Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women and it's currently the largest diagnosed cancer for women in the US. The craziest thing is that researches still aren't exactly sure what causes it other than some generic factors such as obesity, history, and factors that affect hormones like age you had your period, whether or not you had kids, and age where you start menopause.
The reason why it is so common and hard to detect is because for most girls, breasts are naturally lumpy and do go through small changes because of our hormone changes so it can be hard to determine an abnormal bump even at home.
Although breast cancer is quite common, due to early dectection methods and better treatment we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older.
Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and from less doctors prescribing hormone replacement therapy drugs for women after menopause.
The best chances for a high survival is to detect possible signs of breast cancer early so it can be treated.
at least 44% of all breast cancers are discovered from a self breast exam.
Early detection signs include:
- Feeling any small lumps in breast tissue
- Difference in size of breasts
- Textured skin or enlarged pores around breast.
- Discharge coming from the nipple
- Dimpling on the breast
- Itchy, Red, or Scaly Skin
To best protect yourself from breast cancer you should get your annual physical. If you feel uncomfortable, you can look for a female doctor and they may be able to detect something that you may miss if you perform self breast exams at home.
Right now, researchers don't know exactly what causes breast cancer yet, but they do think that the hormones estrogen and progesterone play a role in activating certain genes that contribute to breast cancer.
Men can also get breast cancer too however it's not nearly as common for men.
Get your checkups and perform monthly self examinations a week after your period. Waiting a week is recommended since breasts can naturally be more lumpy and tender during and right before your monthly cycle starts.
If you notice anything unusual, make an appointment with your doctor who can diagnose you. There are other conditions that may mimic the symptoms of breast cancer so it's best to get it checked out and properly treated.