The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. So it’s important to check your breasts regularly and see your GP if you notice a change.
Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – you might feel the lump but not see it
- A change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
- A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
- A change to the nipple, for example it has become pulled in (inverted)
- Rash or crusting around the nipple
- Any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple
- Changes in size or shape of the breast
Lifestyle reasons creating chance for breast cancer
Certain breast cancer risk factors are related to personal behaviors, such as diet and exercise. Other lifestyle-related risk factors include decisions some of them are
1. Drinking Alcohol
The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Women who have 1 alcoholic drink a day have a small (about 7% to 10%) increase in risk compared with non-drinkers, while women who have 2 to 3 drinks a day have about a 20% higher risk than non-drinkers. Alcohol is linked to an increased risk of other types of cancer, too.
2. Birth Control
Oral Contraceptives or Birth Control shots : Most studies have found that women using birth control pills or shots have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than women who have never used them.
3. Hormone Therapy After Menopause
Hormone therapy with estrogen (often combined with progesterone) has been used for many years to help relieve symptoms of menopause and help prevent osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Use of combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer. This increase in risk is typically seen after about 4 years of use. Combined HT also increases the likelihood that the cancer may be found at a more advanced stage.
How Can I Reduce the risk For Breast Cancer?
For women who are known to be at increased risk for breast cancer, follow the below steps,
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight
- Genetic counseling and testing for breast cancer risk
As with any cancer, early detection and treatment are major factors in determining the outcome. Breast cancer is easily treated and usually curable when detected in the earliest of stages. Whether you’re concerned about breast pain or tenderness, it’s important to stay informed on risk factors and warning signs of breast cancer.
The best way to fight breast cancer is early detection. Talk to your doctor about when you should start scheduling regular mammograms.