“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world.” World Health Organization
You don’t have to find lumps to have breast cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among women throughout the world. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing globally, particularly in developing countries where early detection programs are limited or non-existent.
One of the problems with breast cancer detection is that people most often assume that the only symptom of this disease is lumps. While lumps detected in the breast generally encourage women to see their doctor, other irregular breast symptoms are often overlooked or not brought to the attention of a medical practitioner right away.
Breast cancer can show itself in various symptoms, and not all of which are localized to the chest region. Here are some of the symptoms that were documented in a study recently published by the English National Audit of Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care: Lumps, nipple abnormalities, breast pain, breast skin irregularities, ulcers in breast tissue, breast, infections, lumps in the armpit, back pain, muscle pain, and difficulty breathing.
The most common reproductive factors that increase the chance of developing this illness include getting early periods, going through late menopause and having children at a later age. It is assumed that the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy also increase a woman’s chance of developing the disease. Breast feeding is believed to reduce the likelihood.
Other factors exclusive from reproductive considerations and family history that increase the risk of developing breast cancer include alcohol consumption, being overweight or obesity and being physical inactive. Waiting as little as 90 days after spotting a potential symptom can mean the difference between life and death. Routine self-examinations and mammograms are highly recommended for early detection.
“With a disease like breast cancer, it’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible so that a treatment plan can be developed and started. Awareness campaigns need to raise awareness of all of the potential symptoms of breast cancer so that people know how to spot the signs and when to go to a doctor.” Karen Kennedy, Director of the National Cancer Research Institute in the UK.
Take your breast health seriously. Any breast abnormality or worrisome symptom should be brought to the attention of your health care practitioner immediately.