Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Common signs of breast cancer may include;
1. A lump in the breast or underarm that persists after your menstrual cycle
2. Dimpling of the skin,
3. Fluid coming from the nipple,
4. A red scaly patch of skin.
5. Swelling in the armpit.
6. Pain or tenderness in the breast.
7. A noticeable flattening or indentation on the breast, which may indicate a tumor that cannot be seen or felt.
8. Any change in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of the breast. A reddish, pitted surface like the skin of an orange could be a sign of advanced breast cancer.
9. A change in the nipple, such as a nipple retraction, dimpling, itching, a burning sensation, or ulceration.
10. Unusual discharge from the nipple that may be clear, bloody, or another color.
11. A marble-like area under the skin.
12. An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.
Risk factors for developing breast cancer include:
• female sex,
• lack of physical exercise,
• drinking alcohol,
• hormone replacement therapy during menopause,
• ionizing radiation,
• early age at first menstruation,
• having children late or not at all, and
• older age.
About 5–10% of cases are due to genes inherited from a person’s parents, Outcomes for breast cancer vary depending on the cancer type, extent of disease, and person’s age. Survival rates in the developed world are high, in contrast to developing countries where survival rates are poorer. Worldwide, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in women, accounting for 25% of all cases.
Women may reduce their risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol, being physically active and breastfeeding their children. Taking supplements that has marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids appear to reduce the risk.
A clinical or self breast exam involves feeling the breast for lumps or other abnormalities. Clinical breast exams are performed by health care providers, while self breast exams are performed by the person themselves.
Breast cancer is usually treated with surgery, which may be followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or both.
In conclusion early detection and early care seeking behaviour should be encouraged among women and men alike as its easier to take care of the condition at its early stage.
For information on how to carry out a Self breast examination chat up Toyosi on Whatsapp 08181668812
WebMD. Retrieved 10th June, 2015 http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/
Wikipedia. Breast cancer. Retrieved 10th June, 2015 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_cancer
World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 1.1.