As it is Womans Month it makes sense to speak about something very much at the heart of women – breast cancer.
Apart from non-melanoma skin cancer, Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women of all races, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 26 for those living in South Africa, according to the 2012 National Cancer Registry (NCR). I’m sure we all know someone near to us who has been affected by it.
If its picked up early It can be treated. Cancer can be beaten!
It is therefore so important to get into the habit of checking your breasts monthly yourself as well as having them examined by a Dr as part of your annual gynae visit. Regular mammograms from the age of 40 are also vital (unless you have a history of breast cancer or have had a breast lump in the past whereby they will be recommended earlier).
If you have anyone in your family with Breast Cancer you may be at an increased risk.
These are some of the things to look out for:
It’s also important to understand that most breast lumps are not cancer, they are benign.
Benign breast tumours are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast and they are not life threatening.
If you do notice anything unusual please see your Dr as soon as possible.
Contributor: Dr Susan Ford, Medical Doctor at FEMINA HEALTH.