Keeping Abreast with Essential Breast Cancer Facts & Figures
Skin O2 cares about your overall health and well-being, Skinlovers! Since both Australia and Dubai are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, we are giving you facts and tips about breast cancer – from symptoms to early detection. Be in the pink of health for yourself and your loved ones!
According to the CDC, breast cancer is the fifth biggest cause of death among all cancers, globally and for both sexes (6% of all cancer deaths; 522,000 people). In 2012, it comprised 12% of all cancers diagnosed, with a total of 1.7 million people affected. For women, it remains the number one cause of cancer (25% of diagnosed cancer cases).
Signs & Symptoms
Abnormal growth or mass is the most common symptom of breast cancer – and it is, more often than not, painless. It is high time to really take a close look at your breasts to be familiarised with their normal appearance. By making breast checking part of your routine, you will be aware of any changes that could be cause for alarm, no matter how small. Here are some noticeable signs 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
- Nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
- Change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
- An unusual pain that doesn’t go away
However, don’t immediately launch into a full panic attack if you happen to see any of these changes. They might be caused by other factors, such as hormonal imbalance. Still, it is important to visit your doctor for a check-up when you catch these.
Common Causes of Breast Changes
- Hormonal Changes: This may lead to the breasts feeling swollen, painful or tender at different times in the menstrual cycle.
- Fibroadenomas: These are smooth and firm breast lumps that are fibrous or glandular in nature, and are common among younger women. These are the culprit behind painful swelling and tenderness before getting your period. They are not cancerous but if you want them treated, a simple operation will do.
- Cysts: Cysts are sacs that contain fluid, commonly found in women aged 35 to 50. Women may have cysts and not know them, but once they become painful lumps, they must be drained or aspirated. There are some cysts that do not evolve into cancer, but there are also others with cancer cells growing within or beside them.
Mammograms are simply X-ray examinations to detect and evaluate any changes in the breast. For women 40 years old and above, it is suggested to have this every two years or upon your doctor’s recommendation; however for women below 40 years of age, it is not that effective because breasts at this stage are dense, making it difficult to see any suspicious mass. BreastScreen Australia offers free screening mammograms every two years for women in the country aged 40 years and over.
Women don’t need to fall prey to breast cancer. With regular self-checks and early intervention, cancer survival is very likely. Between 1994 and 2011, the mortality rate already decreased by 30% and figures have never been more positive. So share away, Skinlover! Make a difference and save lives.
Skin O2 is proud to be part of Label Magazine’s Pink Lunch Bazaar! Attend this fun event and make a difference — 100% of raffle proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research. For more information and tickets, click here.