When the news of Martina Navratilova suffering from breast cancer was broken, it shocked everyone and all her fans expressed their concern for this tennis star. She herself admitted that she was broken down emotionally when she first came to know about the disease. However, she kept up a brave front and decided to fight the disease. After long term treatment of this disease, Martina Navratilova got completely cured of breast cancer and has become a success story of breast cancer for all the females suffering from this disease.
Martina Navratilova has also helped to create awareness about the disease so that women understand the signs and symptoms of the disease and early diagnosis of the disease is possible. The risk factors of breast cancer are given below –
- Gender – breast cancer is most commonly found in females. Its occurrence in males is very rare.
- Age: risk of this disease increases as the age progresses.
- Race: it is more commonly found in white women than in African-American women in America
- History of Breast cancer: women having a history of breast cancer in one breast are at more risk of developing the same in the other breast. Also, females having a family history of breast cancer are more prone to it.
- Women who have never given birth to a child or never breast fed a child are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Menstrual history: women who had an early start of menses and a delayed menopause are more prone to this disease.
Symptoms of breast cancer
Breast cancer may not show any signs and symptoms at the initial stage. The lump of breast cancer is too small to be felt in the early stage. Usually the lump at this stage is found only in a routine mammography. A lump may enlarge and be felt at a later stage. A lump, which is a hard, painless mass with uneven edges, points to breast cancer. Following changes in the breast can be expected in case of breast cancer:
- Dimpling of the skin over the breast
- Irritation of the skin.
- Swelling of a part or whole of the breast
- Pain in the breast
- Pain in the nipple and inward turning of the nipple
- Abnormal discharge from the nipple
- Lump in armpits
Women are advised to consult a gynecologist at once if they notice any of the above symptoms. These symptoms can also be a result of a less severe disease like breast cyst, but it is important to rule out breast cancer, anyway.
Treatment of breast cancer
Martina Navratilova has set an example for all those who are suffering from breast cancer. It should be borne in mind that there are various forms of treatment available to fight this disease. The modes of treatment for breast cancer are radiation treatment, hormonal therapy, surgical intervention and chemotherapy. Radiation and surgery are forms of local therapy, where the cancerous part of the breast is destroyed or removed. Hormonal therapy and chemotherapy are forms of systemic therapy. In this, the drug is administered via systemic ways through the blood stream and the cancer cells are destroyed or controlled throughout the body of the patient. The choice of treatment depends upon the stage of breast cancer, the expected outcomes and the probable side effects. These issues can be discussed with the physician before making a choice of treatment. In whichever case, the treatment goes on for a long period of time and the patient and her family should fight it bravely and be determined to come out of the illness, like the Wimbledon Champion, Martina Navratilova.