What is Breast Cancer?
It is a disease in which the cells that make up the breasts become abnormal and form more cells in an uncontrollable way. It is usually in the tubes that carry milk to the nipple or the glands that make the milk. The cancerous cells form a mass of tissue called a tumour.
Awareness is the key to beating this disease!
Breast cancer is a real threat. In fact, it is the most common cancer among women. Getting screened regularly can lower the risk of this unwanted disease. The Health Authority Abu Dhabi recommends that if you are above the age of 40 years, a screening mammogram should be done every 2 years. This should be earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer.
In order to combat this disease, it is important to be aware of any changes in the look and feel of your breasts. Symptoms differ from person to person, but sometimes, you may not experience any of them. In any case, the most common symptoms to watch for are:
- A change in the size or the shape of your breast
- Itchy, scaly sores or a rash on the nipples
- Any pain in the area of your breasts
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
- A peculiar nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood)
- A new lump in the area of your breast or underarm
If you are experiencing any one of these signs, please consult your doctor immediately.
What you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer!
There are countless factors over your lifetime that can influence your breast cancer risk. Some cannot be changed, like family history. But, you can still lower the risk by following these simple habits in your daily lifestyle:
- Regular Breast Self-Examinations, the best time to do this is at the end of your period when your breasts are least tender
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes a day
- Maintain regular nighttime sleep hours, a minimum 8 hours every day
- Avoid alcohol
- If you are taking, or have been told to take hormone replacement therapy oral contraceptives (birth control pills), speak to your doctor about the risks involved
Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will lower your risk of developing any type of cancer. It also greatly increases your chances of overcoming this disease if it occurs.
Mammograms can help find breast cancer early!
A mammogram is the best screening tool used to detect breast cancer. It is an X-ray of the breasts, which can detect the disease in its smallest form, even before you notice any changes in your breasts. This makes it easy to treat, most often without losing a breast.
Schedule a mammogram today!
Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help diagnose the disease early, and thus increase your chances of fighting and overcoming it better. Talk to your doctor at NMC about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.
Schedule your appointment today:
NMC Royal Women's Hospital, Muroor Road: 800 7676