A Quick Guide on Breast Cancer Screening for Early Detection and Prevention
The term ‘cancer’ is associated with fear and hopelessness, worldwide. Breast cancer, a very common form of cancer, found in both men and women, starts when malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. In layman’s terms, this happens when the cells of a particular region start growing out of control and then form a tumor that can be felt as a lump. Breast cancer can start developing in different regions of the breast. Ductal cancer is when cancerous cells form in the duct that carries milk, and lobular cancer is when such cells form in the glands where milk is made. These two are the most common form of breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women.
It is a common proverb that prevention is better than cure. Various leading organizations have come up with recommendations on breast cancer screening. Screenings don’t promise a cure, but early stage detection can definitely increase the chances of curing the illness completely. Breast cancer-related tests consist of screening tests which include routine check-ups of people who don’t showcase any risk of breast cancer, diagnostic tests are meant for people who are suspected of developing the cancerous cells, and monitoring tests to assess the effectiveness of treatment. It is highly recommended to get yourself scanned in your nearest breast cancer screening center. Note the following guiding points:
- The foremost advice is to be aware of any changes in how your breast feels. Lumps, irritation in any particular area of the breast, or swelling may be early-stage symptoms. Consult a doctor as soon as you notice any abnormalities.
- Smoking, alcohol, being overweight and an unhealthy lifestyle increase the chances of breast cancer among women. It is essential to exercise or indulge in some sort of physical activity on a regular basis.
- Various leading organizations recommend mammogram screenings on an annual basis for women aged 40 years and above. This is a preventive measure as early stage detection can help in quick recovery.
- For women who had a family history of breast cancer, especially in close relatives such as sister or mother, must consult a doctor and get annual check-ups done. This is highly recommended if there is a history of the development of breast cancer in relatives before the end of their menstrual cycle.
- Young mothers are advised to breastfeed their newborn babies for as long as possible because this can drastically reduce the chances of developing cancerous cells.
- One must not avoid mammograms because of fear, apprehensions or discomfort. Research well before you go ahead with screening tests and consult experts who can read the tests more accurately. You might have to go for follow-ups or other screening tests for confirmation or further clarity. A mammogram is not painful. Try to interact more with your consulting doctor before you get the tests, so as to not feel uncomfortable during the tests.
A healthy lifestyle, intake of nutritious food, keeping a check on alcohol and nicotine intake and 30 minutes of daily exercise can help you keep diseases such as breast cancer at bay!