This is the leading cause of cancer deaths among females. It is a very dangerous type of cancer, especially if not detected early. It is however diagnosed in stages. So to reduce the mortality rate, there’s a need for awareness about the symptoms and screening processes. Though breast cancer symptoms here will be focusing on females, it does occur in males too once in a blue moon.
One of the symptoms of breast cancer that is noticed in most cases is the thickening of the tissue in the breast and armpit (mostly because the breast and armpit share the same lymphatic drainage).
Peau d’orange appearance (means skin of an orange). Though having this discoloration on the skin of the rest of the body isn’t alarming, it’s presence on the breast calls for the urgent attention of your doctor. Swelling results in this abnormality because the dermis of the skin is forced to expand in order to accumulate fluid.
Bleeding from the nipple or a disgusting discharge from the nipples.
A sunken or inverted nipple, scaling, flaking, peeling and itching of the entire breast.
*Presence of a lump, though sometimes it doesn’t represent cancer. Nevertheless, having a lump checked by a medical professional is safer.
*Lastly, a sudden noticeable change in the size or shape of the breast.
Just like how it is very important to know the symptoms of breast cancer, learning about the risk factors can’t be over-emphasized also. Because these factors make it more likely for breast cancer to develop, but the good news is…some of them can be avoided.
History of Breast Cancer or lumps
Cancer cells have a way of reoccurring even after treatment. So all we’re saying is those with a history of breast cancer or any other form of cancer-like: Fallopian tube cancers, ovarian cancer, and peritoneal cancer are at a higher risk of having breast cancer.
Breastfeeding (Drop in estrogen exposure)
So whenever there’s a rise in estrogen levels in the body for a period of time, it actually leads to high chances of breast cancer occurrences. This can be as a result of the commencement of the menstrual cycle at an early age and going into menopause late.
Breastfeeding babies over the period of 12 months greatly reduced estrogen exposure hereby reducing the risks of breast cancer.
High sugar and cholesterol intake lead to obesity. Obesity after menopause also raises the estrogen levels of the body leading to breast cancer.
According to a lot of researches and studies, black women and African- American women have a higher risk of developing cancer more than white women.
Another study shows that the reason for this is because of the inaccessibility to health care facilities. Difficulty in accessing a quality healthcare facility leads to late detection of breast cancer in the black community making both survival and treatment difficult.
Radiation and hormonal treatment
Exposure to radiation for the purpose of treating a different kind of cancer can lead to breast cancer later in life. Taking Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy like estrogen-progesterone therapy also leads to the likelihood of having breast cancer.
Among other risk factors are alcohol consumption, age and genetics