For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, women around the world are encouraged to undergo early tests to spot any changes as soon as possible.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, as it was reported in 2017 that around 34% of Egyptian women suffer from the disease, according to Mohamed Emara, Director General of Baheya Foundation for Early Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer.
Emara noted that the rate of recovery from breast cancer can reach to 98 percent if the disease is detected in its early stages.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Health and Population launched the Women’s Health Initiative earlier this month for early detection of breast cancer, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease, targeting around 30 million women above the age of 18.
The second phase runs until the end of this month in Cairo, North Sinai, Red Sea, Ismailia, Suez, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, Luxor and Aswan.
The third and final stage will start on 1 November and will include Giza, the New Valley, Gharbia, Dakahlia, Sharqia, Minya and Qena.
With the different types of breast cancer also come a variety of symptoms, though these are the most common symptoms known to be the most dangerous.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS
According to the Cancer Centre, early warning signs of breast cancer include any skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts, and an unusual change in the shape of the breast(s) or one or both nipples.
Another sign is liquid discharge that comes from the nipple without squeezing, as well as frequent pain in your breast or your armpit, or even swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.
It’s important to remember that other other conditions may have caused these changes, such as irritation or other skin conditions, which is why it is necessary to see a doctor for an evaluation for any concern.
According to a 2012 research by Mohamed Farouk Allam and Khaled Abd ElAziz, the highest known risk factors of breast cancer were exposure to X ray, hormonal therapy, and previous breast cancer disease experience.
The Women’s Health Initiative Trial stated that a diet very low in fat may reduce the risk of breast cancer, recommending the consumption of plenty of vegetables and fruit (more than 5 cups a day), limiting your saturated fat and fat intake to about 30 grams per day, and avoiding trans fats, processed meats, and charred or smoked foods.
Being a woman is the most significant risk factor, though a small percentage of men can also get breast cancer. This is mainly due to the activity of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
If you have a first-degree relative (mother, daughter, sister) who has had breast cancer, or multiple relatives affected by breast or ovarian cancer, then there is also a higher risk of getting breast cancer.