We all know it is as some nasty extra growth that is found on a woman's breast that isn't appealing. Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells develop in the tissues of the breast.
According to the World Health Organization, it is the most common type of cancer among women and is the second leading cause of Cancer deaths among women.
There are no specific causes, but some risk factors have been identified.
Diagnoses of breast cancer is mainly by physical examination and mammography.
Breast cancer develops in stages, so treatment is based on the stage it has reached.
Despite the increased awareness and sensitivity towards the Breast Cancer prevalence, studies say it is expected that over 250,000 women are likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and about 40,000 will die.
This is to say, on the average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes and 1 woman will die every 13 minutes of the disease. And the case is worse for African American women (Black people) who record twice as much cases as their white counterparts.
Also, despite the rarity, an estimated 2,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 440 mortalities recorded.
Thankfully, there are over 5 Million Breast Cancer survivors living in the world today, showing that something can be done about it.
Increased awareness, Early detection and continually improving treatment options is key.
Like afore mentioned, there are identifiable risk factors of breast cancer, which could help in early detection. Some of these risk factors can be modified to reduce breast cancer risk like alcohol intake, others are not modifiable like age. Some others are inconclusive like deodorants while others are even more clearly defined like alcohol use.
Here's a list of factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer;
- Age – Majority of breast cancers occur between the age of 45 and 60
- Family history – having a close relative; mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer
- Personal history – previous diagnosis of breast cancer
- Early onset of menstruation
- Breast tissue – women with denser breasts may be at higher risk than women with less dense breasts.
- Race – White women are more likely to develop breast cancer, however black women are more likely to develop aggressive and more advanced-stage breast cancer
- Alcohol consumption – Indulging in alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer
- Use of Oral contraceptives
- Being overweight or Obese
- Genetic factors – Abnormalities of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes
- Exercise and also 18 to 24 months of breastfeeding may slightly lower the risk of breast cancer.
Don't hesitate to see a Doctor and get checked out. Especially if any of the above-mentioned risk factors concern you.
Do it today. The earlier the better, and together we can create a Breast cancer free tomorrow.