Breast Cancer and Early Detection

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women across the globe and is the second most diagnosed disease in women. In the US alone, it affects one in every eight women and every year, nearly 252,710 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Importance of Early Detection

Since there is no cure with 100% effectiveness against breast cancer yet, early detection of the cancer is the best way to improve the chances of fighting the disease.

When breast cancer is identified in its early stages, there is a 93% survival rate during the first 5 years. For early detection, it is essential to have regular screening exams for breast cancer as they are often able to spot abnormalities in its early stages. When detected early, there are numerous treatment options that increase the chance of survival, especially if the breast cancer found during screening exams are smaller in size and mostly limited to the breast. 

By getting a regular checkup, you can have peace of mind that finding cancer early will greatly improve your chances when facing the disease and the screenings can also enable you to look at your lifestyle and remove some risk factors that might be in your daily or weekly routines. 

Finding the Cancer While It's Small

When looking at the prognosis, the 2 important things are the size of breast cancer and how far it has spread. In some cases, breast cancer is not found until the symptoms appear however, in many women, breast cancer has no symptoms, which is one of the reasons why it is imperative to get breast cancer screening early on. Early detection means more treatment options available.

When To Start Screening

Women are encouraged to start self-examinations in their 20’s. This can be done by taking the pads of your fingers and rubbing in a circular motion around the breast and armpit area, feeling for any lumps and/or hardened areas. Knowing how normal breasts feel and look will be helpful in detecting any abnormalities. If you feel any differences in your tissue or armpit area, it is critical to see your healthcare professional right away for a clinical screening. To limit risk, it is recommended to start getting regular clinical screening exams every year after turning 40 years old.

Bottom Line

Early detection of breast cancer is crucial for its effective management. In recent time, there has been a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer in women 50 years and older because of the reduction in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy. Since 1990, the death rate from breast cancer has gradually decreased and this could be due to early detection and better screening options. Your health is in your hands and regular self-exams and screenings are imperative for early detection. Do what’s best and feel your breasts!

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