Around 350 men and over 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer that affects women in the country. Several factors can increase a person’s risk of breast cancer. These include alcohol intake, age, having children, radiation, family history, breast cancer genes, and hormones. Better methods of detection at earlier stages of breast cancer and more effective treatment plans can increase a patient’s success in recovery.
The most noticeable symptom of breast cancer is a thickened breast tissue area or a lump in the breast. Those who have breast cancer usually don’t feel pain. Other symptoms that you should be aware of include changes in breast shape or size, nipple rash around or on the nipple, inflammation or lump in the underarm area, nipple discharge without or with blood, dimpling of the skin of the breast and changes in the overall appearance of the nipple.
You should know the typical appearance of your breasts and the changes they undergo throughout your menstrual cycle every month. This way, you will notice any changes immediately and be proactive about the health of your breasts. The earlier you get treatment to breast cancer, the more effective the treatment will be. Your chances of recovery will be higher as well.
Risk factors include age, being female and having a history of breast conditions. Women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than men. Your risk also increases as you get old. If one of your family members was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is increased. Other risk factors include obesity, radiation exposure, starting your period early and starting menopause at an older age. Those who take hormone therapy medications have a higher risk of breast cancer as well. When you stop taking these medications, you can lower your risk of breast cancer.
Self-examination is not enough to determine whether your breast lump is benign or cancerous. In most cases, the lump is benign. A painful lump is more likely to be non-cancerous than a painless one. If you see anything unusual, you should see your doctor immediately.
If you feel pain in your breast, it doesn’t always signify a serious problem. It might be cyclical breast pain, which is due to hormonal changes caused by your period. It’s also possible that you’re experiencing non-cyclical breast pain. Visit a doctor for your peace of mind.
If your breasts feel lumpy, don’t worry because this is normal particularly a week before your menstrual cycle. You may have multiple breast cysts that can make your breasts feel lumpy. Your doctor will help you understand what’s normal for you and when there’s something that must be checked thoroughly.
Regular breast screening should become a part of your routine as it can help you detect anything unusual early. If you notice a lump in your breast, it’s not necessarily a symptom of cancer. However, it is important that you seek a specialist as soon as possible.
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