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Breast Cancer
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Sometimes having small breasts can make you feel as though breast cancer probably doesn't apply to you. We can feel as though small breasts are not worth bothering about so why bother to look after them, we may as well try to forget that they are there! But Breast cancer is not fussy and can affect anyone regardless of their breast size. Examining your breasts on a regular basis not only helps you notice any important changes but can actually lead to a better relationship with them too.

Due to greater knowledge of how cancer grows, more and more people that are diagnosed with breast cancer are cured. Over recent years the number of deaths from breast cancer has steadily fallen. There are three areas in which you can take action: -

1. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which, in turn reduces the risks;
2. By early detection and reporting this to your GP immediately;
3. By attending breast screening when you are sent an appointment (women aged 50-64 years)


A lump is always cancerous - WRONG
Breast lumps are often harmless, and although they are sometimes uncomfortable, they are not a hazard to your health. If, however, you do discover a lump, make an appointment with your GP to get it checked. Nine lumps out of ten are benign not malignant.

Men don't get breast cancer - WRONG
Breast cancer in men is rare, with approximately 300 men diagnosed in the UK each year. Research shows that men tend to be older than women at the time of diagnosis, with the majority being between 60-70 years of age.

The cancer will go away if I ignore my symptoms - WRONG
The earlier the detection, the greater chance of successful treatment. Ignoring the symptoms will result in the cancer spreading and becoming more dangerous.

Facts about Breast Cancer
Approximately one in eleven women in the UK, and one in nine women in the USA will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Each year in the UK around 35,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and 300 cases are diagnosed in men.

Breast cancer is the commonest single cause of death among women aged between 35-54 years.
80% of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

Don't Panic
Nine out of ten breast lumps are harmless.

More than 90% of women whose breast cancer is diagnosed and treated early with no spreading beyond the breast, will survive.

Early detection saves lives.

Thanks to treatment based on research there is a continuing decline in the mortality figures.

5-10% of breast cancers are believed to involve a hereditary factor;

Women with no children or late first pregnancies (aged 30+years) are more likely to develop breast cancer;

Risk also increases with early initial onset of menstruation or late menopause;

Diet can also be a risk factor. Research suggests that a poor diet that is high in fat can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. A low fat, healthy diet may therefore lower the risk;
Most of the factors affecting breast cancer development are still unknown. Overall, the survival rates for both men and women are about the same. It could be increased through greater awareness and early detection. If detected early, 95% of breast cancer sufferers will have a survival rate of 5 years or more. However, 70% of breast cancer cases are found in men and women with none of the risk factors. Therefore do not treat the absence of risk factors as a reason to ignore the symptoms.

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