The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) that is done annually with the intention to educate people about the importance of early screening, test and more. Here are some facts that some of you may or may not know about breast cancer, so read on, get enlightened because you can potentially save yourself one day with your new found knowledge.
1. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women
Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the second most common cancer overall. There were more than 2 million new cases reported in 2018 alone. The top 25 countries with the highest rates of breast cancer in 2018 are countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France and Malaysia.
2. A lump doesn’t always signify the presence of cancer
A lump in the breast is the most recognizable and acknowledged sign of breast cancer, so many women often get alarmed when they feel a mass on their breasts. Do note that most lumps are not cancerous. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. Other possible symptoms of breast cancer can include itchiness of the breast, redness or swelling, puckering of the skin, and changes in the nipple.
3. Men can get breast cancer too
You may be thinking men don’t have (much) breasts, so how can they get breast cancer? The truth is whether you’re a male or female, we are all born with some breast cells and tissue. Nonetheless, breast cancer in men indeed is a rare disease, there is only one in a thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer. Although the chances are relatively low, it’s still important for men to be breast aware, particularly those with a family history or genetic mutation.
4. Lifestyle factors matter
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Certain breast cancer risk factors are related to personal behaviours, such as diet and exercise. Leading a healthy lifestyle can indeed help lower your risk of breast cancer. A new study found convincing evidence that eating a healthy diet, exercising, limiting alcohol, cut down smoking and maintaining a healthy weight all reduced the risks.
5. Early detection will not always lead to 100% recovery
Although early detection to breast cancer is associated to a better prognosis, it is not a guaranteed cure. Until there is a cure for breast cancer, early detection practices like mammograms, clinical breast exams, and breast self-exams are some of the most important ways to catch breast cancer early which leads to higher survival rates. Breast cancer is often discovered when the symptoms appear, but many women with breast cancer don’t always show apparent symptoms. This is why regular breast cancer screening is so important.
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