Two weeks into the beautiful month of October with our website fully back on, we are indebted to add to the pink colour of the month by shedding more light on what the month is dedicated to – breast cancer.
Breast cancer awareness all over the world in the month of October can never be overstated. If you have been educated about these tips we are about to share, you are advised not to ignore but rather spread the word to more sisters, mothers and daughters.
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women all over the world. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.
Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment and a better understanding of the disease.
• Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
• A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
• Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
• Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
• A newly inverted nipple
• Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
• Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
If you find a lump or other change in your breast — even if a recent mammogram was normal — make an appointment with your doctor for prompt evaluation.
Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. Cells may spread (metastasize) through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.
Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.
Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it’s not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do. It’s likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.
INHERITED BREAST CANCER
Doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.
A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you’ll get breast cancer. But having one or even several breast cancer risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than simply being women.
Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:
• Being female
• Increasing age
• A personal history of breast conditions
• A personal history of breast cancer
• A family history of breast cancer
• Inherited genes that increase cancer risk
• Radiation exposure
• Beginning your period at a younger age
• Beginning your menopause at an older age
• Having your first child at an older age
• Having never been pregnant
Making changes in your daily life may help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Try to:
• Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening
• Become familiar with your breasts through breast self-exam for breast awareness.
• Exercise most days of the week
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Choose a healthy diet
• Preventive medications (chemoprevention)
• Preventive surgery
Source: Mayo Clinic