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Pink October - All You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

Pink October - All You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on Oct 23 2022 7:47 PM
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Highlights:
  • Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer
  • Timely diagnosis can prevent it from spreading to other body parts
  • October is marked as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness about breast cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed every October, aims to increase public understanding of the effects of breast cancer (1 Trusted Source
About Breast Cancer

Go to source
). Since the 1990s, October has been known as 'Pink October' because people all over the world wear pink and show a pink ribbon to promote breast health and the value of screening for the early diagnosis of breast cancer, which is currently the most often diagnosed cancer in the world (2 Trusted Source
Breast cancer resources

Go to source
).

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What is Breast Cancer

The most common type of cancer is breast cancer. Unchecked cell proliferation is the hallmark of breast cancer. It is one of the curable cancer types. It can also spread to other body parts, making it a potentially fatal disease if not caught in time.

Women worldwide, both in developed and developing nations, are affected by breast cancer. Although it can happen at any age, women over 40 are prone to it. 25% to 31% of all malignancies in women in India are breast cancers. The average age at which breast cancer develops has also changed significantly. It is not uncommon to see women between 30 to 50 years being diagnosed with breast cancer.


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Risk Factors of Breast Cancer

  1. Family history: Breast cancer risk is higher in women whose mothers or siblings had the disease.
  2. Breast lumps: Women who have experienced non-cancerous breast lumps of any kind are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  3. Breast tissue density: Women with dense breast tissue are more likely to get breast cancer.
  4. Age: Older Women have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
  5. Unhealthy lifestyle: Women who smoke, eat a high-fat diet and drink alcohol have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  6. Radiation exposure: Repeated exposure to CT scans and X-rays may increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.
  7. Obesity: Women who are overweight are more likely to develop breast cancer.
  8. Estrogen exposure: Breast cancer risk is higher in women who began menstruating earlier or entered menopause later than usual. It is due to their body's estrogen exposure for a prolonged period.

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Signs of Breast Cancer

  1. Change in the size or shape of the breast
  2. Lump or thickening in the breast
  3. Redness or a rash on or around the nipple
  4. Discharge from the nipple
  5. Constant pain in breast or armpit
  6. Inverted nipple or change in its shape or position
  7. Change in the skin texture of the breast

Prevention of Breast Cancer

  1. Self-examination: It is crucial to check your breasts for yourself. Women need to be aware of how their breasts typically feel and look. If you notice any changes, see a doctor.
  2. Regular mammograms: Women who are close to 40 years old should have a mammogram. Mammography is a straightforward radiographic method that aids in finding breast tissue anomalies.
  3. Healthy lifestyle: Including fruits and vegetables in your diet might help you maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Breastfeeding: It is advised for new mothers to breastfeed their infant for at least a year.
  5. Avoid addictions: Avoid excessive alcohol or smoking.

Busting Breast Cancer Myths

Myth: Any lump in the breast is always breast cancer.
Fact:: Malignant breast lumps are rare. However, always seek medical advice for a clinical breast exam if there is a persistent lump in the breast or any change in the breast tissue.

Myth: You will also get breast cancer if you have a family history.
Fact: Less than 10% of those with breast cancer have a family history of the illness. Many female cancer patients have no known family history.

Myth: Breast cancer is contagious.
Fact: Breast cancer is a non-contagious illness brought on by the breast tissue's unchecked cell development.

References:
  1. About Breast Cancer - (https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month/)
  2. Breast cancer resources - (https://www.uicc.org/what-we-do/thematic-areas-work/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-awareness-month)


Source-Medindia


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