The month of October is observed as breast cancer awareness month. During this month different activities are conducted worldwide to create awareness about this type of cancer affecting a large population of women. It tries to make people aware of the need for early detection of breast cancer, its treatment options and prevention methods that can help save lives. According to WHO, there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month Stars today, here’s everything you need to know about early detection of breast cancer and how it is done.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020: Importance of early detection
According to studies, early detection of breast cancer can increase the survival rates of the patient. It is important to check for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Symptoms may include- presence of lump in the breast, pain in the breast, swelling in areas near the breasts, discharge from nipple other than breast milk, change in the shape of the nipple and swelling under arm. In some cases, these may not be the sign of breast cancer but any of these signs should be reported to the doctor immediately.
A breast exam helps determine the presence of lymph and other change in the shape of the breast or nipple which can be a sign. Women should conduct a self-exam at home regularly. Consult your doctor for better analysis.
Mammography is an X-ray that can help detect any abnormality in the breasts. It is often advised the women who are at a higher risk of breast cancer should get mammography done once a year.
Who is at a risk?
- Women above the age of 55
- Consume excessive alcohol
- Early menstruation or late menopause
- Giving birth at an older age
- Women who choose hormone therapy
- And genetics may also play a role
Not just women, men too are at risk of breast cancer but the risk in men is significantly low in men. Early diagnosis can help the patient seek medical treatment on time and help in removal of the tumour at an initial stage.