By Jon Arnold
In today’s world, is it that occurrences of breast cancer are growing much more than it was years ago, or it is just that breast cancer is getting more visibility in the press and medical journals? It appears that the answer is a little bit of both. The population is increasing and therefore the actual number of cases is more, although the actual percentage of people diagnosed with breast cancer is not significantly different (although it is higher) than in years past.
One of the things that many people fail to understand is that anyone can get breast cancer. Although it is thought to be tied somewhat to being hereditary, that does not mean that you will not get breast cancer if there is no occurrence of it in your family history.
Another thing that is equally puzzling is why more people, particularly women where breast cancer is most likely to happen, do not get regular checkups from their doctor to check for it. I know of multiple people who were diagnosed with breast cancer, and when asked when the last time they had a mammogram done to check for the presence of breast cancer, they indicated it had been a number of years. This is truly unfortunate because like most things, if breast cancer is caught as early as possible, the chances of beating it become incredibly greater.
You should be aware of the symptoms of breast cancer, sometimes also known as inflammatory breast caner so that you can see your doctor as soon as possible if these symptoms exist. These symptoms include:
* A breast that appears bruised, or is pink or purple.
* If your breast is feeling tender or firm and enlarged.
* A consistent warm feeling in the breast.
* Pain or itching in the breast that is constant.
* A ridged or dimpled skin texture, kind of like an orange peel.
* Flattened, retracted, swollen or crusted skin around the nipple.
* Lumps or enlarged lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone.
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or signs, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to get checked out. Most health insurance companies will pay for this examination, because they realize that it is going to cost them much more if the cancer is allowed to grow instead of being diagnosed, caught, and remedied early on in its development stages.
Many of these same symptoms can also indicate the presence of a breast infection called mastitis. This type of infection most frequently (although not exclusively) occurs in younger women, usually under age 35, who are breast feeding young children. This is not breast cancer but is a simple infection that is most easily treated with prescription antibiotics. It is frequently accompanied by fever. The difference here is that breast cancer does not cause a fever, nor does it respond to antibiotics.
The bottom line is that you need to be aware of the classic symptoms of breast cancer, since the earlier it is diagnosed and treated, especially with the advances in today’s medicines, the better your chances of beating it.
Jon is a computer engineer who maintain a variety of web sites based on his knowledge and experience. For more information about Breast Cancer, please visit his web site at Breast Cancer Explained.
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