Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women, and to a lesser extent men, with millions of victims each year. This disease is now the most alarming among women throughout the world today because different risk factors can cause it to develop, but early detection is key to treating it and even beating it entirely.
Doctors, as well as different organizations and individuals who are raising awareness about this disease, often recommend that women perform regular breast self-exams along with mammograms. Both are key to early detection and getting treatment as quickly as possible to halt its progression. Because there are plenty of things that people don’t already know about this disease, information is another method of prevention. Up next we’ll provide you with some important facts that you need to know about breast cancer.
Statistics about breast cancer
- Currently, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world because of its extremely high incidence – but there are also very positive treatment outcomes. In the last five years alone, approximately 4.4 million women who were diagnosed with breast cancer are alive today. However, breast cancer still causes more deaths in women worldwide than any other type of cancer.
- Each year more than one million women are diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. This number makes up 10% of all cases of cancer diagnosed in the world, and a shocking 23% of all cases diagnosed in women alone.
- Every year breast cancer is the cause of death for more than 410,000 women in the world, making up 14% of all cancer deaths in women, and 1.6% of any cause of death in the female population.
- The main risk factors for developing breast cancer are being over 45 years old, a woman, family history of breast cancer, starting menstruation prior to the age of 12, or beginning menopause after the age of 55.
- Only 5 to 10% of breast cancers are due to heredity.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Like many other kinds of cancer, breast cancer has no initial symptoms that will alarm the person. Symptoms almost always emerge as the disease progresses. But some things that facilitate early detection are:
- Bumps or lumps in the breast or armpit. These are usually painless. This symptom can be found during a breast self-exam or a mammogram. There are plenty of cases where lumps or bumps don’t indicate breast cancer, but that’s why it’s important to see a doctor immediately to obtain a proper diagnosis.
- Any noticeable changes in the texture, size, and shape of the breast, redness of the skin, pock marks or dimples.
- Secretion of fluid through the nipple, especially characterized by the presence of blood.
How can you prevent and diagnose the early stages of breast cancer?
Diet and lifestyle play important roles in the prevention of breast cancer. There are certain foods that help fight the growth of cancer cells, so it’s recommended that you add them to your diet regularly. They’re mostly fruits and vegetables, as well as drinking plenty of water. And avoid risk factors like alcoholism, smoking, and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Additionally, tamoxifen is a medication that has been approved for women over the age of 35 who are at high risk for developing this disease. Some specialists recommend it as a preventative measure.
To detect breast cancer symptoms early, women should perform monthly breast self-examinations every after their period. If you notice any irregularities, go see your doctor immediately.
In addition, women over the age of 40 should have a mammogram performed once a year or every two years, as an additional method of detection and prevention.