Breast cancer is one of the most common disease diagnoses by women in Germany. Your body is warning you with these symptoms – and you should listen to them.
Breast cancer is the front runner among the most commonly diagnosed cancer diseases. For example, every eighth woman in the US receives this stressful diagnosis. And yet there is reason for hope in this matter: First, breast cancer can be successfully cured in the majority of cases. Second, there are already some things you can do personally to identify your risk of breast cancer.
Before you see a doctor, there are a number of breast cancer symptoms that you can identify yourself. It is important that you deal with your body and react sensitively to possible changes.
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How do I recognize possible breast cancer?
Breast tumors, especially in young women, are often benign in nature. However, you cannot avoid clarification with the doctor.
Nevertheless, there are of course changes that should make you sit up and take notice. Lumps often appear in the upper area of the breast. For example, if you notice such a lump while palpating your breasts, you should contact your doctor. He will initiate the further steps and investigations. The following identifying features can also indicate breast cancer:
One of the breasts behaves differently than the other when you raise your arms
A secretion comes from your breasts even though you are not pregnant or breastfeeding
You could feel hardening or lumps in your armpits
Individual parts of the breasts show red spots over a long period of time that do not subside
How exactly can I examine my breasts?
At the center of self-diagnosis is the monthly breast palpation to detect a possible lump in the breast. The Week after the menstrual period is particularly suitable for this, for example, as the breasts are soft and not overly sensitive at this time. It certainly takes a little practice to do a breast exam on your own. Ideally, your investigation consists of four points.
Step 1: First you look at your breasts from the outside, the best thing to do is to stand in front of a mirror to get the best possible view. Do you see any discoloration, hardening or any other change on one of the breasts?
Step 2: Now raise both arms to see if both breasts behave the same and react to the movements of your arms as usual.
Step 3: Now you include your nipples. Push them gently. Does it hurt or does a secretion even leak?
Step 4: Now it comes to the classic palpation: Hold the breast with one hand, with the other hand you can palpate the chest with circular movements. It’s best to develop your own scheme so that you don’t miss any part of the breast. Ideally, you repeat the scanning process again while lying down.
Ultimately, however, it is most important that you define a fixed cycle for the breast examination. After all, the female breast changes regularly, including due to the monthly cycle. But a changed breast is not a cause for concern for other reasons either – one new pill, pregnancy, or weight gain or loss also determine the structure of the breast.
What happens after i find a lump?
In any case, the moment you detect suspected breast cancer, you should consult your doctor. He now has various further options to confirm or refute your diagnosis. One of the most common approaches is to x-ray the chest.
With the help of Mammography become 90 percent of the cases resolved beyond doubt. Mammography is also suitable for early diagnosis and can be visited regularly at hospitals as part of a preventive medical check-up. Tissue removal or MRI examinations offer additional detection options.
Who is particularly at risk of developing breast cancer?
To be able to detect breast cancer, will from the age of 50 recommended a Routine examination every two years. The reason for this is that only about a fifth of breast cancer cases occur before the age of 50. As a rule, only genetically predisposed patients are advised to undertake regular examinations before the age of 50.
However, genetic predisposition also plays a role here. In up to ten percent, a family illness can be the cause. At the same time, there is a risk that the disease will appear on both breasts one after the other if the hereditary form of breast cancer is present.
How can I prevent this disease?
Factors such as obesity can also play a role in the risk of breast cancer, which is why it is particularly recommended after the age of 50 to maintain constant weight. A healthy and active lifestyle work, which includes a conscious diet and as far as possible avoidance of alcohol.
An influence of environmental factors or psychological problems has not yet been proven. In Germany there are still no medically confirmed hormonal agents that have a demonstrable preventive effect.
Even if many breast tumors turn out to be benign, you shouldn’t shy away from going to the doctor. The earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances of recovery. Take heart – your health should be worth taking this step!