Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Whether or not doctors advice early detection, 1 in 8 women will still be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Early detection can help reduce these numbers and to change these stats, it is important for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms – to know what to look out for.
Here is a quick guide for you to self-check for the breast cancer symptoms, to know it’s early warning signs, and the facts, myths, and risks associated with it.
Remember, the sooner it is detected, the greater is the chance of survival!
Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
Ideally after the age of 40, women should look out for any subtle changes to their breasts to detect breast cancer early. Women should do a self-breast examination at regular intervals to locate issues that can help their doctor in quick diagnosis and treatment. Here is a simple 4 step process that you need to perform before and during taking a shower.
To check for symptoms of breast cancer – check for changes in size or shape, changes in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling, inverted nipple, a lump or thickening of breast tissue, redness or a rash on the skin/around the nipple, discharge from one or both nipples, constant pain in breast or armpit and swelling in armpit/around collarbone.
Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast or underarms. Sudden discharge (bloody or clear/non milky) from only one nipple (without squeezing). Change in size/shape, redness, or darkening of the breast. Dimpling of breast surface. Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple. Retraction/Inversion of nipple or other parts of the breast.
Not necessary. There are other lesser known symptoms that may indicate breast cancer. Change in skin around the breast, change in appearance of the breast or nipple, recurring breast pain, sudden change in size, nipple discharge or a lump near the armpit, unexplained weight loss and vaginal pain are signs of breast cancer, consult a doctor if any of these symptoms persist.
Causes Of Breast Cancer
Causes could be both hereditary and acquired. Age, personal history, genetic risk factors like inherited changes (mutations) in certain genes, dense breast tissues, being overweight or obese after menopause, the use of alcohol and tobacco smoke are all contributing factors. Age and a history of breast cancer also increases the risk greatly.
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
Avoid breast cancer by eating 75% of green vegetables laden with phytonutrients to keep the immune system strong and to ward viruses of cancer. Reduce toxicity with the essential oils. Ways to zen out – Yoga and meditation, low impact walking, moderate caffeine, and supplements such as red reishi, B12, ashwaganda, and DoTerra’s Mito2Max. Read on to learn the environmental and lifestyle risk factors of breast cancer that you should be cautious of.
Most studies have found no association between breast size and breast cancer risk. All breast cancers develop in the cells that line the ducts or lobules – the parts that make milk and carry it to the nipple. Regardless of their breast size, all women have the same number of these. What makes breasts bigger or smaller is generally the amount of fat and stroma (fibrous tissue), which research shows have little impact on cancer odds.
Studies show that deodorants have chemicals such as Triclosan, Phthalates, and Parabens all of which can cause breast cancer. Body odor is inevitable, but can be dealt with deodorant free options as well. An armpit cleanse includes drinking plenty of water, using a loofa, avoiding the use of razors and deodorants and other natural tips to counter body odor.
Underarm antiperspirants (to reduce underarm sweat) and deodorants (to destroy or mask unpleasant odors) are one of the leading causes of breast cancer in the US. They attribute it to certain chemicals in these preparations that block the expulsion of toxins through sweating, causing accumulation in the lymph nodes that can cause breast cancer.
Several rumors keep resurfacing on how wearing ‘underwire’, tight or badly fitting bras, or wearing bras at night or long hours during the day can lead to breast cancer. Breast cancer is caused by gene mutations leading to cells dividing suddenly and rapidly and has nothing to do with the lymph system. There are countless other (known and still unknown) causes of breast cancer and your bra is not one of them. Wearing a wrong size is not going to kill you. Yes, but it might definitely hurt a little.
Most studies give a depressing picture of sex after breast cancer in couples such as – Loss of desire for sex, emotional reactions to cancer diagnosis and treatment interfering with the feeling of being attractive and sexual, increased stress in the relationship with your partner, and difficulty with self-esteem because of feeling ill and being unable to fill all the usual roles in the family and at work.
There is inconclusive scientific data to prove that your risk of contracting breast cancer is lower if you do not have a family history. Cosmetic breast surgeries or wearing antiperspirants do not increase your breast cancer risk. Having smaller breasts or undergoing a double mastectomy does not reduce your risk. Lumps are not the only indicator of breast cancer.