The Most Common Cancer For Women – Breast Cancer
Some of today’s most common cancers are unique only to women, simply because of our genetic make-up. To have a better understanding of your own risk profile, the various prevention strategies and the treatment options available, here is a straightforward discussion of some cancers that are specific to women.
Breast cancer can develop in one of several different areas of the breast, including the ducts that carry milk to the nipple, the breast’s lobules and non-glandular tissue. Risk factors include:
ii. Having a family history of breast cancer
iii. Having a first menstrual period before age 13
iv. Never having been pregnant or having a first pregnancy after age 30
v. Being overweight (especially after menopause)
vi. Drink alcohol
vii. Having a sedentary lifestyle
Symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or thickening in the breast or under the arm, clear or bloody discharge from the nipple, and persistent crusting or scaling of the nipple. Other symptoms are inverted nipples, redness or swelling of the breast, dimpling on the breast skin resembling the texture of an orange, a change in the contours of the breast, and a sore or ulcer on the skin of the breast that does not heal.
Unfortunately, there is no certain way to prevent breast cancer. However, you can reduce your risk by avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption, and following a healthy diet. It is also important to examine your own breast every month, have a clinical breast examination every three years if you are under age 40 and every year if you are over 40, and have regular mammograms annually if you are above 40.
Early diagnosis significantly improves that prognosis for women with breast cancer. If the tumour is small and confined to the breast, more than 90 percent of women survive for at least five years after the diagnosis. However, if the disease spreads throughout the body before diagnosis, the five- year survival rate drops to less than 20 percent.
Women are advised to be familiar with their breasts and perform regular self-examination for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.