According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Breast Cancer Awareness Month is marked in countries across the world every October to help increase attention and support for awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.
Estimates by the health body suggest that there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458, 000 deaths from breast cancer each year.
In fact, breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting South African women
According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) 1 in 33 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
That’s why the association stresses that “the most effective weapon against cancer is knowledge.”
So what are the symptoms of breast cancer?
According to CANSA, breast cancer may cause any of the following signs and symptoms:
The cancer association highlights that these signs and symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer. And that’s why it’s crucial you consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
So what’s the best way to reduce your breast cancer risk?
According to CANSA, you can lower your cancer risk by following these methods:
The following can help lower the risk of breast cancer:
Remember, the incidence of breast cancer among South African women is increasing rapidly. It’s definitely in your best interest to go for regular screenings to lower your breast cancer risk or the recurrence of cancer.
In addition, it’s crucial that you examine your breasts regularly and if you’re over 40, go for a mammogram (a special x-ray to detect lumps in the breast), says CANSA.