Cancer is a disease caused by outgrowth or proliferation of cells in the body and this abnormal outgrowth may occur to the breast tissues or occur in the breast leading to tumour formation which leads to breast cancer.
Breast cancer is really common to women but men are also susceptible to breast cancer. The early stages of breast cancer may not show symptoms thus people suffering from breast cancer may not even know they have cancer though a lump or mass in the breast can be a sign of breast cancer.
POSSIBLE RISK FACTORS
- Hereditary: people who have had someone in their family come down with breast cancer are at risk of breast cancer due to abnormally inherited cells.
- Alcohol Intake: Alcohol intake overtime can lead to this outgrowth of cells due to the fact it contains acetaldehyde which is the end product of ethanol which is found in each alcoholic drink.
- Tobacco Smoking: both first hand and second hand/passive smokers are at risk of breast cancer.
- Early onset of menstruation: girls who tend to mature early are at risk of breast cancer.
- Late Menopause: women who tend to experience menopause late are at risk of breast cancer.
- Use of oral contraceptives: always check up with your doctor before using oral contraceptives.
- Obesity: fat cells can cause increase insulin production and also growth factors leading to increased production of cells that could abnormally grow and cause cancer. Watch your weight!!
Any change in the breast appearance, texture, discharge and pain can be a sign of breast cancer.
Dimpling of the nipples, redness of the nipples, discharge when you are not lactating (breast feeding), dimpling or swelling of the breast can also be a sign of breast cancer.
Breast cancer can be treated in its early stages. Women and also men are advised to pay much attention to their bodies and also undergo a routine screening procedure to detect breast cancer much early.
Monthly breast self examination (you pick a date on the calendar mostly after your menstrual flow and examine yourself monthly. This can be done in front of a standing mirror and when lying down). While standing in front of your mirror, you should check for changes in the breast as mentioned in the symptoms above. While lying down with your right hand behind your head check your right breast with the pad of your left hand for any mass or lump. Repeat the procedure for the left breast by putting your left hand behind your head and using the pad of your right hand to massage your breast in a cyclic manner to search for any mass or tumor.
Mammography and clinical breast examination are the recommended routine procedures to detect breast cancer even without obvious symptoms.
Early detection of Cancer saves lives.