Breast Cancer Unmasked!
By: Eunice Chege
|Breast Cancer ribbon image courtesy of Pixabay|
This is a cancer that develops from breast tissue, and it's one of the most common cancers affecting females. Most women who get it are over 40 years old, this is a ration of 8 to 10. Younger women and men also get breast cancer in rare case. If it's treated early enough, breast cancer is curable and can be prevented from spreading to other parts of the body.
In this article, I will feature on breast cancer in women.
The month of October is worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's dedicated to raise consciousness about the thousands of women who are diagnosed with the disease every year. The pink ribbon and the colour pink in general, is an international symbol for breast cancer month. Pink is considered feminine and the roles that come with this gender like being beautiful, caring, good and being cooperative.
Signs and Symptoms to look out for:
1. Lump in the breast.
2. Fluid coming from the nipple.
3. Dimpling of the skin around the breast.
4. A change in breast shape.
5. A red scaly patch of skin.
6. Swollen lymph nodes, around the breast.
7. Shortness of breath.
No one knows the exact cause of breast cancer. Medics rarely know why some women develop breast cancer while others don't. Most women who have breast cancer will never be able to tell the exact cause. One thing for sure breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell's DNA.
Some of these risks can be changed and for some we can do little about as we have absolutely no control over them.
1. A female whose female relatives have had breast cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease. This is because the disease is hereditary.
2. Advancing in age. As we saw earlier the big percentage of cancer patients lies from 40 years of age onwards.
3. Lack of childbearing or lack of breastfeeding.
4. Great exposure to estrogen hormone. Estrogen makes cells to divide, the more the cells divide, they become abnormal, thus becoming cancerous.
Estrogen exposure is greatly affected by the age a lady starts and stops menstruating, the average length of her menstrual cycle, and her age at first childbirth. Her risk for breast cancer is increased if she starts menstruating before age 12, has her first child after age 30, or stops menstruating after age the age of 50 years and above. Also, if she has her menstrual cycle shorter or longer than the average 24-28 days.
5. Radiation exposure. If you get radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.
6. Diet. Research has shown that women with high fat intake diets are more prone to getting the disease.
7. Lack of physical activity.
8. The ladies that smoke and drink alcohol increase the risk of developing this cancer.
9. Chances of getting breast cancer are increased if you've had breast cancer in one breast before.
Do self-examination of the breast always to check for the above symptoms. If you see anything suspicious see your doctor immediately.
Do mammography tests every two years for early detection.
Although screening for breast cancer cannot prevent you from getting breast cancer, it can help find it early when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.
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