Medical Health, Wigs Canada

Women & Breast Cancer

breast cancer detetection, cancer wigsBreast cancer is a form of cancer that, as the name implies, occurs in a person’s breast tissues. What is important to know is that even though it is much more common in women, it is not impossible for men to develop it.

Breast cancer may or may not show clear signs. In very early stages, signs are not as prominent, which is why it makes a big difference for women if they get regular screening tests done. It is also crucial to do so for women of the age of 40 or over.

However, it can develop in women as young as 20 as well, which is exactly why each and every one should know how to examine themselves. Detection is the first stage of treatment and to an early recovery.

Firstly, let’s look at the risks; if you have one or more of the following then you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than other people. If you:

Haven’t been pregnant before

Have a family member who has had breast cancer

Have had breast cancer before

Are over-weight (obese)

Have had a first child after you turned 30

Have a high intake of tobacco (i.e. if you are a regular smoker)

If your intake of food consists highly of fats

How to detect breast cancer

There are several ways of detecting breast cancer, the most common self-exam method is to feel around your breast area for any sort of unusual lumps, this also includes checking around your armpit for the lumps. It is not always a sign that breast cancer is present, but if a lump is felt the best thing to do is to get it checked out by a doctor, because lumps are one of the typical symptoms involved in having breast cancer.

Other symptoms usually felt by people with breast cancer include swelling of the breast, which is not the same thing as a lump. There is often bleeding from the nipple area, there could possibly be skin irritation along the breasts, an unusual redness of the breasts, nipples might turn inward and in some cases, if there is pain felt in those parts of your body, it could be a sign of danger. Anything unusual should be a signal for you to be more cautious and aware of your breasts and if you feel there is something wrong, it is best not to hesitate when seeking treatment.

Mammograms are most commonly used in helping find signs of breast cancer. These would be X-ray images of your breasts. These are in fact, also often used for people who have already developed breast cancer to see how certain treatments are effecting its growth.

Magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI, are also done to detect breast cancer, however it is known as the less reliable method as compared with mammograms. It is mostly used to find out the real size of the cancer.

Then, there are ultrasounds for the breasts. Which involves the usage of sound waves and echoes to create an image on the computer screen that can be examined. Again, it is not as reliable as mammograms.

Other methods usually involve examining nipple discharge in women, which are examined and tested to find the presence of cancer cells.

All women of the age of 20 and over should regularly check themselves or get a professional to do so. It is important to have at least annual check-ups and it is important to focus on good health and keeping yourself away from a bad life style. As long as someone is careful, aware of their own body and gets regular check-ups, even the presence of breast cancer can be a positive thing if people know they have discovered it in its early stages. The sooner you detect it, the sooner it can be treated.

For more information about breast cancer, please check with your family physician or contact the Canadian Cancer Society for a referral to mammography clinic in your area for free screening.

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Hair, Hair Care, Hair Loss, Wigs, Wigs Canada

Understanding Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

hair loss from chemotherapy treatments

Chemotherapy drugs are used to attack rapidly growing cancer cells. These are very powerful drugs that not only attack the cancer cells in your body, but also other harmless fast growing cells, such as those in your hair follicles.

Hair loss from chemotherapy can occur all over your body, not just your scalp. Hairs from other parts of your body such as your eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits, pubic regions etc. can also fall off due to chemotherapy medications. Different doses of chemotherapy drugs can cause different levels of hair loss ranging from a mere thinning to complete baldness. Different drugs also have different levels of likeliness to cause hair loss. It would be wise if you consult your doctor about the medication you will be taking.

Fortunately, hair loss from chemotherapy is usually only a temporary side effect. You can expect to see your hair growing again in three to 10 months after your treatment ends. Do not worry if your hair have different shades or textures, they will soon get back to their original condition. It might even be curlier, or it could be gray in color until the cells in your scalp begin functioning again to control the pigments in your hair.

One to three weeks after you have started your treatment, you should expect your hair to fall off from your scalp and other hair-bearing regions. Sometimes hair may fall out quickly or gradually. You may be overwhelmed by the sight of loose hairs on your pillow, in your hairbrush or comb, or shower drain etc., but this is just a normal and temporary side-effect of cancer treatment. Sometimes, the scalp may even feel softer.

Your hair loss will follow you throughout your treatment. In some cases it follows up till a few weeks after the treatment has ended. The extent of your treatment will determine whether you experience hair thinning or whether you become completely bald.

It may take several weeks after treatment for your hair to recover and start growing normally again. Once your hair starts to grow, you may notice some subtle differences in the texture or color of your hair. However, this is usually temporary.

There is no treatment that guarantees your hair won’t fall out during or after chemotherapy treatment. The best thing for you to do is to plan ahead and focus on making yourself more comfortable with your new appearance.

One of the treatments which have been investigated as a possible way to prevent hair loss is scalp cooling, but it is important remember that no treatment has been absolutely effective in preventing hair loss. Scalp cooling is said to reduce the amount of drugs that reach the follicles in the scalp, which may reduce or even prevent hair from falling out. It is done by putting ice packs or similar treatment equipment on your scalp during chemotherapy sessions.

Before your chemotherapy begins it is wise to take at least 2-3 weeks to search for a suitable wig to combat your hair loss. It is also advisable to purchase head wraps and turbans to wear in between treatments for wear at your leisure. If you know someone who is going through chemotherapy, or needs to find a wig before treatment, feel free to browse our online wig store for assistance in finding something suitable.