Did you know that 1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives? The problem with breast cancer is that many women don't even know they have it at first. Once they start to notice symptoms of cancer, it may already have advanced and become very serious.
In some cases, breast cancer may be fatal because it wasn't caught in time. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can prevent the worst from happening, namely with the early detection of breast cancer. By knowing what to look for, you can discover the early signs of breast cancer before you even begin to experience any cancer symptoms.
Keep reading and learn more about breast cancer detection and what you should look for.
Practice Routine Breast Self-Exams
Practicing routine self-exams at home is one of the best ways to catch important breast cancer signs early. Breast cancer often starts not only in the breasts but sometimes in the armpits as well. In other cases, breast cancer might start in the breast but then move to the armpits.
Whatever the case, you can make sure that you don't have any noticeable symptoms of breast cancer by examining yourself every so often. You should do these exams regularly, at least once every month. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may want to do these exams once every two weeks instead.
It is important not to forget to do these exams because breast cancer can pop up at any time and can spread very fast. A self-exam is more than palpating the breasts. You should also inspect your breasts visually to see if there is anything abnormal about them.
For example, breast cancer can manifest itself in a number of ways such as by causing the breast to dimple in certain locations. The breast may also develop red marks, bumps, and other abnormalities. If you see any of these signs, you should consider going to a doctor to get more information.
Besides the visual aspects of your self-exam, you will also need to palpate your breasts and the area surrounding the breasts to make sure you don't feel any unusual lumps. You should do this when laying on your back. When you palpate your breasts, be sure that your touch is not too soft, otherwise, you might not be able to detect the lumps if there are any.
If you find a lump, don't worry. Many lumps are completely harmless, but you should have yours checked out by a doctor to be sure.
Consider Your Family History with Breast Cancer
Many women don't know that their family history plays a large role when it comes to how likely they are to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. But what is a family history exactly? When considering your family, you will need to think about your first-degree relatives (siblings and parents) as well as your second-degree relatives (your cousins and aunts).
This difference is important because it can significantly affect how likely you are to develop breast cancer. For example, if your mother or sister had breast cancer at some point, you will have a high risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime. But what if your aunt or cousin had breast cancer?
In this case, you still have a higher chance of developing breast cancer compared to women who don't have any family history of this type of cancer. However, you won't be as likely to develop this type of cancer as you would be if your mother or sister has breast cancer. Because there is a connection between family history and breast cancer, the problem is often rooted in one's genes.
Hereditary Cancer Testing can help with that. Hereditary Cancer Testing is all about personalized medicine, helping people understand their genome (the total collection of their genes), and how certain genes may make them predisposed to developing certain conditions.
This is important because not all cancer medications work for all people. More than that, not all cancers are genetic. By narrowing down those who have genes that predispose them to develop breast cancer, people can be aware of their risk.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
If you don't visit your doctor regularly, you are doing nothing but ignoring your health. This is especially true if you know that you have a family history of breast cancer or if you know that you have genes that leave you predisposed to developing this type of cancer. Even if you don't have a family history of breast cancer, it is still important to visit the doctor every so often.
That's because the doctor will be able to run tests and mammograms to ensure that you really don't have breast cancer. After all, self-exams at home can only tell you so much. A doctor will also be able to tell you if there is anything abnormal about your breasts that may be linked to breast cancer.
This is important because if you have had breast abnormalities for a while but have not done anything about it, cancer may have had the chance to advance. Once breast cancer becomes more advanced, it becomes harder to treat. By visiting the doctor, you will always be able to catch breast cancer early if you develop it.
Early Detection of Breast Cancer
Early detection of breast cancer is essential for several reasons. The main reason is that if you let breast cancer go on for too long, it can be fatal.
Hereditary Cancer Testing can tell you a lot when it comes to your risk of developing breast cancer. To learn more, contact us here.