Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and it is the major cause of death from cancer for women aged between 30 and 60 years. However, studies have shown that a successful and easier cancer treatment is possible when breast cancer is detected early. So, breast cancer awareness takes an important place to overcome this disease. There are many events and foundations to raise breast cancer awareness. Two of these are National Breast Cancer Foundation and American Breast Cancer Society, providing help and inspiration to those affected by breast cancer by early detection, education, and support services. October is also considered as the “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in which pink ribbons (breast cancer awareness ribbon) are delivered to everyone to increase breast cancer awareness. Make a difference, spread the word about early detection and raise awareness!
Early Detection Can Save Your Life
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. The good news is that many women survive breast cancer thanks to early detection. When a woman finds her breast cancer early (stage 1), there is a 95% success rate for treatment. And breast cancer is treated easily with pills instead of chemotherapy and painful radiation therapy when detected at stage 1. The first step of early detection is breast self-examination. Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror to see if there are any breast cancer symptoms such redness, soreness, rash or swelling around your breasts or your nipples and examine your breasts with your hands to feel if there is a lump or not. If you notice any changes in your breasts, contact your doctor immediately. The second step is to have a mammography test done. Mammography is an X-ray of the breast and is the most effective way to detect breast cancer. If a tumour is detected in your mammography, then the last step is a breast biopsy, in which a small piece of the suspected tumour is taken from your breast and is examined pathologically to see if the tumour is cancerous or non-cancerous
Men are at risk too
While more common in women, men also can get breast cancer. Men are at risk if they have certain risks factors including a family history of breast cancer. However, male breast cancer is very rare and less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men, which means that only one in a thousand men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
There are a wide variety of factors increasing the risk to have breast cancer. The most effective risk factor causing breast cancer is the family history of breast cancer, which means that if you have several blood relatives that have or had breast cancer, then you might have an increased risk of developing the disease. Another factor that affects breast cancer risk is a lifestyle. Inactivity, consuming unhealthy food and alcohol, taking hormone replacement theraphy (HRT), being overweight and smoking might increase your risk to have breast cancer. Also, the genes you inherit from your parents and the characteristics of your body might affect your risk of developing breast cancer. Aging, being female, having high breast density, late menopause, and early puberty are some of the most common genetic factors affecting breast cancer risk.
8 Ways To Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk
- Watch your weight
- Exercise regularly
- Limit time spent sitting
- Limit alcohol
- Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy
- Eat Healthy
- Know your family cancer history
- Minimize radiation exposure from screening tests