Get To Know Your “Breasts” Before It’s Too Late…

The average age of a female diagnosed with breast cancer in the United Arab Emirates is between 35 and 45 years old. It is the most common form of cancer in the UAE accounting for 22.8 percent of all cases of cancer. Only 30 percent of cases in the UAE, which is much lower than in western countries,  are diagnosed in the early stages when the chances of a cure is much higher. There are no accurate national statistics but the last year in Abu Dhabi there were 20.8 deaths from breast cancer per 100,000 people.

What are the risk factors that are associated with breast cancer? It is very important to know your body and any harm that you can avoid to decrease the hazards.

What are the risk factors of breast cancer?

  • Receiving hormone replacement therapy
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Not having children or having children above the age of 30
  • BRCA 1 or 2 genes  and family history , having 1 or more  1stdegree relatives with breast cancer, a sister, mother, daughter

Self-examination and screening

There are normally no symptoms of early breast cancer, though as it grows it can form a lump that can be felt in the breast tissue. Other signs are also that it can cause changes microscopically as well as macroscopically, that can be detected by screening.

Screening of apparently healthy women with no symptoms in an attempt to achieve an earlier diagnosis include breast examination, mammography, genetic screening, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Breast examination is to be done monthly by you and by a physician.

For the screening through tests and programs, different countries have different recommendations; examples are the UK every 3 years above 50 years of age, USA every year above 40 years age, Australia every 2 years above 50 years but more than 40 years can attend. For the UAE the breast screening protocol eligibility is for women aged 40 years old and above. It is done using a mammography every 2 years. Women at a higher risk need more frequent screening, such as family history, BRCA 1 or 2 genes and previous cancer. Genetic counselling does not detect cancers but it may reveal a propensity to develop cancer.

What can be the symptoms and signs of breast cancer?

  • A breast lump or thickening that feels different to surrounding tissue
  • Bloody discharge from nipple
  • Changes in the size or shape of a breast
  • Inverted nipple
  • Peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or breast skin
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Prevention is better than cure. Thus we recommend contacting your physician or one of the physicians of Mobile doctors 24-7 to get to know your breasts and to care for them as supposed!

 

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