October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and every year many governmental and non-governmental organizations have events lined up to help increase the awareness of breast cancer and also help fight the dreaded disease the best way possible.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common popular cancer affecting women, and the second main cause of death amongst women. Many woman have died as a result of ignoring minor signs and changes in their breast.
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops from breast tissue. There are many types of breast cancer and they include non-invasive, invasive, recurrent, and metastatic breast cancers, as well as the intrinsic or molecular subtypes of breast cancer.
What are the causes of breast cancer?
The causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known, although a number of risk factors have been talked about.
The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age but several studies have shown that approximately 7% of women with breast cancers are diagnosed before the age of 40 years. Although, women in other age ranges might be at risk of the rampant age range for breast cancer is 35 to 45 years.
How can I tell if I have breast cancer?
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
Skin irritation or dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
Breast or nipple pain
Nipple retraction (turning inward)
Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
Can it be prevented?
1. Healthy Eating
2. Be Physically Active
3. Limit or No Alcohol
Checking Your Breast Regularly To Detect Early Signs And Symptoms
Once you hit puberty, it’s important to be breast aware and check your breasts regularly. Getting to know how your breasts look and feel will help you know what is normal for you. You will then be more confident about noticing any unusual changes that might be a symptom of breast cancer and reporting them to your doctor.
How Do You Check My Breasts?
Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention
While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements.
The most important thing to note in the battle against breast cancer is early detection. If you check your breast regularly and find any abnormal change, tell a medical doctor immediately.