Problems of the Breasts 383
Finding and treating breast cancer
If you examine your breasts regularly, you are likely to notice
if there are any changes or if a new lump develops. A special
X-ray called a mammogram can find a breast lump when it
is very small and less dangerous. But mammograms are not
available in many places, and they are very expensive. And it
cannot tell for sure if a lump is cancer.
The only way to know for sure that a woman has breast
cancer is with a biopsy. For this, a surgeon removes all or
part of the lump with a needle or a knife and has it tested for
cancer in a laboratory.
Treatment depends on how advanced the cancer is and
what is available where you live. If a lump is small and found
early, just removing the lump may be effective. But for some
cases of breast cancer, an operation may be needed to remove
the whole breast. Sometimes doctors also use medicines and
No one knows yet how to prevent breast cancer. But we do
know that finding and treating breast cancer early makes a cure
more likely. For some women it never comes back. In other
women, the cancer may come back years later. It may come
back in the other breast or, less often, in other parts of the body.
Cysts on the ovaries
These cysts are fluid-filled sacks
that women can get on their
ovaries. They happen only during
the reproductive years, between
puberty and menopause. A cyst
can cause pain on one side of the
lower abdomen and irregular
monthly bleeding. But most
women only find out they have a cyst if
a health worker feels one during a pelvic examination.
Most cysts last only a few months and go away on their own.
But some can grow very large and must be removed by surgery.
If you have severe pain, see a health worker right away.
Cancer of the ovaries
Cancer of the ovaries is not common. There are usually
no warning signs, but a health worker might feel an ovary
that is very large while doing a pelvic examination. Surgery,
medicines, and radiation therapy are all used for treatment, and
cure is very difficult.
how to examine
➤ See a health
worker right away if
you have already had
breast cancer and
find another lump in
the breast or notice
other warning signs of
severe pain in
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012