Although awareness campaigns for breast cancer are done all year round, the month of October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise more attentiveness and educate individuals, usually women about breast cancer. Even though many great medical developments and advancements in its treatment have been made, there remains much to be accomplished in finding new ways to its treatment. Proper information dissemination and worldwide campaign is needed to alert more women about this deadly disease.
According to health experts, up to this time it is not clear what causes breast cancer. It most often occurs when breast cells begin to grow unusually forming a lump or a mass. These cells may metastasize throughout the breast or to the other parts of the body. Thus it is important for every woman to take charge of their own breast health.
Early diagnosis may provide the best chance of surviving the disease. It is necessary to check your breast periodically. Some changes and symptoms to notice are the following:
- a thickening mass or a lump that feels different especially if it exist in only one breast.
- An abnormal change in the shape or size in either one or both breast
- Redness, ulceration, crusting or inversion of the nipple
- Bloody or fluid discharge from the nipple even without squeezing
- Dimpling or redness around the breast skin
- an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.
Upon noticing any these changes, do not delay seeing your doctor. Some changes may not be due to the disease yet it is still important for us to make sure.
Diagnosis for breast cancer involves the triple test:
- clinical breast examination
- imaging tests such as mammogram or ultrasound
Below is an infographic from cdc.gov on risk factors of breast cancer.