The figures concerning breast cancer are alarming. One woman in every nine will get breast cancer at some point in her life. There are more than 212,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the USA each year. In Canada the figure is about 20,500, Australia 13,000 and in UK the figure is over 41,000. It doesn't matter if you are a mature women or a young girl in your teens. It is important for all females to know the symptoms of this dreaded disease.
Who is at risk?
Breast cancer is overwhelmingly a female disease, but rarely a few men are also affected. It becomes more common in women as age increases. Over 80% of the cases occur in women over the age of 50. Other risk factors include:
-taking an oral contraceptive pill -having hormone replacement therapy -obesity and/or high fat diets -one or more relatives who have had breast cancer -alcohol use
Early detection is very important
Currently, six out of every seven patients diagnosed with breast cancer are cured at an early stage. However, if they are diagnosed when the cancer has become advanced, the cure rate falls to about one in seven. It is extremely important to catch breast cancer at an early stage. Knowing the symptoms is crucial. Common symptoms of breast cancer
Usually, early breast cancer does not cause pain. As a matter of fact, when breast cancer first develops, there may be no symptoms at all. As the cancer grows and spreads, it can cause changes that women should watch for.
Here are few symptoms one should be aware of:
-Itching in the armpit or around the breast region. -Pink, red, or dark colored area (called erythematic) with texture similar to the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange). -Ridges and thickened areas of the skin of nipple or breast. -Appearance of a bruise that does not go away. -Nipple getting inverted. -Breast is warm to the touch. -Pain in the breast (from a constant ache to stabbing pains). -Change in texture as well as color of the aureole. -Change in the shape or size of a breast. -Dimpling of the breast skin. -Swelling or a lump in the armpit. -A discharge from the nipple.
On noticing any of these changes, a woman should see her doctor. However, there is no need to panic. Most often, it is not cancer. Many conditions can cause symptoms listed above. Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis.
Dennis Hardy is a senior writer for the Health-Articles-Online.com website. For more articles from this author, please visit