October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a time when people come together to share stories and information about breast cancer, raise money to help fight the disease and work to make sure the public are aware of the risks associated with this illness. In this article, we want to round up some of the most important facts for you to know about breast cancer. After lung cancer, breast cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer death in women. It’s also the most common invasive cancer for those assigned female at birth to experience. Since 1989, improvements in treatment and screening have dramatically improved survival rates for those diagnosed with breast cancer. In the UK alone, it is estimated that 691,000 people are living with a diagnosis of breast cancer, or are in remission having survived the disease. In the United States, that number is around 3.1 million. Only around 2.7%, or 1 in 37, of those diagnosed with breast cancer are expected to die from the disease. By 2020, the number of breast cancer survivors in the UK is expected to rise to around 840,000, with around 11,500 people dying from the disease each year. One of the best ways to reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer is to be aware of the symptoms and to understand the need for screening. Although this article will focus on breast cancer in biological women, it’s important to understand that men can also be affected by breast cancer.
Breast Cancer FactsThese are a few of the facts about breast cancer that are worth knowing. For more details, be sure to read the full article!
- Women are the patients in over 99% of new cases of breast cancer.
- Over 80% of breast cancer cases involve women aged 50 and over. The majority of men affected by breast cancer are 60 or over.
- A faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene is present in around 5% of people diagnosed with breast cancer. So while it is uncommon, a family history of breast cancer may be a cause.
- A range of treatments are available, including radiotherapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.
- Because of its medical uses, a large section of the cannabis industry is currently focusing on creating strains of cannabis that are rich in CBD, which has been used to successfully treat many ailments, from seizures to tumours, inflammation to pain and mood disorders.
- Symptoms include thickening of the breast, changes to the skin or the nipple or a lump or swelling in the breast.
What Are the Signs of Breast Cancer?Successful treatment of breast cancer is more likely the earlier the condition is diagnosed. Checking your breasts regularly is really important for this reason. You need to be keeping an eye out for any unusual change in your breasts, as breast cancer has many different signs and symptoms. The following are just some of the more common symptoms and signs of breast cancer:
- A swelling or lump in your armpit, breast or upper chest. You may not necessarily be able to see it – feeling one is enough.
- Dimpled or puckered skin, or any other change in skin texture.
- Changes to the nipple such as rash or crusting.
- Any unusual discharge from either nipple.
- A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast.