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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Breast Cancer Causes and Breast Awareness Examination

Written by: Joseph and Ugochukwu

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Cancer is a disease of the body that occurs as a result of cell abnormality and uncontrolled division which leads to formation of mass, lump or tumor that becomes deadly once they start invading other body tissues or the lymphatic system. Cancer is a disease that has afflicted and killed millions of lives.

There are over 200 different cancer diseases, but one of the most common cancer disease that inflicts people today is the cancer of the breast and which mostly affects women, in fact the recent breast cancer statistics shows that for every 1000 women to develop breast cancer disease, only 1 man will develop it, this goes a long way to explain that women are mostly vulnerable to this disease.

A woman is therefore encouraged to perform breast awareness examination at least once a month. This examination should be carried out preferably 1 -6 days after the menstrual period and can be done at the comfort of your home.

There are 3 good reasons why every woman should endeavor to carry out this examination.
1. Every woman is vulnerable to breast cancer.

2. The risk increases with age, the older you are, the higher your chances of suffering from it.

3. Breast cancer disease has primary and secondary stages, best chances of survival depends on detecting the disease in the primary stage.

Performing this examination will help you to become familiar with the breast normal shape and feel, and you can easily identify any changes in the breast, or detect new lumps which may be cancer related.

If you discover a lump in one breast remember to check the other breast. If both breast feel the same, the lumpiness is probably normal, but it is usually best to see the doctor if the lumpiness is new for you or if it persists after your next period.

How to perform breast self-awareness examination
1. Stand in front of your mirror, with arm raised above your head look for any new difference in the shape or size of the breast.

2. Using the flat of your hand feel all around the breast in concentric circles looking for abnormal lumps, start at the outside and move in towards the nipple. Lie down and feel over the whole breast including the nipple and armpit.

3. Place your fingers high into the armpit feeling downwards towards the breast looking for lumps. This should be done on both breasts.

4. Check for nipple change or inversion, if the nipple is going inside the breast skin, or any puckering of the skin.

5. Check for color changes in the breast skin, the nipple or the aureole.

6. Check for abnormal nipple discharge, especially if the discharge is coming from one breast and if the discharge is bloodstained.

Remember to consult a doctor if any of these changes are noticed.

Factors that increase chances of developing Breast cancer
There are many factors that increases a woman’s chances of suffering from cancer, these include –

1. Radiation
Women that keep their cell phone or power bank inside their shirt pocket has greater risk of suffering from cancer as these electronic devices emits radiation which easily penetrates the breast skin. Women should avoid excessive exposure to radiation emitting devices/substances.

2. Breast Enlargement
Using breast enlargement cream or drugs, and undergoing breast enlargement surgery increases the risk.

3. Age
Age increases the risk, as women from 26 years upwards till menopause are 10 times much likely to suffer from these diseases than women below 25 years and women that have achieved menopause.

4. Years of menstrual Cycle
Women who start their menstrual period at early age, those that have late menopause, those that has never been pregnant and women that had their first pregnancy at a late age have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who had fewer years of menstrual cycle.

5. Hormone
Using Hormone replacement therapy [HRT] for more than 10 years increases the risk, also drugs used in fertility treatments such as In vitro fertilization [IVF] also increases the risk.

6. Lifestyle
Some certain life styles can increase the risk. Excessive fat or processed food consumption, alcohol abuse and the use of tobacco increases the risk.

7. Breast disease
Women that have suffered from breast disease before or had undergone a breast treatment has a greater risk of suffering from cancer disease.

8. Genetic
10% of breast cancer cases in Women are caused by an abnormality of one of this two genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2 which are inherited from either parent. These disease can be passed from parent on to their offspring without ever developing the disease themselves.

Foods that reduce the risk of Cancer
Following a healthy diet could help to reduce your risk of breast cancer and improve your immune system-
Pepper, green vegetables, berries, fruits, cooked tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, apples, pumpkin, grapes, oily fish.

Available Treatment for breast cancer disease
There are available treatment for breast cancer disease. A particular treatment could be administered based on how early the disease is detected or how much the cancer has spread in the breast.

1. Surgery
Surgery could be Lumpectomy, which is just the surgical removal of cancer lumps in the breast if the disease was discovered early or could be mastectomy, which is the total removal of the whole breast if the disease was discovered very late. The extent of the operation depends on the state of the disease and the position of the lump.

2. Radiotherapy
This treatment is usually advised for all women after a lumpectomy but is not usually required for women who have a mastectomy.

3. Chemotherapy
This is advised for many women, which is the use of drugs to kill off strains of cancer in the tissues and is usually given after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.

The fight against breast cancer is a tough one and difficult one, but with the right measures taken, a woman’s chances of been a victim will be greatly reduced and the fight although tough could eventually be won.

The good news is– breast cancer is real, but you can never be a victim if the right tips are applied.

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