BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Breast Self-Examination Tutorial

OCTOBER is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we all know someone affected by it, whether it’s a best friends mother, an aunt, mother in-law, or as in my case; all of the above. Here’s a little blog post about the facts of breast cancer and my breast self-examination tutorial.

 

In Numbers

Imagine a Take That concert (yes, they were huge in my adolescence) in a big sport arena, filled with women – 100.000 of them. Pick out 90 women at the entrance and pin them with a pink ribbon. 

 

IN EUROPE
Every year 90 women out of 100.000 are diagnosed with breast cancer here in Western Europe (we are 260 million women in Europe, so you have to take that number into the equation. [ref. 1, 2]). In 2013, around 93.5 thousand people died from breast cancer, of which just less than one thousand were men and the vast majority were women [ref. 5].
 
GLOBALLY
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and the leading cause of cancer death in women.    .
In total numbers it is 1.38 million women diagnosed worldwide, each year (!) and in 2015, 570,000 women died from breast cancer – that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women [ref. 3].

12 signs of breast cancer from https://www.worldwidebreastcancer.org/

Types of Breast Cancer

Based on the way the cancer cells look under the microscope breast cancer is divided into several different types. However, adenocarcinoma is the most common type, which is a cancer that starts in the glandular (milk producing) tissue of the breast. 


Breast Self-Examination

Watch my tutorial here on how to examine your own breast.

 

Diagnostic evaluation

If you feel a lump or see other changes in your breast, then consult your general practitioner. She or he will question you for any symptoms and family history of cancer, then examine you and assess the need for further evaluation.
A little nice-to-know info: The majority of breast lumps are benign conditions (that is non-cancerous), often fibrosis, a cyst or infection.
However, if breast cancer is suspected, then the diagnostic evaluation constitutes mammography, ultrasound and biopsy. The biopsy is examined under a microscope and tells whether it is a benign or a cancerous condition.
 

Treatments

Breast cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation and medically with chemotherapy and anti-estrogen therapy [ref. 4].
The good news is, that a women with breast cancer survive longer today than 10 years ago.

Check yourself 

Watch my tutorial and have a go at examining youself. If you notice any irregularities then don’t hesitate to consult your general practitioner.

References 

1) http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/breastcancer/en/index1.html 
2) http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Women_in_the_EU_2017.jpg
3) http://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/diagnosis-screening/breast-cancer/en/
4) https://www.cancer.dk/brystkraeft-mammacancer/behandling-brystkraeft/
5) http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Cancer_statistics_-_specific_cancers#Breast_cancer

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