Important news For Breast Cancer

Breast cancer can affect one in eight women, and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, second only to lung cancer. There doesn’t seem to be any definitive prevention for breast cancer, but there are certain risk factors that make women susceptible, including age and genetics. Women with genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, or women that have family history of breast cancer, should get tested regularly.

A breast self-examination once a month is a good way to catch lumps before they become bigger problems. The best way to examine is to make note of nipple size, skin tone, and differences in size. Since most breasts can already feel lumpy, look for lumps that are not regularly on the breast, or if there is thickening around the nipple. Breasts should be checked with three fingers in a clockwise motion, both standing and lying on your side. Check the whole breast area, including under the breasts and up to the armpits.

A mammogram can also detect breast cancer, and screening is recommended yearly for women over 35. It’s an x-ray that scan the breast tissue to detect cysts and tumors, or abnormalities in tissue.

If breast cancer is found, there are treatments available, including surgery to remove tissue or cysts, chemotherapy, radiation therapy to kill the cancer cells or anti-estrogen therapy. Treatments depend on the stage the cancer is in, and also on the patient’s comfort level – not all treatments are good for all types of breast cancer.

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