Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide.
It affects both men and women, but more common in women in a ratio of 100:1. I in 12 Black women will have breast cancer
- Age: rare before 20 years. More common in those >40 years.
Gender: more common in women. Accounts for over 40% cancers in Nigerian women, and 1% in men
Prolonged exposure to estrogen as in early menarche, late menopause, nulliparity (childllessness) and and prolonged use of oral contraceptive pill (over 5 years)
Tobacco Smoking and alcohol consumption
Previous breast lump
What do you know about it?
Ok! I know you know it is currently the most common cancer in women.
But do you know you can detect it at its earliest stage, and continue with your life?
Long ago, it was thought to occur only in elderly women, but now studies have found it can occur at an earlier age in African women.
Breast cancer usually presents as a
- Painless lump in over 90% of the cases. do this is the reason why you should always examine your breast every month, as you may never know until it’s too late.
Blood stained Nipple discharge
Nipple changes like inversion, retraction
Ulceration of nipple and overlying skin
Lump in the armpit or arm etc
- SELF EXAMINATION. This simple method can help you detect breast cancer at its early stage, making prognosis very good.
How is this done?
- Ideally it should be done every month #(7days after your menstrual flow).
- Lying down face up (supine).
- The two breasts should be examined. ….checking for a lump including the areola/nipple area.
Don’t forget your #axilla (armpit). Yes, the breast can extend to that region in some women. It’s called Axillary tail. Lumps can be located in any part if the breast.
- This is recommended for every female from #20years. Yes! 20years.
- Any abnormality found should be reported to a Doctor.
However, if you have a relative who had breast cancer be it mother, aunt, sister, grandmother; in addition to Self breast examination, you should be examined by a Doctor every year.
- Prophylactictic mastectomy : this is the surgicsl removal of the breast to prevent cancer of the breast.
Angelina Jolie, the famous American actress and Academy Award winner, announced that doctors told her she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer because of a certain gene she was carrying. Shortly after that, Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy.
- Early marriage to ensure first pregnancy is achieved before the age of 30 years. First pregnancy after 30 years increases the risk of breast cancer.
No tobacco or alcohol consumption
Mammogram: Women with an average risk of breast cancer should undergo regular screening mammography starting at 45 years of age
Avoid sedentary lifestyle and exercise more often.
Forget all myths you heard about it, an early detection provides you an excellent chance of long term survival.