Top Tips For Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast Cancer is the most common invasive cancer both in the developed and the developing world. In 2015, approximately 292,130 cases of breast cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed among women worldwide with about 40,290 dying from the disease.
About 2,550 men were also estimated to have been diagnosed with the disease, with 440 dying as a result of it. Breast cancer is commoner among white women between the ages of 60 to 80 years. However, black women have a higher occurrence before the age of 45 and are more likely to die from the disease at every age.
Types of Breast Cancer
There are 2 main types of breast cancer:
Ductal carcinoma– the type that starts in the tubes (ducts) that carry milk from the breast to the nipple. They form the larger percentage of breast cancer cases.
Lobular carcinoma- the type that starts in the parts of the breast, called lobules, which produce milk.
Breast Cancer Risk Determinants:
Breast cancer risk determinants, also referred to as risk factors, are substances and circumstances that increase the chances of an individual developing breast cancer:
Some of these factors are regarded as modifiable, i.e. you have some control over them, and as such can have such risks minimized. Examples of such include:
Consumption of red meat
Dietary fat intake
Calcium and Vitamin D: Diets low in
calcium and Vitamin D has been associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
Family history of breast cancer. When you have a mother or sister who has had a breast cancer, then you have a high risk of developing the disease too.
Gende The women have a much greater risk of developing breast cancer compared to men
Race: Breast cancer is said to be lower in black woman compared to their white counterpart.
Increasing age. Breast cancer risk increases sharply with age until about 50 years.
High breast density of mammogram. Women with many dense areas of breast tissue on mammogram have a higher risk of developing the disease.
As the cancer grows, symptoms appear and this may include:
Breast lump or lump in the armpit. This is usually hard, painless and with rough edges.
Change in the size, shape, colour or texture of the breast or nipple. This could be in the form of redness, dimpling, or an appearance like the skin of an orange.
Fluid from the nipple. This fluid may be bloody, colourless, yellow, green, or pus-like in appearance.
At an advanced stage, symptoms may include:
Breast pain or discomfort
Swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit (next to the breast with cancer)
Weight loss difficulty with breathing
When the diagnosis of breast cancer has been established, more tests will be done to stage the cancer. It is aimed at checking the cancer spread. Staging helps guide treatment and follow-up. It also helps to give an idea of what to expect in the future.
It is very important to consult your doctor immediately you observe any other these, as that may be the best chance you will ever have in detecting the disease early.
If the disease is detected early and the appropriate treatment option commenced, Clinic follow up is very important and involves periodic blood tests, mammograms to monitor and prevent the return of the cancer or development of another breast cancer.
Women who have had a mastectomy may have breast reconstructive surgery. This will be done either at the time of mastectomy or later.
The continuous sensitization and raising awareness on the reality of this disease is the only sure way to curtail its spread.