Breast Cancer – Risk factors, Signs and symptoms In Women
Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. The vast majority of breast cancer cases occur in females; hence our focus on this article will be on breast cancer in women. According to Medical New Today, Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females worldwide. It accounts for 16% of all female cancers and 22.9% of invasive cancers in women. 18.2% of all cancer deaths worldwide, including both males and females, are from breast cancer.
Dr Kingsley Ndoh from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, Seattle, Washington, on a visit in Nigeria, described causes of cancer globally as 25% infectious diseases, 25% hereditary genetics, 25% environmental/behavioral factors and while 25% are unknown. He explained that having a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy weight, eating right, not smoking can reduce the chances of developing cancer.
Risk factors for developing breast cancer
This includes being female, obesity, lack of physical exercise, drinking alcohol, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, ionizing radiation, early age at first menstruation, having children late or not at all, older age, and family history.
Signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer in Women
Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of breast health. Finding breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance of successful treatment.
- A Lump that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue. More than 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass or lump or breast change checked by a health care provider experienced in diagnosing breast diseases. Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt.
Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
For comprehensive screening, please visit this article Cancer Screening Centers in Nigeria.