How To Detect Breast Cancer Early
The American Cancer Society states that getting regular screening tests is the most effective way to find breast cancer in its early stages. These guidelines for screening will vary depending on whether your risk for breast cancer is average or high risk. Here are the most common screening tests women may undergo:
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
As mentioned before, there are a few risk factors that can increase the possibility of the development of cancerous cells. You should keep these factors in mind and discuss with the doctor when you go for a regular checkup. These factors involve:
;Almost 80 per cent of breast cancer is diagnosed in people over the age of fifty.
Personal History of Breast Cancer
;If an individual has developed cancer in one breast, there is a high chance that it will spread to the other breast as well.;
If there is a person in your immediate family or any close relative who has suffered from this cancer before or still has breast cancer, your breast health might be at risk too.
Many people might not be aware of it, but certain genetic mutations, including changes to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, are associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer at some point. Since its not common knowledge, you can ask your doctor for more information about comprehensive biomarker testing, which may include genetic testing for inherited cancer risk.
Menstrual And Pregnancy Factor
It has been observed that the menstrual cycle timeline is also linked with the risk of cancer. If an individual has menstruation before 12 years of age or has menopause later than the age of 55, they might become the primary patient for this disease. Other high-risk factors are associated with cases if women have late childbirth or have not done breastfeeding.
What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The following early signs and symptoms of breast cancer can happen with other conditions that are not cancer related.
- New lump in the breast or underarm
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area of the breast
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
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How To Detect Breast Cancer In Early Stage
From person to person warning signs and symptoms can vary greatly, but there are some common signs they are:
- Swelling of all or part of a breast.
- Lump inside the breast or underarm area.
- Skin irritation or dimpling.
- Change in breast size and shape.
- Nipple pain or breast pain.
- Sore or rash on the nipple.
- Swelling, redness or darkening of the breast.
- Prominent veins on the surface of the breast.
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.
- Pulling in of the nipple or the other parts of the breast.
If these signs or symptoms do occur, it does not necessarily mean that cancer is present. It can often the result of benign breast conditions. Benign means it is not cancer and changes in the breast can be caused because of the factors like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
How Can I Detect My Breast Cancer Early
The best way for young women to find breast cancer early is to be breast self-aware. Become familiar with your breasts: their shape, size and what they feel like. Learn what is normal for you. Sometimes your breasts may change throughout your monthly cycle. If you are pregnant or nursing, your breasts will change even more dramatically. If you find anything unusual, see your doctor immediately and insist on a diagnosis. In general, women should have a yearly clinical breast examination by a doctor beginning at age 20 and start having annual mammograms beginning at age 45.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
While different people have different symptoms of breast cancerand some dont have any at allwarning signs of breast cancer include new lumps in the breast and armpit, swelling of the breast, redness or pain in the nipple region, or change in the breast size.;
Remember that some of these symptoms are associated with other conditions that arent cancer.;
What Is Breast Cancer Screening
Screening can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
Breast cancer screeningexternal icon means checking a womans breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. All women need to be informed by their health care provider about the best screening options for them. When you are told about the benefits and risks of screening and decide with your health care provider whether screening is right for youand if so, when to have itthis is called informed and shared decision-making.
Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.
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How To Detect Breast Cancer In The Early Stages
There is a rising trend in breast cancer worldwide. The alarming fact is that since 2008, the incidence breast cancer has increased by more than 20 percent, while mortality has increased by 14 percent in 2012. Breast cancer is now also the most common cause of the cancer deaths among women, representing one in four of all detectable cancers in women. ;
As you’ll see from those facts, breast cancer screening is invaluable.
Though the most effective way of screening for breast cancer is an breast X-ray called mammography,;clinical breast self-examinations are considered to be a similarly effective option for the early detection of any breast lump. This means you have to palpate your own breasts regularly to feel if any lump is developing.;
You have to start practicing breast self-examinations from your early twenties, and need to examine your both breasts periodically during the middle of your menstrual cycle in a systematic manner.
A Lump Or Swelling In The Armpit
We spend a lot of time shaving our pits, girls, so as well as checking your breasts, its important to check your armpits too. This is because breast tissue connects to your armpits, so this area is just as important as the breasts themselves. You cant usually feel the lymph glands in your body unless theyre swollen from a cold or infection, however, a less common cause of swollen lymph glands or lump in the armpit can mean that breast cancer has spread to this area.
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Changes In The Surface Of The Skin
Are your boobs a little bit swollen? Are you experiencing redness or both, perhaps? One of the first signs of breast cancer is swelling and redness, so its important to flag any of these changes to your healthcare provider.
Its also important to check for puckering, dimpling or a rash. Some women often find that they have a rash or redness of the nipple and surrounding skin. The skin might look like orange peel and the texture can often feel different. This is one of the more physical symptoms of the disease.
How Womancare Can Help
Although most people visit an OBGYN to discuss treatment options, we offer many other services to help you stay on top of your health, including mammography exams and breast tomosynthesis, which aid in the early detection and diagnoses of breast cancer and other diseases. Our team is here to help you through screening and can provide recommendations on next steps for any diagnosis.;As October comes to an end, remember to conduct your monthly self-exam, look and feel for any signs of breast cancer, and schedule your annual screening with our friends at NCH Breast Imaging Center at 618-2740.
Breast cancer. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470. Published November 22, 2019.
U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. Breastcancer.org. https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics. Published June 25, 2020.
What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/symptoms.htm. Published September 14, 2020.
Radiological Society of North America and American College of Radiology . Breast Tomosynthesis. RadiologyInfo.org. https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=tomosynthesis.
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Does Any Lump In Your Breast Mean You Have Cancer
No, it does not. Do not panic if you feel any mass or lump in your breast. Not all masses are cancers, and fortunately the majority of breast masses are benign. They can either be cysts or proliferated normal breast tissues which are usually benign in nature.;
You do need to visit your physician if you experience a lump. You may need a mammography, an ultrasound, or if the lump is found suspicious, a fine needle biopsy of your growth.
So, to conclude, an early diagnosis is essential for a breast cancer as it always carries a better outcome. A regular, systematic self-palpation of ;both breasts is the easiest, most effective as well as a convenient approach to screen your breasts before developing a breast cancer.
What Are The Causes Of Breast Cancer
The exact cause of breast cancer has not been determined. Researchers have found that several factors can increase the risk of breast cancer. It could either be a single risk factor or a combination of risk factors that cause breast cancer. Some common risk factors that have been identified to cause breast cancer are as follows
- Genetic factors: A family history of breast cancer increases the risk of the disease. Breast cancers may occur due to the inheritance of mutated genes. The most commonly affected genes causing breast cancer are BRAC1 and BRAC2. They also increase the risk of ovarian cancer.;
- Age: The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most women with breast cancer are over the age of 50.
- Radiation exposure: This could be due to occupational exposure, imaging or radiotherapy for other conditions to the chest during childhood.
- Early menarche: This is the onset of periods before the age of 12.;
- Late onset of menopause after the age of 55.
- Late first pregnancy after the age of 30 or never being pregnant.
- Hormone replacement therapy: Hormonal therapy to reduce the side effects of menopause or for other reasons increases breast cancer risk.;
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Breast Cancer Early Detection: A Phased Approach To Implementation
Perlmutter Cancer Center, Section for Global Health, Division of Health and Behavior, Department of Population Health, New York University Langone Health, New York, New York
Corresponding Author: Ophira Ginsburg, MD, Perlmutter Cancer Center, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, NYU Langone Health, 180 Madison Avenue 8-54, New York, NY 10016 .
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Xavierian University Oncology Center, San Ignacio University Hospital, Bogota, Colombia
Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Xavierian University, Bogota, Colombia
Breast Surgery, Dubin Breast Center, The Icahn School of Medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York
Department of Health System Design and Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital
Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Breast Health Global Initiative, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Breast Health Global Initiative, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Is Family History Of Breast Cancer Important
Yes. While only 5-10% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history, it is important to know your family’s history of cancer, if any, both on your mother’s side and your father’s side. Women with at least one close family relative should start a screening program with a breast specialist when they are ten years younger than their relative’s age at diagnosis, but usually not before 20 years old.
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When To Examine Your Breasts
You don’t need to examine your breasts every day or even every week. But it is important to know how your breasts normally feel, and how that changes with your periods.
Some women have lumpier breasts around the time of a period. If this is the same in both breasts, don’t worry. But check your breasts again the following month, a few days after your period is over.
If the lumpiness comes and goes with your menstrual cycle, it is nothing to worry about.
Your breasts usually feel softer and not as lumpy if you no longer have periods.
What To Do If You Find A Lump
Dont panic if you think you feel a lump in your breast. Most women have some lumps or lumpy areas in their breasts all the time, and most breast lumps turn out to be benign . There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including normal hormonal changes, a benign breast condition, or an injury.
Dont hesitate to call your doctor if youve noticed a lump or other breast change that is new and worrisome. This is especially true for changes that last more than one full menstrual cycle or seem to get bigger or more prominent in some way. If you menstruate, you may want to wait until after your period to see if the lump or other breast change disappears on its own before calling your doctor. The best healthcare provider to call would be one who knows you and has done a breast exam on you before for example, your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or a nurse practitioner who works with your gynecologist or primary care doctor.
Make sure you get answers. Its important that your doctor gives you an explanation of the cause of the lump or other breast change and, if necessary, a plan for monitoring it or treating it. If youre not comfortable with the advice of the first doctor you see, dont hesitate to get a second opinion.
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Strategies To Reduce The Risk Of Cancer:
Develop a healthy eating habit.;Understand what is healthy diet. Diet high in vegetables and fruit and low in sugared drinks, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods are healthy for you. It is better to eat lean protein such as fish or chicken breast than eat red meat.
Watch your weight.;Breast cancer is most common at the time of menopause or after that. Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer after your menopause. Control your weight and maintain it within the range considered normal for your height. Try to maintain a body-mass index under 25 .
Include some physically activity in daily routine.;In this e-age most of are on desk jobs. The physical activity is nil. It has been shown that moderate exercise like a 30-minute walk five days a week reduces overall breast-cancer risk by about 10 percent to 30 percent.
Say NO to tobacco.;Tobacco is one of the greatest killers. It is involved in many cancers and breast cancer also is one of them.
Say NO to alcohol.;Consumption of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Anything more than one drink a day has shown to increase the risk.
Breast feeding reduces the risk.;Breast-feeding has dual advantage; you get a healthy baby and it reduces the risk of breast cancer. Breast feed at least till the baby is an year old.
Getting A Second Opinion
Getting a second opinion during your cancer care process is common. Its a good idea to get your second opinion before starting treatment, because a second opinion can alter your diagnosis and thus your treatment. However, you can get a second opinion at any point during treatment.
During your cancer care, consider asking for a second opinion in these instances:
- after your pathology report is complete
- before surgery
- after your staging work is complete, if you are uncomfortable with the treatment plan your doctor recommends
- while planning treatments following surgery
- during treatment, if you believe there may be a reason to change the course of your treatment
- after completing treatment, especially if you didnt ask for a second opinion prior to starting treatment
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Symptoms Of Angiosarcoma Of The Breast
Another rare form of breast cancer, angiosarcoma forms inside the lymph and blood vessels. Only a biopsy may definitively diagnose this type of cancer. Angiosarcoma can cause changes to the skin of your breast, such as the development of purple-colored nodules that resemble a bruise. These nodules, if bumped or scratched, may bleed. Over time, these discolored areas may expand, making your skin appear swollen in that area. You may or may not have breast lumps with angiosarcoma. If you also have lymphedema, which is swelling caused by a buildup of lymphatic fluid, angiosarcoma may occur in the affected arm. Cancer treatment sometimes damages the lymph vessels, which may lead to lymphedema.
Clinical Exams And Mammograms
Between the ages of twenty and forty, you should have clinical breast examinations with your doctor. Between these ages, we suggest doing checks every three years.
After forty years of age, youll need to do a clinical breast exam and a mammogram every year. A mammogram is a study of an image via x-rays that explores the consistency and formation of the mammary gland.
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