Detecting Breast Cancer Early is the Key to Recovery
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers affecting women across the globe. The incidence of breast cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate even as doctors have found success in treating the disease and helping patients overcome breast cancer to lead normal, healthy lives. This proves that breast cancer – although common – is a treatable condition, provided the cancer is detected early enough.
Cancer in general and breast cancer in particular are both conditions that are not preventable. However, in the case of breast cancer the fatalities can certainly be prevented with early detection of the disease. To detect early and treat it effectively are two fundamental aspects of successfully overcoming breast cancer. Once detected early, and when it hasn’t spread to other parts of the body – breast cancer – allows the doctors to work with the patient and have an excellent chance of survival.
Early detection of breast cancer means that a doctor is able to ascertain the presence of breast cancer before the manifestation of physical symptoms – such as a lump in the breast or swelling in the breast. This is achieved with the help of regular screenings which can be done both by the individual at home or performed by a doctor at a clinic.
Every woman can conduct for herself a basic screening test at home, on a regular basis. A clinical screening, such as a mammogram, is conducted by a specialist to trace any abnormal changes in the breasts that indicate the presence of cancerous tissues. A mammogram is essentially an x-ray. The doctor will look to find patterns in the changes happening in the breasts. These changes could be – calcification, lumps or masses and/or other changes that may indicate cancer.
Periodically, say on a yearly basis, a mammogram is advised such that the doctor can have a historic record of the changes in your breasts and can make informed decisions on the risk of developing cancer. It is important to discuss factors such as surgery, family history, previous occurrence of breast cancer or other forms of cancers to your doctor for improved accuracy of the mammograms.
In addition to the aforementioned clinical exam, every women can and should undertake a physical breast examination every month. Although, the presence of any lump cannot always be due to a breast cancer, statistics have shown that the risk of breast cancer in woman with a lump is 40% higher. A periodic self-examination mitigates this risk.
Given the huge populace that breast cancer affects along with fact that the cancer itself is survivable, early detection has been a major weapon in the fight against breast cancer. Thousands of lives worldwide can be saved with improved awareness and implementation of breast cancer detection practices.