What should you know about Breast Cancer?

BY Dr. Amir Petrus Dawood

There are two main types of breast cancer

Ductal Cancer: starts in the tubes (ducts) that carry milk from the breast to nipple.

Lobular type: starts in the lobules which produce milk

Signs and symptoms may include:

If you find any of the underline signs and symptoms, you must

visit your doctor even if a recent mammogram was normal.

1. Redness or pitting of the skin over the breast.

2. A breast lump or thickening.

3. Change in size or shape

4. Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of the


5. A newly inverted nipple.

What are the risk factors?

• Being a female (women are more likely than men to develop breast cancer

• Increasing age

• A family history: if mother, sister, daughter was diagnosed as breast cancer

• Inherited genes that increase risk

• Radiation exposure

• Having first child at an older age

• Obesity

• Drinking alcohol

• Postmenopausal hormone therapy

How to prevent breast cancer risks?

• Women are encouraged to perform breast self-exam each month

• Exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minutes daily

• Limit the usage of post menopausal hormonal therapy

• Maintain a healthy weight and choose a healthy diet

• Limit the amount of alcohol if you choose to drink

• Ask your doctor about breast screening

Breast cancer risk reduction for women with high risks

If the doctor has assessed your family and determined that you have other factors

that increases your risks of breast cancer, you can discuss options to reduce your

risks which include:

• Preventive surgery: prophylactic mastectomy (removal healthy breast) and

prophylactic oophorectomy (remove the ovaries)

• Preventive medication (estrogen blocking medications)

Finally, to conclude the most important preventive tips for breast cancer

are follow healthy lifestyle, breast feed your baby, avoid hormone

replacement therapy and screening tests.

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