Cancer that starts in the breast is known as breast cancer. However, from there, it can spread to other parts of the body in the form of metastases. It can occur in both men and women. However, it is more common in women.
Early detection of breast cancer can lead to better outcomes. Therefore, all women above the age of 20 should self examine their breasts for any changes and those above the age of 45 should get under regular test screening.
Having a family history of breast cancer can increase the risk for you too. Therefore you must take extra care if your mother or sister or any other family member has a history of breast cancer. You must observe your breast closely. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you must visit an oncologist in Lahore.
What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer are:
- A lump in the breast
- Thickening of the skin that is different from the surrounding skin
- Change in the shape and size of the breast
- Nipple inversion
- Dimpling of skin
- Peeling, flaking, or crusting of breast or the area around the nipple
- Pigmentation of breast
- Pitting, redness, and the warm sensation of breast skin
What are the risk factors for Breast Cancer?
- Breast cancer can occur in anyone. But the factors that can increase its risk are:
- Female gender- women are more at risk of developing breast cancer as compared to men.
- Age- as the age increases, the risk for breast cancer increases.
- The previous history- having a previous history of breast conditions such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast, can put you at increased risk of breast cancer.
- History of breast cancer- if you have a history of breast cancer in one breast, the risk of it in the second breast increases.
- Family history- having a family history of breast cancer can increase the risk of breast cancer for you. If your mother or sister had it at a young age, you might be at risk. However, not all cases of breast cancer have a family history.
- Inherited genes- parents may pass on some mutated genes to their offspring, which can increase the risk of cancer in them. Most commonly, those genes are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. They can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancers for you. However, that does not necessarily mean that you will get cancer.
- Radiation exposure- if you have got radiation exposure to the chest, it can lead to breast cancer.
- Obesity- Having too much weight can increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Periods at a young age- girls who get periods at the age younger than 12 are at increased risk of breast cancer.
- Menopause at an older age- women who get menopause at a late age are at increased risk of breast cancer. It happens because their body remains in exposure to estrogen for a long period of time.
- Giving birth at old age- women who give birth to their first child at the age of 30 or after that are at increased risk of breast cancer.
- Never being pregnant- women who have never got pregnant are at increased risk of breast cancer compared to those who have had two or three pregnancies.
- Postmenopausal therapy- for the control of postmenopausal symptoms, the healthcare providers often prescribe therapy that contains estrogen and progesterone. It can increase the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, it should be taken in the lowest possible dose for the lowest possible time.
- Alcohol- women who consume more than one glass of alcohol in a day are at increased risk of breast cancer.
The bottom line
Early detection of breast cancer can lead to its treatment. It is only possible through regular checkups, self-examinations, and screening. If you have breast cancer, you can visit an oncologist in Karachi.