Breast cancer is a cancer that the cells of the breast forms. It is one of the topmost diagnosed cancer amongst women in the world, and not only women get diagnosed with it but men too and it is only 1% chance for a man to be diagnosed. The start of breast cancer is when cells in the breast start to grow out of control, and it will slowly form a tumour where you usually feel it as a lump. This tumour can be spread to areas of the body.
Here, we interviewed Dr Dalilah to know more about breast cancer, and she is kind enough to spare some time for us just to answer the interview.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
So, what are the causes? Based on the interview with Dr Dalilah, this occurs when there’s a defect or mutation in the genes of the cells of the breast which causes the abnormality. There are a number of forces which can cause the mutations of the genes, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals, known as carcinogens, obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and also lack of exercise.
Now, when should patients begin screening for breast cancer? Ladies, you should start screening for breast cancer as early as 21 years old. You should be doing your own SBE, which is Self Breast Examination every month. For those who are 40 years and below, Clinical Breast Examination by doctors are needed every two years and also Ultrasound. For those who are 40 years and above, the most recommended screening tool is a Mammogram.
There are a few risks of getting breast cancer, and that includes family history, obesity and lack of exercise, smoking, consumption of alcohol, hormonal factors and your diet can also be the cause of breast cancer, if the food you consume food which is rich in fats or meat.
How is it diagnosed and how can it be treated?
Breast cancer is diagnosed either through Clinical Breast examination, Ultrasound Breast, Mammogram and Biopsy and it will be treated depending on the staging and the spread of cancer cells, either by surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal and targeted therapy.
Stage, Severity and Chances of Surviving
Okay, so how can we know the stage and severity of our cancer? Stage and severity are identified by looking at the spread of the cancer cells through the size of lumps, lymph nodes and other organs in our body and the earlier we detect it, the better. If you detect it as early as stage 0-1, chances of you surviving is more than 90%. If you detect it at stage 3-4, the chances of you surviving will drop to 25%.
Staying Up To Date
Some of you may want to stay up to date but don’t know where to search up for breast cancer. You can always stay up to date by going to websites such as Ministry of Health, Singapore, WHO websites or any other related websites, but make sure to check with your updates with the consultants or experts.
Can It Be prevented?
Breast cancer can be prevented if you know how to reduce the risk factors especially by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, diet, reduce smoking and so on. It can be inherited when your family history contributes 20% of having breast cancer. On the other hand, breastfeeding can reduce your risk of getting cancer only by 10% and below.
When you reach 40 years and above, you are recommended to start doing your mammogram at least once and make sure to do it yearly up to 50 years old, and when you reach after the age of 50, you can then do it once in every 2 years. Some of you may be wondering if injuries to the breast can cause breast cancer. The answer is no, but an Ultrasound is recommended after the trauma.
Be sure to go for check-ups often and make sure to be aware of your body development, teach young adults on how to do Self Breast Examination so that they are able to seek for help as soon as possible before it is too late.
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