Want to know the breast cancer facts? Do you know how to check your breasts? Early detection equals increased survival rates!
October is breast cancer awareness month, an international campaign to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those effected by breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. This is a scary statistic however the promising news is that early detection and diagnoses of the disease in its early stages means that there is a good chance of recovery. Therefore, it is so important to remind women to check their breasts on a regular basis and get any changes check by their GP as soon as possible.
Check your breasts
If someone close to you has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you will know its vital that women check their breasts regularly. Sadly, lots of women still don’t check.
Here are symptoms and changes to look out for;
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from nipples which may be streaked with blood
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Here is a video that demonstrates how to examine your breasts and what to look for
Treating breast cancer
If cancer is detected at an early stage, it can be treated before it spreads to nearby parts of the body. Breast cancer is treated using a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Surgery is usually the first type of treatment you’ll have, followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy or, in some cases, hormone or biological treatments. The type of surgery and the treatment you have afterwards will depend on the type of breast cancer you have. Your doctor will discuss the best treatment plan with you.
For women who have undergone mastectomy (removal of the breast/breasts) then they are usually given a choice of reconstruction of their breast/breasts or to wear a breast prothesis. Total Body Orthotics provides a breast prothesis and mastectomy bra fitting service (location to be discussed) and have a good range of Silima breast forms and mastectomy bras available in our ‘breast care’ section of the website.
Ways in which to prevent cancer/healthy lifestyle
As the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, at the moment it’s not possible to know if it can be prevented. If you’re at increased risk of developing the condition, some treatments are available to reduce the risk.
Studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet. Although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who:
- maintain a healthy weight
- exercise regularly
- have a low intake of saturated fat
- do not drink alcohol
It’s been suggested that regular exercise can reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as a third. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can also improve the outlook for people affected by breast cancer. If you’ve been through the menopause, it’s particularly important that you’re not overweight or obese. This is because being overweight or obese causes more oestrogen to be produced, which can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Click here to see Total Body Orthotics breast care products and click here to see Total Body orthotics clinical services that are related to breast cancer/ breast surgery including our breast prothesis and mastectomy bra fitting service.