Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that attacks women. It is known that every 1 in 8 women suffer from breast cancer. The cause of this disease is not really known but there are various risk factors including smoking, western type diet with processed food, stress. It occurs due to excessive cell growth in the breast which leads to the formation of lumps. If not treated, it can spread to other parts of the body as well.
The common initial symptoms include change in the shape and size of the breast and presence of lump in the breast. Woman with breast cancer may experience pain in the breasts and armpits, fatigue or low-grade fever may also be present. Important risk factors represent obesity or overweight, alcohol consumption, estrogen exposure including contraceptive use and poor nutrition containing too much meat, sweets and white flour products.
Important diagnostic test represents breast exam by doctor who checks both breasts and armpits for any lumps and abnormal changes is very helpful. Self-exam which can reveal lumps is also important. A mammogram test is done for the imaging of breasts to detect any changes. Further examination using ultrasound, CT or MRI scan can be done to observe the internal tissues of the breast and other parts of the body.
Treatment depends on the stage, type and extent of the breast cancer. It also depends on patient´s overall health and age. Standard treatment involves surgical treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted drug therapy and biological therapy.
Ovarian cancer affects women at various ages, especially women after the menopause. It occurs when there is abnormal growth of cells within the organ, more frequently in women who are obese, were on estrogen after menopause, or having unhealthy diet mostly containing industrially processed food. Women under stressful situations are also affected with ovarian cancer more frequently. This disease is hard to detect at the early stage because ovaries are small organs located deep in the abdominal cavity.
The main symptoms include persistent abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort in pelvic area, frequent urination, back pain, menstrual changes, pain when having sex, fatigue and constipation. Important risk factors represent obesity, estrogen substitution after the menopause, age over 50, family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer and personal history of breast cancer.
The most common forms of treatment represent chemotherapy and surgical procedure. Chemotherapy is done before or after the surgery to kill cancer cells present in the body. Lot of short-term and long-term side effects is created by chemotherapy. There is increased chance for metastatic spread of resistant cancer cells after the chemotherapy. Surgery is done to remove ovaries. Uterus and lymphatics surrounding ovaries are also frequently removed if they are affected.
Dendritic cell therapy is a fairly new and effective immunotherapy for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer. Dendritic cell vaccine is prepared in specialized lab from the group of white blood cells called monocytes. Dendritic cells are injected under the skin and are able to migrate to the lymph nodes where they are signaling to lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are able to specifically kill cancer cells after obtaining information about the cancer antigens from dendritic cells. Dendritic cell vaccine therefore serves as highly specific anti-cancer vaccine which is tailored to patient needs in order to eliminate cancer cells from the body without damaging healthy body cells. The main purpose of dendritic cell immunotherapy is to strengthen the body’s immune response against cancer.