Breast Cancer: Prevention, Early Signs & Cure
Did You Know?
0.5-1% of breast cancers occur in men.
Breast cancer can affect men too! Although rare, men too can get breast cancer, contrary to the widespread notion that this form of cancer only affects women.
According to Globocan 2020 report, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females and males, about 21.4%. Additionally, it affected 38.8% of females of all ages in the UAE in 2020.
October is designated as the Pink month of support and awareness about breast cancer. Dedicated to those affected by this deadly disease, the world comes out to show solidarity with everyone impacted.
In 2020, nearly 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide, and an estimated 685000 people lost their lives due to this deadly disease.
Let’s take a look at all the breast cancer symptoms.
Early Signs & Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
- Lump or swelling in the breast or armpit
- Redness or flaky skin in the breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
- Nipple discharge
- Nipple pulling inward
- Pain in the nipple area
- Nipple discharge (blood discharge or anything other than breast milk)
Breast cancer symptoms may vary, and some may remain asymptomatic as well. Even though it is not yet ascertained what causes breast cancer, lifestyle factors and family history have a crucial role to play.
Let’s dig deep and know what can help prevent or may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
How To Avoid Breast Cancer
- Routine physical activity
- Maintain healthy weight
- Avoid smoking
- Control alcohol intake
- Limit or avoid menopausal hormonal therapy
- Be aware of family history
- Increase Breastfeeding
The Ministry of Health & Prevention recently launched a national breast cancer awareness campaign emphasizing the significance of early detection of breast cancer.
The ministry has designated locations to conduct breast cancer screening tests. Women have been screened at:
- The University of Sharjah
- Sharjah Mega Mall
- Ajman City Center
- City Walk Dubai
- The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
The ministry continues to emphasize the importance of early breast cancer screening and offer prevention advice.
But the question is, is breast cancer curable?
The answer is Yes if detected early. It only becomes more complicated when it begins to spread.
According to the National Cancer Registry (NCR) statistics, breast cancer accounted for 11.6% of cancer deaths in 2019—one of the most common diseases and a leading cause of death worldwide.
In the UAE, breast cancer caused 222 deaths in 2020, followed by lung cancer.
Ways To Detect Breast Cancer
Mammograms are generally used for breast cancer screening and give doctors a better view of the lumps and other associated problems. In case the doctor detects any abnormality during the screening mammogram, the expert may recommend a further diagnostic mammogram for a more detailed analysis. A “mammogram” device detects breast cancer in 40+ women.
A breast ultrasound is not typically a screening test and is carried out to check if the abnormality detected is a cyst filled with fluid or a solid tumor. It uses high-energy sound waves to make computer pictures of the breast.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is not carried out as a screening test for women who are at lesser risk of breast cancer.
MRI makes detailed breast pictures with the help of radio waves and strong magnets.
A biopsy is recommended if the mammogram suggests suspicion.
The doctor takes a sample of breast tissue or fluid and sends it to the lab for further diagnosis. A breast biopsy is performed to check whether the suspicious area is cancerous.
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