Cancer Awareness Month
October is recognized as the National Breast Cancer Awareness month since 1984. Recent studies show that each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cases. It serves as a reminder for everyone to educate themselves and to share information about the clinical science of breast cancer.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that this year, there will be 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year and affecting countries at all levels of modernization.
Breast cancer has been on the rise significantly over the last three or four decades of the twentieth century, especially in developed countries.
As the most common form of cancer among females, it rarely occurs before age 30, increases considerably from 45 and especially after age 60.
Breast cancer symptoms vary widely — from lumps to swelling to skin changes — and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all.
In some cases, a lump may be too small for you to feel or to cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own. Often, an abnormal area turns up on a screening mammogram (X-ray of the breast), which leads to further testing. In other cases, however, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. It’s important to have anything unusual checked by your doctor.
According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:
• Swelling of all or part of the breast
• Skin irritation or dimpling
• Breast pain
• Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
• Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
• Nipple discharge other than breast milk
• A lump in the underarm area