What are the interesting facts you need to know about breast cancer?
Breast cancer awareness month
‘October’ is celebrated as the breast cancer awareness month. Every year the number of patients diagnosed with breast cancer is on the rise.
Fortunately, with the advancement in cancer treatment in India, it has helped the women to get the treatment and live a better life.
Interesting facts on Breast Cancer
- Family history
Around 5% to 10% of breast cancers are inherited. It means, if your mother, daughter, sister, father, or brother had breast cancer, then you are also at increased risk for it. Also, the chances are increased to a great extent when multiple members are diagnosed with it.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Mostly, breast cancer occurs in women at the age of 50.
- History of periods
If the woman has an early menstrual cycle i.e. before the age of 12 and starting before the menopause after 55 then the risk of breast cancer increases.
- Personal history
If the person has abnormal breast finding then there is increased risk. Additionally, if the woman has breast cancer in the past then she is at increased risk of getting it again.
- Breast Density
Women with dense breasts are at increased risk of getting diagnosed with breast cancer.
If the woman has not given birth to a child after age 30 or who has not breastfed then the risk is higher.
Are there any changes that reduce the risk?
- Stay physically active.
- Keep your weight healthy and follow a balanced diet.
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Ask your health care provider before taking hormones whether they may increase your risk.
What are the signs and symptoms?
You need to make sure to inform your health care provider if you notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Swelling or lump (mass) in the breast
- Pulling in of the nipple
- Lump in the armpit
- Pain in the nipple
- Red, flaky, or dimpled skin on nipple or breast
- Nipple discharge (not breast milk and from one side only)
- Unusual breast pain or discomfort
Undergoing the screening
A mammogram is an X-ray for the breast. It helps to check the abnormal lumps in the breast before they can be felt. Women need to get a mammogram at the age of 40 to 44. If the woman is between 45 to 54, then get the yearly mammogram and after the age of 55, it needs to be done every 1 to 2 years.
- Breast Self-Exam
You need to be familiar with how the breast looks and feels. By doing so, you can tell the health care provider if you notice any changes.
- Clinical Breast Exam
The doctor will use the hands to examine the lumps and other changes that are going on.