The month of October every year is breast cancer awareness month, a time when various groups and organisations help women/men alike around the world increase their awareness about breast cancer signs/symptoms, risk factors, cure and management.
In a February 2015 report, doctors raised the alarm that more Nigerians are dying of cancer even as the majority of victims are women. According to them, more than two million Nigerians are at present down with the terminal disease.
The revelation came as they identified “poor and unhealthy” lifestyle as responsible for the increasing cancer statistics in the country.
According to the Head of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Prof. Remi Ajekigbe, the country records no fewer than 100,000 new cases of cancer yearly.
This statistics should get you interested in adopting a more careful and healthy lifestyle.
Below are the signs you mustn’t wave aside:
1. The first symptom of breast cancer most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast. Most breast lumps (90%) aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.
2. Change in the size or shape of one or both breasts.
3. Discharge from either of your nipples that is not milk (may be streaked with blood).
4. A lump or swelling in either of your armpits.
5. Dimpling on the skin of your breasts.
6. A rash on or around your nipple.
7. A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.
8. Changes in the skin of the breast such as puckering, irritation, scaling, redness or thickening.
Some women, however, experience uncommon symptoms like discoloration, persistent breast pain in one spot, or changes in the color of the skin. Those are some of the more uncommon signs that you could have breast cancer. You should also know that the presence of these symptoms and signs do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer. Visiting a healthcare professional to make sure.
Some of the risk factors that exposes you to breast cancer are: obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, smoking and certain environmental factors.
Asides all of these warning signs and risk factors, knowing your body and getting a monthly examination goes a long way to keep you from harms way. The key is early detection.
sources: aol, ww5.komen.com; image: www. huffingtonpost.com