Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different types of breast cancer, depending on which cells in the breast develop into cancer.
Knowing your breasts
This disease can start in different parts of the breast. A breast is made up of three main parts: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. Ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Connective tissue (consisting of fibrous and fatty tissue) surrounds and holds everything together. Most breast cancers start in the ducts or lobules.
Regular breast self-exams can be a simple way to find cancer early when it is most likely to be treated successfully. Although no test alone can detect all breast cancers early, many specialists believe that performing a breast self-exam, in combination with other screening methods, can increase the chances of early detection.
Other detection methods
Regular physical exams performed by a doctor, Mammograms, Ultrasounds, and MRIs can be done. Each of these detection tools works differently and has strengths and weaknesses.
Be aware of your breasts
Every woman’s breasts are different in terms of size, shape, and consistency. It is also possible for one breast to be larger than the other.
Get used to how your breasts feel at different times of the month. This can change during the menstrual cycle. For example, some women have tender, lumpy breasts, especially near the armpit, around the time of their period. After menopause, normal breasts feel softer, less firm, and lump-free.
5-point plan to stay on top of your breasts:
* Know what is normal in your body
* Look at your breasts and feel them
* Know what changes have
* Report any changes to your GP
* Perform routine exams if you are between 50 and 70 years old
Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit down to the collarbone. Also, look at them in a mirror, do it with your arms at your sides and also raised.
Breast changes to watch out for
See a doctor if you notice any of the following changes:
* Change in the size, contour, or shape of your breast
* Change in the look or feel of the skin of the breast, such as wrinkles or dimpling, rash, or redness
* A new lump, swelling, thickening, or bulging area in a breast or armpit that was not there before
* A discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
* Any change in the position of the nipple, such as the nipple being pulled in or pointed differently
* A rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin, or redness on or around your nipple
* Any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it is new and does not go away (although pain is only a symptom of breast cancer in rare cases).
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?
Many factors throughout life can influence breast cancer risk. There are some factors that cannot be avoided, such as aging or family history, but you can help reduce your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways:
* Maintaining a healthy weight
* Being physically active
* Do not drink alcohol or do so in moderation
* If you are taking, or have taken, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks
* Breastfeed your children, if possible
* If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk
Staying healthy throughout your life will reduce your risk of developing cancer and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it does occur.
Always consult your doctor if you are concerned
Breast changes can occur for many reasons, fortunately, most are not serious. Many women have breast lumps, and most breast lumps are not cancerous.
However, if you find changes that are not normal, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible.