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Breast Cancer - Tips For Early Detection

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Early detection of breast cancer offers the best chance for a cure. Breast cancer most commonly develops in cells from the lining of milk ducts and the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.

Breast cancer is when cancer develops from breast tissues. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin. There may also be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

Some factors that contribute to the development of breast cancer include obesity, lack of physical exercise, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, drinking alcohol, ionizing radiation, early age at first menstruation, and having children ate or not at all.

Some signs that you may have breast cancer are as follows: You may feel a lump in your breast - a part which may feel harder than the other parts of the breast or the other breast; ya pain in the breast or the armpit; a rash on or around the nipple; change in the size or shape of the breast; dimpling on the skin of the breast; swelling under the armpits; and inward or inverted nipple.

The diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed by taking a biopsy of the concerning lump. Once the diagnosis is made, further tests are done to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the breast and which treatments it may respond to.

The outcomes of breast cancer vary depending on the cancer type, extent of disease, and person's age. Survival rates in developed countries are high. In developing countries, survival rates are poorer. Breast cancer is more common in developed countries and is more than 100 times more common in women than in men.

When it comes to detection of breast cancer, a number of screening tests have been employed, including: clinical and self breast exams, mammography, genetic screening, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging.

A clinical or self breast exams involve feeling the breast for lumps or other abnormalities. Clinical breast exams are performed by health care providers, while self breast exams are performed by the persons themselves. These types of examinations are however not very effective and efficient. This is because, a lump that may have developed may not be large enough to be found by feeling with the hands. and by the time a lump is large enough to be found, it is likely to have been groeing for several years and thus soon to be large enough to be found without an exam.

Mammography involves the use of x-rays to examine the breast for any uncharacteristic masses or lumps. During this type of screening, the breast is compressed and a technician takes photos from multiple angles. A general mammogram takes photos of the entire breast, while a diagnostic mammogram focuses on a specific lump or area of concern. This screening is more efficient in detecting smaller lumps or abnormalities that might not be found by feeling with the hands.

It is advisable that women begin annual mammography screening at age 40. 

In addition to mammography, you could also have regular breast exams. It is advisable that women 40 and over should receive annual clinical breast exams. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a periodic health exam by a health professional at least every three years.

It is also advisable to know your risk. If you have family members who have had breast cancer, especially a mother or sister, and if they had breast cancer before reaching menopause, let your doctor know, as your own risk of cancer may be higher than average. Some women at high risk may be recommended for annual MRI in addition to mammography.

No one wishes for it, but it is good to take early detection tips so that you are not caught unawares, and so that it can be treated on time if detected.

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