October is a Breast Cancer Concern Month which is celebrated throughout the world in order to increase awareness, concern and support for early detection and treatment of this disease.
Breast cancer itself is one type of cancer that most often affects women. Therefore, let’s, get to know this disease more closely and know how to prevent it.
There are around 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year. The incidence rate will increase in countries with low to medium economic levels. This is due to factors of life expectancy, urbanization, and adaptation to western lifestyles.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
There are several signs and symptoms of breast cancer that usually appear, namely:
Changes in the breasts or nipples
These changes can be in the form of pain in the breast, a lump in the nipple or breast and the area around the armpit, or enlarged pores in the breast skin.
In addition, the shape and appearance of breasts can also change. For example changes in size without cause, the existence of hollows such as dimples, swelling or wrinkles without cause (especially if it occurs on only one side), nipples that go inside, and changes in the skin of the breast or nipples that become scaly and red like orange skin texture.
The existence of asymmetry in both breasts is actually something that is common in every woman. But, if it happens suddenly, then you need to immediately see a doctor.
Fluid or blood coming out of the nipple
If there is fluid coming out of the nipple, such as milk (if not breastfeeding), clear, or bleeding, you are advised to immediately consult a doctor directly.
The importance of early detection
Until now, the cause of breast cancer is not known with certainty. Therefore, early detection is an important foundation to fight this disease. If it can be detected and diagnosed early, then there is a good opportunity to overcome it.
However, if breast cancer is late getting treatment, then patients can only be given palliative treatment to help alleviate their suffering.
Palliative treatment means treatment for patients whose illness has not reacted to treatment or has been cured medically (in the final stage).
Ways that can be done for early detection of breast cancer is to do routine checks themselves or commonly referred to as breast self-examination (Check Your Own Breasts).
This routine check needs to be done to find out early if there are signs or changes in the breast that can be the start of breast cancer.
A sign or change in the breast does not always mean breast cancer. However, by doing routine checks, you will more easily find out if there are changes, so you can immediately consult a doctor.