All About Breast Cancer
Medical Specialists often discuss health problems and especially those which can be spotted early and then offer a better prospect of treatment of the condition. One such topic is breast cancer, the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. There were over 2 million new cases in 2018 alone.
What is breast cancer?Breast cancer starts in the breast tissue, most commonly in the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. Although it understandably primarily affects women, some men can actually develop breast cancer too. There are about 390 men diagnosed each year in the UK.
Symptoms of cancerThe initial symptom that women tend to spot is a lump or an area of hardened tissue within one of the breasts. The majority of breast lumps (90%) are not found to be cancerous, however it is of course absolutely vital to always have them checked out by your own doctor to be sure. See your doctor straight away if you have any of the following:
- a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast awarenessIt's important to be breast aware so you can pick up any changes as soon as possible. It is important to understand exactly what is ‘normal’ for you. For example, instance, breasts may look or feel different at different times of your life. This will help you identify potential problems.
Causes of breast cancerEven with developments in modern technology, the unfortunate fact remains that the precise causes of breast cancer have not yet been established. However, there are certain factors that can raise the risk of somebody developing the disease. These include:
- age – the risk increases as you get older
- a family history of breast cancer
- a previous diagnosis of breast cancer
- a previous benign breast lump
- being tall, overweight or obese
- drinking alcohol