Cancer, hylery

Did you know? Some Breast Cancer facts…

Breast Cancer

The last two weeks I’ve profiled Kanitha’s Breast Cancer journey. If you missed it, you can read it here and over there.

Like many, finding a cancerous lump in her breast was the last thing in her mind. When she found the lump she had it checked out immediately.

Sadly, it was cancerous.

Fortunately, she didn’t ignore the lump when she first found it, neither should you. Whether you’re a woman or man, if you find a lump around your breast area, go have it checked out.

According to CANSAΒ Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women in South Africa. It is the growth of a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the breast.

Some other facts …

  • Regardless of the size of the lump you find, have your breast check
  • Breast Cancer doesn’t only affect middle-aged women
  • 1 in 922 men faces risk of breast cancer
  • alcohol use increases a risk
  • a family history of breast cancer increases your risk, but all women run a risk
  • women who have never had children or have them after age 30 increase a risk
  • men exposed to ionising radiation around the breast area
  • men that have elevated female hormone, oestrogen
  • history of breast cancer in their family

If you detect the breast cancer early there shouldn’t be any visible symptoms, but as the untreated tumour grows and progresses through its different stages it may change the way your breast looks or feel :

WOMEN

  • your breast may change its shape or size
  • your nipple becomes inverted
  • your nipple may give out an abnormal discharge
  • your breast area swells, become scaly

MENBreast Cancer

  • lump beneath the nipple
  • swelling of the breast
  • skin around the breast changes
  • nipple may become red and the nipple may invert
  • clear discharge from the nipple
  • a lump under the arm

Reduce your risk of cancer :

  • go for annual mammograms from age 40, from age 20 women should begin self-exam
  • go for regular screenings
  • have regular breast self-examinations

Should you find a lump the breast cancer tests include :

  • a mammogram that allows the doctor to check the abnormal growths or change in your breast tissue
  • ultrasound scan lets the doctor know if the lump is a cyst or a solid mass
  • biopsy of the sample tissue cell that is taken from the breast and tested
  • breast MRI
  • sentinel node biopsy to confirm if cancer has spread into the lymph system
  • ductal lavage checks cells from the milk ducts for pre-cancerous cells

Clicks are currently, for the month of October Β Breast Cancer Month, offering FREE breast exams for patients without medical aid. CANSA has a mobile Health Clinic that does screenings in communities too, and they have this awesome page that covers some great facts.

If you find a lump, whether you’re a man or a woman around the breast area, contact your doctor and have it checked out. Cancer is a serious disease!

HKL

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