Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the breast tissue. The cells in the breast grow and divide uncontrollably, forming a tumor. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, although it is more common in women.
There are several types of breast cancer, but the most common is invasive ductal carcinoma, which starts in the milk ducts and can spread to other parts of the breast or body if not treated.
Breast cancer can have different stages, which describe how advanced the cancer is and how far it has spread. Early detection and treatment can increase the chances of survival and improve the outcomes of breast cancer. Some common symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm, changes in the size or shape of the breast, skin changes such as redness or dimpling, nipple discharge or inversion, and breast pain. However, not all breast lumps or changes indicate cancer, and a doctor should evaluate any concerning symptoms.
7 Best Way To Detect Breast Cancer Early
1. Mammography: Mammography is an X-ray imaging technique that can detect breast cancer in its early stages, even before it can be felt. The American Cancer Society recommends women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year.
2. Clinical Breast Exam (CBE): A clinical breast exam is a physical exam done by a healthcare professional, who will check your breasts and lymph nodes for any abnormalities. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a CBE as part of their regular health exam every three years.
3. Breast Self-Exam (BSE): Women can perform a breast self-exam (BSE) to become familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel, and to detect any changes. However, BSE alone is not a reliable screening method and should be used in combination with regular mammograms and clinical breast exams.
4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI is a type of imaging test that uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed pictures of the breast tissue. It may be recommended for women who are at high risk for breast cancer due to family history or genetic mutations.
5. Genetic Testing: Women who have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors may consider genetic testing to determine if they carry mutations in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
6. Breast Ultrasound: Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the breast tissue. It may be used in conjunction with mammography to evaluate breast lumps or abnormalities that are difficult to see on mammograms.
7. Breast Biopsy: If a mammogram or other screening test detects a suspicious area in the breast, a biopsy may be performed to remove a small tissue sample for testing. A biopsy can help determine if cancer is present and if so, what type of cancer it is.