Breast cancer is a problem that effects both men and women. The thought of cancer is scarey and mysterious. Learning more about cancer, early prevention and treatment can take the fear from it and increase the odds of surviving it.
“Early detection is necessary to increase the odds of surviving breast cancer. The goal of treating early breast cancer is to remove the cancer and keep it from coming back. This is usually done with some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy. ” (Susan G. Komen for the Cure)
Get to Know Your Family Medical History
Knowledge of your family’s medical history may help you decrease your likelihood of getting certain cancers and increase your survivor rate against other cancers. Telling your doctor about your family’s medical history can give her the ability to focus on specific types of preventative measures and treatments. Your doctor can, also, advise lifestyle changes that can help decrease the probability of cancer occurrence.
Early detection starts with self-examination. Get to know how your breasts feel on an everyday basis. Women and Men should examine themselves at least once a month. Doctors recommend women should check themselves one week after their menstruation. Hormones produced during menstruation cause changes in the breast. The breast will return to normal after the cycle has reached completion.
Men should also examine themselves. Although women receive more attention for breast cancer, men are also at risk for breast cancer. Even though men do not have fully developed breasts, cancer can occur to anyone with breasts.
Learn how to perform a breast self-examination here .
In addition to a self-examination, men and women need to see their doctor for physical examinations. Early detection can help increase the rate of survival by 90%. The goal is to remove any found cancerous growths before they can spread to other parts of the body and prevent new cancerous cells from forming. Self-examination should never replace regular examinations and screenings performed by a professional health practitioner.
Men should be screened regularly for breast cancer after age 36.
Women, age 20-39 should get screened for breast cancer every three years. Women age 40 and up should be examined every year.
Symptoms of breast cancer may form at any time due to lifestyle, environment, medications, genetics or sudden physical changes. Immediately alert your health practitioner in the event you notice any of the following symptoms in your breasts:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away
(source-Susan G. Komen.org)
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