Breast Cancer Awareness Month: PAH encourage community to be aware of the signs

Health / Sat 15th Oct 2022 at 06:38am

OCTOBER marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and at PAHT we are encouraging our community to be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer. About 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There is a good chance of recovery if it is detected at an early stage.

For this reason, it is vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always have any changes examined by a GP.

In rare cases, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Symptoms of breast cancer

Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it is always best to have them checked by a doctor.

You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:

·       a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts

·       discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood

·       a lump or swelling in either of your armpits

·       dimpling on the skin of your breasts

·       a rash on or around your nipple

·       a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

Causes of breast cancer

The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood. However, there are certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer.

These include:

·       age – the risk increases as you get older

·       a family history of breast cancer

·       a previous diagnosis of breast cancer

·       a previous non-cancerous (benign) breast lump

·       being tall, overweight or obese

·       drinking alcohol

Preventing breast cancer

As the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, at the moment it is not possible to know if it can be prevented.

If you have an increased risk of developing the condition, some treatments are available to reduce your risk.

Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet. Although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who:

·       maintain a healthy weight

·       exercise regularly

·       have a low intake of saturated fat

·       do not drink alcohol

·       it has been suggested that regular exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer by almost as much as a third. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can also improve the outlook for people affected by breast cancer

If you have been through the menopause, it is particularly important that you try to get to, and maintain, a healthy weight. This is because being overweight or obese causes more oestrogen to be produced, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.

If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. If you have any concerns, please contact your GP, and please come forward for breast screening when invited. Women with a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer may be offered screening and genetic testing for the condition. As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, all women who are 50 to 70 years old are invited for breast cancer screening every three years. Women over the age of 70 are also entitled to screening and can arrange an appointment through their GP or local screening unit.

For more information, please refer to www.nhs.uk.

Best wishes

Mr Ashraf Patel MBE
Associate specialist, breast surgery

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1 Comment for Breast Cancer Awareness Month: PAH encourage community to be aware of the signs:

2022-10-15 09:10:36

In December just before Christmas( plus covid) 2020 I noticed lamp on my brest,called GP ,had telephone appointment and within 7days i had follow up app with breast clinic. I think they are doing well with this cases and acting quick. Cant be more grateful 🙏 Ladies self check every month.

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