In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, beautiful Breast Cancer survivors, and pink- ribbon angels.
As obvious as this sounds, cancer is not something to play around with. As stated in the National Cancer Institute, cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2012, there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million-related deaths worldwide. This disease is not limited to anyone; cancer can occur at any age, race, and gender. According to NCI, there are more than 100 types of cancers. Although all are equally important, there are cancers that are more common than others. An example of a common cancer is breast cancer.
BREAST CANCER: WHAT IS IT?
For those who don’t know, breast cancer is a type of disease where cells in the breast begin to grow out of the control. These uncontrollable cells start forming a tumor, creating a lump in the breast. According to the American Cancer Society, most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk into the nipple (which are known as ‘ductal cancers’). However, the cancer can form in several parts of the breast. Breast cancer can also start in the glands that make breast milk (also known as ‘lobular cancer’) or other tissues of the breast.
HOW COMMON IS BREAST CANCER?
As stated on the American Cancer Society website, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. The website indicates that in 2017, about 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. Statistics also show that breast cancer is more common in Caucasian and African-American women, compared to other races. However, this does not mean that every Caucasian and African-American women will have breast cancer while other races of women are safe from the disease. All women should be conscious of signs and symptoms.
SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER
There are various signs of breast cancer; the most common symptom is a hard lump on the breast. Though this is an important sign to look out for, there are other symptoms to be conscious of. Other symptoms of breast cancer includes the following:
Swelling, redness, or darkening of the breast
Change in size or shape of breasts
Nipples turning inward
Nipple discharge (something other than milk)
Sharp pain in one spot of breast
If you experience these symptoms, please seek attention from a health care professional.
DECREASE YOUR CHANCES OF BREAST CANCER
There are various ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Although many risk factors (such as family history and being female) are beyond one’s control, there are circumstances that can be changed and lower your chances of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, experts formulated ways to decrease your risk:
Establish and maintain a healthy weight.
Be physically active
It is also imperative to be conscious of your health. If you regularly received breast exams, visit your health care provider, and lead a healthy lifestyle, it is less likely to obtain breast cancer.