Before understanding the risk factors for breast cancer, it is necessary to first get a clear understanding of what cancer exactly is. Cancer is a progressive disease that is life threatening in almost all its forms. There are some different types of cancer that affect different parts of the body.
While some cancers are completely treatable, others may not be so easily dealt with. Cancer involves the development of abnormal cells in some part of the body. As these abnormal cells develop, they tend to kill healthy cells and replace them.
This will gradually reduce the efficiency with which the affected part of the body operates. As cancer is a progressive condition, it is important that one seeks immediate treatment as soon as any diagnosis is made. Regular medical checkups should therefore be conducted so that the condition can be identified and quickly taken care of. Cancer treatment is a long drawn out procedure that often makes the individual sick before it makes him or her recover. Breast cancer is a common form of cancer that affects women across the world. Because of the location and shape of the breasts, breast cancer is a type of cancer that is more easily detected.
A self breast examination is something that women should do as regularly as they feel comfortable. Generally, it is accepted that a six month gap should be kept between sessions of self breast examination. Breast tissue is soft and uniform. When a woman suffers from breast cancer, her breasts will develop lumps that are hard to touch. This condition may start in either breast and may begin simply with a single lump. In many cases, lumps that are discovered during self breast examination tend to be harmless. However, the sensible choice for the woman would be to have herself thoroughly examined by a doctor if there is any abnormality found during a self breast examination.
There are some risk factors for breast cancer development that must be taken into account. Women who fall under higher risk categories when considering these risk factors for breast cancer must have more regular checkups to ensure that they are not affected by the condition. Women who have already suffered from this condition stand a greater chance of contracting the condition. This risk rises over and above the risk of the original cancer resurfacing.
Other risk factors for breast cancer development include ageing, hereditary breast cancer and some issues associated with weight, health and hormonal abnormalities. One may take steps for the prevention of breast cancer, but these are mostly related to normal healthy practices that one might undertake in any case to promote good health and longevity. Regular breast examinations can also help to prevent breast cancer from developing to serious proportions. The early symptoms of breast cancer are restricted to the development of a lump or lumps in the breasts and to the feeling of discomfort on the part of the woman when it comes to her breasts. This discomfort may be in the form of mild aching or a dull pain felt when wearing and removing innerwear.
Hereditary breast cancer risks are much higher as there are some genetic markers that have been linked to the formation of breast cancer. These genetic markers are also associated with race which is why Caucasian women tend to be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who come from African, Asian or South American descent. This is not to suggest that such women will not suffer from breast cancer. However, the incidences of this condition are fewer per sample of women from these places in the world. Breast cancer has a fairly high survival rate when compared to other forms of cancer.
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