaches
  • Stomach upset

Treatment & management

Symptoms related to menopause, including hot flashes and insomnia can be cured with traditional treatment, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT has estrogen which is given as a pill, vaginal cream, or patch, sometimes combined with progesterone. However, studies have shown that prolonged use of estrogen-progesterone combination therapy gives rise to different health problems like breast cancer, blood clots, heart disease, and stroke.

According to the latest recommendation for use of HRT for severe menopause symptoms is to use the lowest dose for the shortest period of time.

If your symptoms are not severe you can take low doses medication, including low doses of paroxetine, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, and other SSRI’s. other drugs such as the anti-seizure drug gabapentin and blood pressure medication clonidine may also be effective against these symptoms.

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