In developing countries such as India the incidence of breast cancer is rising.
The reason is because more and more women are working outside their homes which allows the various risk factors ( late age at first childbirth, fewer children and shorter duration of breast-feeding, early age at menarche and late age at menopause add to the risk) of breast cancer to come into play. Family history of breast cancer increases the risk, these families have many members who fall victim to the disease, which tends to occur at a relatively young age and often affects both breasts Two genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) have been identified. Urban women are more affected than rural. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to cure.
Detection of breast cancer.
(i) Mammography i.e. X-ray of the breast, done at regular intervals once every 2 years.
(ii) Get yourself examined clinically by a breast specialist.
(iii) Self-examination whereby a woman examines her own breasts once a month after taking lessons from an expert.
Many young women experience pain in their breasts, especially before their periods which is usually not related to cancer. Pain in the breast is rare after menopause.
Many women have lumpy breasts which is known as “fibroadenosis”. This is not a precursor of cancer. Premenopausal lumps in the breast may be caused by cysts containing fluid. Discharge from the nipple if it is bloody, may sometimes indicate the presence of early cancer. Do not ignore a lump in the breast.
Pains of Croton tiglium extend to the back when child is nursing. It feels to her as if a string were attached behind the nipple pulling backward, a sharp, drawing, stinging pain that will in some instances keep her walking the floor night and day.At times it brings tears to her eyes. Croton tig. is capable of curing a pain that is very prolonged or tedious. Hot applications did not give relief.
When the breasts show a tendency to cake and suppuration threatens, pain goes from nipple all over body, and there is excessive flow of milk.Soreness (inflammation) and lumps in the breasts (nursing woman - milk becomes stringy; coagulated milk) from each cold, damp spell; becomes chilled and a sore breast results; sore breast in connection with the menses. Almost any excitement (fear or an accident) centers in the mammary gland; lumps form, pains, heat, swelling, tumefaction; violent inflammation and suppuration. Mercury is similar; when the patient takes cold the glands become sore. Phytolacca when every tribulation makes the glands sore in a nursing woman. When there is no milk, or the milk is scanty, thick, unhealthy; dries up soon. A bloody watery discharge after weaning the infant.
Conium has nodosities in the female breast, and it is distinguished from Phytolacca - In Conium, here there is stony hardness, and it is less acute than Phytolacca ; in Conium the breasts are exceedingly sensitive, cannot bear the touch of clothes, and walking or jarring is painful.Conium patients cannot endure even the slightest alcoholic drink.
Indurations and enlargement of the ovaries and uterus.Uterine spasms during too early and scanty menses. Great soreness of the breasts. Dwindling of the mammary glands as well as enlargement and indurations. Suppressed menstruation, painful menstruation, throbbing, tearing, burning pains in the uterus and in the ovaries, in the pelvis.Fibroid tumors of the uterus. Cancer of the cervix, indurations and infiltration of the cervix. Indurations and infiltration of tissues that have been inflamed, stenoses apt to form where inflammation has been present. Stricture of the urethra and stenosis of the os uteri.
Conium patient sweats copiously during sleep, on merely closing the eyes s/he will sweat. On closing the eyes preparatory to going to sleep s/he will break out in a sweat.
Calcarea fluorica Hard nodules in the mammae. Induration threatening suppuration.
Silicea Nipples very sore; ulcerated easily; drawn in. Fistulous ulcers of breast (Phos); hard lumps in breast (conium), nodes in the breast.
Phellandrium Pain in milk ducts; intolerable between nursing. Pain in nipples. When the pain courses along the milk ducts when child is not nursing.
It is indicated when mechanical irritation excites flow of milk. It is also indicated where the flow of milk is scanty or absent, and where the patient is gloomy and tearful.
Bryonia, Belladonna and Phosphorus are useful in abscess of the mammary gland.