Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the breast. It may first be noticed as a lump or a thickening that is felt in the breast or as nipple discharge. Or your doctor may be concerned after a mammogram. Tests may be needed to confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Sometimes breast cancer cells are found only in the breast. Sometimes breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body.
Our bodies are made up of many millions of cells. Normal cells grow and divide over time. This growth is carefully controlled by your body, so that cells grow only when required. They also stop growing on command, and die if they are no longer needed.
Cancer occurs when there are changes or mistakes in the cells which the body cannot control. For most women, there is no known cause for their breast cancer.
Breast cancer is not a disease that you can get from someone else; you cannot give it to people you live with or with whom you are close.
Your doctor may order some medical tests, e.g. blood test, bone scan and ultrasound, to help with planning your treatment. The three forms of treatment that may be used are surgery, radiation therapy and/or drug therapy. Drug therapy includes chemotherapy and hormone therapy.
The choice of treatment depends on the type of breast cancer, how advanced the cancer is and the age and general health of the person. In some patients, all three treatments may be used to achieve the best results.
The diagnosis of breast cancer affects everyone in the family. It may be a chaotic, emotional and stressful time for you and your family. You have to deal with a lot of information and make decisions that will affect your life. You may experience a wide range of emotions. It may be helpful for you to talk to your family, friends, or a professional counsellor about your emotions.
There is help available in your community or at the Kuwait Cancer Control Center.
Dedicated staff and volunteers at Al-Sidra Center, located at KCCC, provide information and education along with emotional, social and psychological support for women with cancer at any stage of the disease. For more information, contact Al-Sidra at 5155-0689.
You may need to take some time off work during your treatment. There may also be extra costs for your drugs. If you need information about financial and drug resources that are available, please contact a KCCC social worker for assistance at 24849100 ext. 5123 or 5092 or 5095 or 5097 or 5098 or 5126
If you have any questions, please speak to your treating physician.