Health Care

What is Breast Cancer?
It is important to note that there are individual who develop breast cancer and it is hard to identify any risk factor to blame. This means that we all need to be always aware of the health of our breast by doing regular self breast exam and screening.

Breast Cancer is a cancer that starts in the breast. When advanced, it can present in other parts of the body especially the backbone, lungs and liver.

How common is breast cancer and who can develop the disease?
 Breast Cancer is a very common cancer throughout the world affecting predominantly women, one in every one hundred cases is a man.
 In African women it commonly develops at an earlier age but often they present late when the disease has spread.

What causes breast cancer?
The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown but it is associated with the following;
Genetic predisposition; breast cancer has age responsible for it's development
Age; the older one becomes the more likely she/he is to develop breast cancer.
Child bearing; women who have their first pregnancy beyond 40 years of age are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer Not breast feeding; women who do not breast feed their children increase their risk of developing breast cancer.
Diet rich in fat.

Obesity and
Lack of exercise.
It is important to note that there are individual who develop breast cancer and it is hard to identify any risk factor to blame. This means that we all need to be always aware of the health of our breast by doing regular self breast exam and screening.

How can one know they have breast cancer?
Symptoms and Signs of breast cancer
The following may be present when one is developing/ has developed breast cancer;
 Lump (Swelling) in the breast. Most swellings in breasts especially in ladies in their teens and twenties are not cancer but it is always important to know what any swelling in the breast is.
 Swelling in the arm pit.
 Change in breast size
 Skin dimpling (orange peel skin appearance)
 Nipple inversion or sunken nipple
 Spontaneous single nipple discharge, especially when bloody.
 Breast pain. In breast cancer pain is usually a symptom of advanced disease.
 Breast ulcer (developing a wound on the breast with a swelling).

Peu d'orange (Orange peel appearance of the skin of the breast with breast cancer)

How can breast cancer be detected?
Self breast exam; you can initiate detection of breast cancer yourself!
Clinical breast Exam; a medical person can examine you to detect breast cancer.

Breast ultra sound scan can be done to identify abnormalities in that could be cancer.Mammography is done to identify breast abnormalities that could be cancer. If above 35 years of age and at more than average risk e.g. positive personal or family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or colon cancer, a baseline mammography is advised.
 Biopsy and histology to confirm the disease. This is a must! All cancer diagnosis is confirmed by testing the tissue in question
How is breast cancer treated?
 Surgery; An operation is done to remove the swelling, part of the breast or the whole breast
 Radiotherapy; the body part with breast cancer is exposed to radiation to treat the cancer.
 Drugs; given by injection or tablets to treat the cancer

Things to remember!
 Breast cancer is curable if discovered and treated early
 The most effective way of discovering breast cancer early is Self Breast Exam. Make sure you check your breasts at least once a month, 8 days after your period.
 Early treatment can prevent death!
 Anyone can develop breast cancer. EVEN MEN!

Ulcerated fungating breast cancer tumor

 

 

 

 

 

 

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