By Steve Valentino
In recent years, the incidence of breast cancer among women has increased. As a result of this, organizations that aim to raise breast cancer awareness have doubled their efforts to give women around the world the right information to help them prevent and deal with this disease. These organizations teach women to detect early signs of cancer and recognize the symptoms of the disease. It has been proven that early detection increases a woman?s chance of survival by as much as 96 percent.
Some of the symptoms that women are told to watch out for include lumps, which are usually firm and painless. Other possible symptoms include swelling on the underarms and on the skin on the breasts which then develops an unusual appearance. Women are also asked to look out for veins that become prominent in the breast area. Other symptoms also include inverting of the nipples, rashes and changes in skin texture, depressions on the breast area and discharges other than breast milk.
Early Detection Plan
However, looking out for symptoms is usually not enough in detecting this disease, since there are instances in which patients are asymptomatic until the cancer reaches stage 3 or 4. To be able to prevent this, breast cancer organizations encourage women to come up with an early detection plan, which includes clinical breast examinations every three years for women aged 20 to 39, then every year thereafter. A monthly breast examination for women beginning at age 20 is also encouraged. Mammograms every two years for women in their 40s and yearly mammograms for women in their 50s are also being emphasized. Women are also told to keep a record of these exams and their appointments with their doctors. Additionally, women are urged to eat a low-fat diet, engage in regular exercise and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
The importance of early detection of breast cancer cannot be denied since it has been proven to increase a cancer patient?s survival rate by as much as 96 percent. Given this, it is then important for women to do what they can to prevent having to suffer unnecessarily from this disease. Having an early detection plan is an effective way of doing just that.
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