Did you know that doctors diagnose about one million U.S. women with benign breast disease (BBD) every year? And while BBD isn’t cancerous, some cases can still increase one’s risk for breast cancer.
Moreover, women aren’t the only ones at risk; men can get breast diseases, too, such as gynecomastia. There’s also male breast cancer, a rare condition with a lifetime risk of 1 in 833.
Fortunately, several breast disease treatments are available for benign and cancerous cases. We’ll take a closer look at them below, so read on to learn about your options.
Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition that leads to non-cancerous breast lumps. According to naturopathic physician Dr. Karen Threlkel, it doesn’t increase cancer risks. However, the masses can imitate or conceal breast cancer symptoms.
The good news is that you can undergo holistic fibrocystic breast disease treatment. Examples are bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and vitamin supplementation. Dietary and lifestyle changes, such as reducing coffee intake, may also help.
A fine-needle aspiration involves the insertion of a thin needle into a breast lump. The doctor performing the procedure then tries to withdraw or aspirate the fluid in the mass.
The fluid should then come out, and the breast cyst should disappear.
If you have BDD and holistic treatments aren’t enough, you can choose to get a lumpectomy. It’s a surgical procedure to remove the lumps that may be causing you pain and suffering.
Breast surgeons may also perform lumpectomy to remove cancerous cells. In this case, they may also have to extract a small margin of healthy breast tissues. That allows for the preservation of some of the unaffected areas of the breast.
Mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the entire breast to treat cancer. Surgeons usually perform it if a lumpectomy can no longer save a patient’s breast.
While mastectomies often remove the entire breast, it doesn’t always have to be the case. For instance, some patients may be good candidates for skin-sparing or nipple-sparing mastectomy.
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells at almost every breast cancer stage. It does so by focusing high-energy X-rays or protons onto the affected tissues.
In that way, radiation therapy helps reduce the risk of recurring cancer. Doctors also often recommend it for those who’ve already had breast cancer surgery. For instance, if you’ve had a lumpectomy for cancer, you may also have to get radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is a breast cancer treatment involving medications that kill cancer cells. Doctors can give them by mouth or through injections. The drugs then travel through the blood and kill cancer cells that have spread in the body.
Not everyone who has breast cancer needs chemo, but some may need it before or after surgery. For instance, surgeons may recommend it to patients with a massive cancerous lump. The anti-cancer drug may help reduce the tumor’s size before surgical removal.
Doctors may also recommend after-surgery chemo to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Stop Breast Disease with These Treatments
As you can see, many treatments can help manage, treat, and stop breast disease. Some, like holistic treatments, are non-surgical, but advanced cases may need surgery.
Either way, the most vital aspect of treatment is early diagnosis. So, if you suspect you have breast disease, see a breast surgeon or oncologist ASAP.
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