October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, the second most common cancer (after skin cancer) in women in South Africa. According to the National Cancer Registry, 1 in 33 women are at risk of developing breast cancer.
Men can also develop breast cancer although they are at a significantly lower risk with 1 in 1249 developing this disease.
There are a number of factors that contribute to your likelihood of developing breast cancer. Lifestyle plays a major role — being overweight, unhealthy eating habits, not exercising regularly, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and stress are lifestyle issues that put you at higher risk.
In addition to your lifestyle choices, your family history also plays a role, so it’s good to know your familial health concerns and let your GP know so that they can recommend more frequent testing if needed.
Breast cancer will appear in the form of lumps. That’s why it’s important for women to do regular self-examinations, checking their breasts for any changes, lumps or bumps. In most cases, regular screening can lead to early detection.
There are two types of lumps: benign (not cancerous) and malignant (cancerous). Benign lumps in the breast are often fibroadenomas, which are made up of fibrous and glandular tissue and duct papillomas. Adenomas are most often benign, but can turn malignant.
Malignant tumours of the breast are either ductal or lobular carcinomas. With a ductal carcinoma, there is a 75% chance that it may spread while lobular carcinomas have a 10% chance of spreading.
If you need cover, regardless of your diagnosis - there are always options to explore. Chat to me today and make sure you will receive the care you need!