Usually, not getting routine screening for breast cancer or late-stage diagnosis leads to poor chances of recovery and survival after the treatment. On the other hand, getting to know the risk factors, what you can do about them, and how to get yourself screened for it can make all the difference.
This October – breast cancer awareness month – make a pledge that you’ll educate yourself and your loved ones because it can help save lives.
Read on to know more.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when cells in your breasts start to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. This leads to the formation of a lump or a mass that can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
It can start in one or both of your breasts and malignant tumors can even break apart and spread to the surrounding organs if left untreated.
Common Risk Factors And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer In Women
Although pinpointing the exact causes of breast cancer can be quite difficult, here are a few things that can increase your likelihood of developing it:
- Women (Yes, men can get breast cancer too but the risk is quite low as compared to women)
- Family history of breast cancers
- Sedentary lifestyle
Different women tend to show different symptoms, while some can also remain asymptomatic – until it’s too late. Here are some of them:
- Lump in the breast or underarm.
- Any physical change in the size and shape of your normal breasts.
- Inverted or painful nipples
- Thickening or swelling in the breast
- Strange discharge (blood, etc.) from the nipples
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
Learning about breast cancer, talking with your healthcare provider, and spreading breast cancer awareness in your circle might help in preventing new cases, as well as protecting those who are already at high risk.
4 Reasons Why Breast Cancer Awareness Is Important
At Mason Park Medical Clinic, we understand that breast cancer awareness saves lives. Here are 4 reasons why:
1. Breast Cancer Is More Common Than You Think It Is
It is estimated that 1 in every 8 women can develop breast cancer while 1 in every 30 cases of breast cancer can result in death.
Having a family history of breast cancer can also increase your risk of developing it by 15%. On the other hand, 50% of all diagnosed cases are found in women who are over 60 years, which means the risk will continue to increase as you get older.
2. Breast Cancer Awareness = Early Detection
According to the American Cancer Society, early detection of breast cancer cases can increase the 5-year (after the diagnosis) survival rate by 99%.
One of the ways to detect breast cancer is Mammograms (breast X-rays) which can help in early detection and treatment initiation before the disease progresses and gets out of hand. To put this into perspective, women who get routine mammograms (as compared to those who don’t) are 10 to 25% less likely to die due to breast cancer.
3. It Can Help You Protect Your Loved Ones
Breast cancer can become untreatable if it progresses to its later stages or spreads to other surrounding organs.
Therefore, knowing about it and educating your family can motivate them to get help before it gets too late.
4. It Can Help You Understand Your Personal Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer
Breast cancer awareness, routine exams, and visits to your healthcare provider can help you understand your personal risk of developing breast cancer over the course of your life – and how you can reduce it.
Breast cancer can have a huge impact not only on the one suffering from it, but also on their family members. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the plausible risk factors of breast cancer, alter your lifestyle, and continue to educate others around you.
At Mason Park Medical Clinic, Katy, TX we care about our patients, and since October is breast cancer awareness month, we recommend that all women who are aged 50 and overcome in for a breast cancer screening (mammogram).
Book a consultation now.