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 and advanced treatment plans can increase a patient’s success for recovery.
The most noticeable symptom of breast cancer is thickened area or a lump in breast tissue. Breast tissues extend to under the arm. (Women with breast cancer usually do not feel any pain.) Other symptoms that you should be aware of include changes in the breast shape or size, a rash around or on the nipple; discharge without or with blood; overall appearance of the nipple, if it has changed; dimpling of the skin; any noticeable changes or inflammation of your breast; one appears larger than the other and/or a lump under the arm area.
You be familiar with 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 for 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 older. If one of your family members was diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is, unfortunately, is significantly increased. Other risk factors include obesity, radiation exposure, starting your period early and starting menopause later in life. Hormone replacement therapy medications in some women carry a higher risk for breast cancer as well. Stopping these medications can lower your risk of breast cancer.
Women should be "breast-aware" and report any change promptly rather than routinely self-examining. There is no evidence it is effective, and may make you anxious unnecessarily. Importantly if you are concerned then call us on 0207 096 8853 about your concerns and we will arrange for our doctor to do a breast examination for you. She will determine whether a breast lump or abnormality needs further investigations. In most cases, the lump will be benign. A painful lump is more likely to be non-cancerous than a painless one. If you see anything unusual, you should seek help from our doctor as soon as possible.
If you feel pain in your breast, it is not always a sign there a serious problem. It might be cyclical breast pain, which is due to hormonal changes caused by your period. It is also possible that you are experiencing non-cyclical breast pain. Visit our doctor for your peace of mind.
If your breasts feel lumpy, do not worry because this is normal particularly a week before your menstrual cycle. You may have multiple breast cysts that can also make your breasts feel lumpy. Our doctor will help you understand what is normal for you and when there is something that must be checked thoroughly.
Regular breast screening should become a part of your routine as it can help detect anything unusual early. If you notice a lump in your breast, it may not necessarily be a symptom of cancer. However, it is important that you seek a specialist as soon as possible to avoid any problems in the future and reassure you that all is well.