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
3. By attending breast screening when you are sent an
appointment (women aged 50-64 years)
A lump is always cancerous
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.
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
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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