October has become almost synonymous with the color pink, even more commonly known as “Pinktober”. It is the month that the majority of women undergo tests and screening for breast cancer. The more knowledge and education are provided regarding breast cancer, the greater the chances are to detect it at its early stages and the better the possibilities are to prevent its spread and receive life-saving treatments.
Breast cancer is the disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the breast. According to the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer among women, and “one in eight women is at risk to get breast cancer throughout her lifetime.” As alarming as that figure is, it is also essential to keep in mind that 90% of early stage breast cancer patients are survivors.
The following is a list of signs and symptoms that women ought to look out for and seek medical attention to with utmost urgency:
- Any tumor or mass in the breast
- Any change in the breast skin, such as redness
- Any tumor under the axilla
- Any change in the form of the breast or nipple
- Any abnormal liquid secretion from the nipple, or a liquid that contains blood
- Any incurable ulceration on the skin or nipple
Risk factors may also include hereditary breast cancer case(s), ageing, and an unbalanced or unhealthy pattern of life and nutrition.
Even without showing any of the symptoms, women are advised to have a medical examination by a health professional at least once a year. Regular self-examination and having an annual clinical breast exam and mammography for women over the age of twenty can go a long way in detecting warning signs and receiving the appropriate treatments.