Breast cancer is a serious condition that affects both men and women – but is more common with the latter. According to a report by ABS-CBN published in 2011, around 3 of every 100 Filipinas is susceptible to breast cancer while 1 out of 100 might perish because of this disease. The same report also said that the Philippines has the most cases of breast cancer in all of Asia – with a very low survival rate.
The cancer occurs when abnormal growth in the cells in the breast begin to show. These cancer cells divide faster than normal – creating lumps or tumors.
Here are some of the symptoms associated with this type of cancer.
1. Changes in appearance of the breast (size, shape)
2. Strange new lumps that appear as you feel them
3. Noticeable change in the skin – pitting of the skin, sometimes crusting or peeling on the areola
4. Nipple suddenly inverting
5. Strange discharge coming from the nipple
There are two kinds of tumors which may occur on a breast:
1. Benign – This type of tumor doesn’t grow or spread throughout the body
2. Malignant – A cancerous tumor that spreads throughout the body
According to the same report by ABS-CBN, this are the risk factors that contribute to breast cancer:
1. Women (Especially those aged 40 and above)
2. Family history of cancer
3. Those who use oral contraceptives or Hormone Replacement Therapy
4. Those exposed to radiation as a part of therapy
5. Obese people
6. Smokers and drinkers
7. Those with a Vitamin D deficiency
8. Those who work at night
9. Those who are often exposed to chemicals
How to evaluate yourself for any signs of breast cancer:
1. Face a mirror, straighten your shoulders and place your arms at the sides. Check for any visible changes on your breasts.
2. Lift your arms and see if any other noticeable changes appear
3. Check if your nipples are discharging any liquid (may look like water, milky or have traces of blood)
4. Lie on your back and check each breast with the opposite hand (Left hand on Right breast, Right hand on Left Breast)
5. Sit up or stand up and double check
It’s always a good idea to seek the advice of your doctors – especially if you suspect you may be afflicted with breast cancer.
What can you say about this insightful look into breast cancer? Leave your reactions, thoughts and comments below!