Fantasy Living: Merida
Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that develops from breast cells. Breast cancer usually starts off in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. A malignant tumor can spread to other parts of the body.
The vast majority of breast cancer cases occur in females. Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females worldwide. It accounts for 16% of all female cancers and 22.9% of invasive cancers in women. 18.2% of all cancer deaths worldwide, including both males and females, are from breast cancer.
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
The first symptoms of breast cancer are usually an area of thickened tissue in the woman’s breast, or a lump. The majority of lumps are not cancerous; however, women should get them checked by a health care professional.
According to the National Health Service, UK, women who detect any of the following signs or symptoms should see their doctors immediately:
- A lump in a breast
- A pain in the armpits or breast that does not seem to be related to the woman’s menstrual period
- Pitting or redness of the skin of the breast; like the skin of an orange
- A rash around (or on) one of the nipples
- A swelling (lump) in one of the armpits
- An area of thickened tissue in a breast
- One of the nipples has a discharge; sometimes it may contain blood
- The nipple changes in appearance; it may become sunken or inverted
- The size or the shape of the breast changes
- The nipple-skin or breast-skin may have started to peel, scale or flake
Early detection and self-examination
Experts do not know why some women develop breast cancer, but it can be halted by early detection. Ladies should go for a breast examination (and vaginal examination; see Cervical Cancer post) by their gynecologist at least once a year.
At home ladies should do a self-breast examination:
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour
- Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.
Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you’ve reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.
Breast cancer in men
Male breast cancer is a relatively rare cancer in men that originates from the breast. Most cases of male breast cancer develop in men who are 65 years of age, or over, although cases have been recorded in men aged who are between 20-90 years of age.
What are the signs and symptoms of male breast cancer?
The most common symptom of male breast cancer is the appearance of a lump in the breast. In most cases, the lump will be painless.
Less common symptoms of male breast cancer usually affect the nipple. Such symptoms include nipple retraction, ulceration and discharge, where fluid begins to leak from the nipple.
If the cancer spreads additional symptoms may include breast pain, bone pain, and swelling of the lymph nodes (glands) near the breast, usually in or around, the armpit.
Thank you to Maggie from Healthline for sharing these beautiful inspiring quotes.
Take some strength in the words of some women (and men) who have suffered through and survived breast cancer.