Cancer is an insidious and pervasive disease that we are seeing more and more of as years go by. Why is the presence of cancer so seemingly ubiquitous? More common types of cancer, such as breast and lung, compile a large amount of sufferers every single year. In 2017, the American Cancer Society believes that roughly 250,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed within the year. This will lead to more than 40,000 deaths.
One imperative aspect of prevention of this disease is early detection. Thankfully, there are over three million breast cancer survivors in the country today largely because of the initiatives that have been rolled out in conjunction with raising awareness. Here are the key elements one must keep in mind about breast cancer in order to properly prevent it, catch it, or treat it.
Know The Risk Factors
The major factors of risk are being a woman and being of a certain age, though there have been more and more cases of women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30s and 40s. Most cases are in women older than that. Also, if there is any family history of breast cancer, a woman can be at greater risk.
Risk factors are typically beyond your control but one thing you can control and should is your overall general health. Watch what you eat and stay as physically active as you can. Limiting or eliminating bad habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking, poor stress management and other things will help to improve your overall health and put you in a much better overall state.
Know The Warning Signs
Many times, the breast cancer that becomes the hardest to fight may not have any signs at all. But typically there are things to look out for. Usually breast cancer is asymptomatic, which means it actually is found via annual mammograms instead of a lump being detected. But there are certain red flags that can be indicative of something being abnormal.
If there is any perpetual redness, thickening of the skin, or any type of nipple discharge that hasn't been commonly experienced, you want to get those things checked out as soon as possible. It's also important to note that most types of breast cancer are not tender to the touch. That type of experience can be connected to your menstrual cycle, fibroids or benign cysts.
Mammograms Are Vital
Getting checked via mammogram on a yearly basis is essential. This process saves lives and is not to be taken lightly. There is a bit of debate regarding the effectiveness of performing consistent self-breast examinations in between mammograms. One thing proponents say is that self-breast exams allow women to become much more familiar with their breasts, how they usually look and feel in an up close and tangible way.
New Research Is Showing Improvement
Researchers are constantly and tirelessly working to find new and effective ways to treat this disease. Not only to treat it but also to detect it and prevent it. Information and research includes what causes breast cancer, the specific factors that may be tied to the disease, and how to properly eradicate it from the landscape of our current health conversation. Being completely informed is what allows so many to make better and more effective decisions.