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Breast Cancer - Know the symptoms

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Breast Cancer - Know the symptoms

Who is at risk?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Risk increases with age with approximately 77% of women being over the age of 50 at the time of diagnosis. Risk doubles if there are first or second degree relatives with breast cancer. However, family history contributes to only 5 - 10% of breast cancers. Men are not completely immune to breast cancer and about 1% of all breast cancers are found in men.

Other risk factors which are associated with breast cancer are:

  • Early onset of periods
  • Late menopause
  • Null parity or late child birth
  • Lack of breast feeding
  • Obesity
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Previous history of radiation
  • Previous history of breast surgery etc.

Presence of the cancer

Breast cancer commonly presents itself as:

  • A lump in the breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Nipple retraction
  • Dimpling /Ulceration of skin
  • Lump in armpit

Breast cancer spreads to the glands in the armpit, root of the neck, in the chest (Lymphatic spread). It can also sometimes spread to anywhere inside the body like lungs, liver, bones, ovaries and brain.