What is breast cancer?
· Collective term for all cancers that originate in the breast tissue
· Most common cancer in the UK
· 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast cancer in the UK
· More than 50,000 women diagnosed each year AND 350 men
· Roughly 1,000 women die from breast cancer every month
· However, more people than ever are now surviving thanks to better awareness, better screening and better treatments.
What causes it?
· Combination of genetics, lifestyle choices and surrounding environment
· One of the biggest risks is increasing in age- at least 4 out of 5 breast cancers occur in women over 50 years
· It is believed that the risk can be reduced if we consume less alcohol, maintain a healthy weight and being physically active on a regular basis
Detecting it early
· The earlier the diagnosis, the better the chance of beating it!
· Woman over the age of 50 are entitled to free breast screening
· Regardless of age, it is important to be breast aware as most cancers are found by noticing unusual changes, taking the initiative and then visiting the doctor.
Know how to be breast aware
· Know what your breasts look and feel like normally
· Be on the lookout for any unusual changes
· Get them checked
· No one knows your body better than you
What are the signs and symptoms?
· Know what your breasts normally look and feel like and check the whole area, including your upper chest and armpits
· Lumps are important to look for and can be the first symptom of breast cancer for many people
· Pain is not normally a sign, but can be associated with other symptoms. While most pain is not a symptom, it is important to look out for any pain that is unusual and persists over time
It’s as simple as TLC:
Touch your breasts- can you feel anything unusual?
Lumps may not be seen but might be felt
Look for changes-is there any change to shape or texture?
Is one breast larger or lower?
Is there a change to shape or size?
Is there a change in skin texture- puckering or dimpling?
Is there a change in colour- is there redness or inflammation?
Is there nipple discharge, a rash or crusting?
Check anything unusual with your GP
Check out and download the Breast Check App
How is it treated?
· The choice of treatment and order that they are given depends on the particular circumstances of the patient and the cancer
· Women often have surgery to remove the cancerous tissue from the breast and also the armpit, if affected
· Often additional treatments can be used to reduce the risk of the cancer returning or spreading- including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other drugs
· It is estimated that 5 out of 6 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK will survive for at least five years
· Since the first event in 2002, together there’s been over £31.5 million raised for life saving research. Research that is working to discover how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively at every stage so we can stop the disease taking lives.
· To take part, simply register online, wear something pink on the 19th October and raise money.
· If you’re at work, you could get your colleagues involved by all wearing pink and join in the fun with our fundraising sweepstakes or quizzes.
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