What is the importance of breast self-examination?

It is important to get to know your body as then you know what your breasts feel like when they are healthy and in their normal state which makes will be easier to notice abnormalities if they occur.  Therefore, monthly Breast self -examinations should routinely be practiced. A good time is when you are in the shower or lying on a bed. Many cancers have been detected this way and early treatment plans created and therefore saved lives. Here's how to perform a breast self-examination

What genetic factors that may lead to Breast Cancer?

Generally, your genes can only increase your risk of getting breast cancer by 5-10%, although there are a few exceptions. Certain genes, particularly the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes, drastically increase your risk of cancer. Studies show that a woman with the BRAC1 gene is 72% more likely to get breast cancer before the age of 80, and the BRAC2 gene increases the likelihood of developing cancer before the age of 80 by 69%. The known risk factors for breast cancer are: It is unknown what exactly causes breast cancer but, certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing it. • Being older than 40 • Having a close family member who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. • Having a personal history of cancer and its treatment. •If you have never had a baby or your first pregnancy was over 35. • If you have used contraceptive pills for a long time. • If you are post-menopausal and are on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). • If you drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day. NOTE: Having one or more risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer. Also, having no risk factors does not mean you will not develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is likely to be caused by a combination of different risk factors, rather than just one.

What are the different types of breast cancer?

There are invasive and non-invasive types of breast cancer. Breast cancer is invasive when the cancer cells have spread outside the milk ducts or lobules and into the surrounding breast tissue, therefore 2 main types being ductal and lobular cancers Non-invasive breast cancer is called Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) and is the earliest possible form of breast cancer, usually found during routine breast screening.
  1. Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)
This cancer occurs in the ducts of the breast and has not spread to the rest of the body or invaded deeper into the breast. This has a high chance of being cured if detected early.
  1. Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS)
Although this is called a carcinoma, it occurs in the milk producing lobule cells and does not invade or spread as a true cancer does. However, women with LCIS have an increased likelihood of developing invasive breast cancer in the future.
  1. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
This is a carcinoma that begins in the duct cells but then invades deeper into the breast, with the possibility of spreading to the rest of the body (metastasizing). This is the most common type of cancer.
  1. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
This is a breast cancer that develops in the milk producing lobule cells and which also invades deeper into the breast. It has the potential to spread to the rest of the body. This is an uncommon type of breast cancer. 5 Paget’s Disease of the Breast Paget’s Disease of the Nipple, also known as Paget’s Disease of the Breast, is a rare condition associated with breast cancer. It usually causes eczema-like changes to the skin of the nipple and the area of darker skin surrounding the nipple (areola). This is usually indicative of a breast cancer in the tissue behind the nipple.
  1. Phyllodes Tumour
A phyllodes tumour forms in the breast and tends to grow quickly. Around 1 in 4 of these tumours are cancerous.
  1. Angiosarcoma
Angiosarcoma is a rare cancer that develops in the inner lining of blood vessels and lymph vessels. This cancer can occur anywhere in the body is most often found in the skin, breast, liver and spleen.