October Breast Cancer Awareness
October is time to cast our attention toward breast cancer awareness.
Although we have come a long way in Australia in assisting women to be aware of any changes to their breast health, the sobering facts remain that out of 18,235 new cases of breast cancer being diagnosed in 2018, 18,087 are female and 148 will be male.
It is estimated that the number of deaths from breast cancer in 2018 will be 3,157. 3,128 females and 28 males.
How does breast cancer begin? Breast cancer starts when abnormal cells begin growing and attacking healthy cells and breast tissue. If an area of the body has unhealthy cells within it, it can then metastasise to other areas of the body.
Once these cells grow and cluster enough to forms lumps the malignancy can turn to tumours that also cause damage to the breast.
Globally, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer for women. Irrespective of our modern way of life or where women are, breast cancer still drastically changes the lives of women with sometimes devastating affects for those that pass away and their families.
The role of early detection and pinpointing genetic factors form a strong defence in minimising the chance of a breast cancer diagnosis.
What to look out for:
a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
a change in the size or shape of your breast
a change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
a nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.
The introduction of regular testing and advertising promoting breast cancer awareness has also played a role in combating this form of cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer or notice any changes to the shape of your breast, see your doctor or attend a breast screening clinic for peace of mind.