How To Detect Breast Cancer Early
Breast cancer occurs when cells within the breast get damaged for some reason or the other. When such a situation occurs, in some cases the damaged cells may form into a tumor. The tumor is cancerous if it happens to be malignant in nature. If the cancer is not stopped in its early stages, then it can spread to other parts of the body. However, with advances in science in technology, cancer can possibly be detected in its early stages now. Even though the early stages of cancer may not display any as such visible symptoms, early detection can help increase chances of survival, which otherwise happen to be scanty or next to zero in its later stages. The goal of screening exams, such as mammograms, is primarily to detect cancer before its symptoms begin to gain visibility, hence, improving a person’s likelihood of having a shot at living.
In order to detect cancer in its early stages, following these simple steps can help you gain a chance at life, which would otherwise be impossible in case the cancer spreads.
Getting a mammogram is the best way for detecting breast cancer possibilities. A mammogram is basically an x-ray of the breasts which can show any abnormalities in the breast cells that may deem to be cancerous. This procedure is fairly simple, is based on radiation and takes a total time of 20 minutes or so. Digital mammography is a lot more helpful as it gives the physician a clearer picture as to the state the breast cells may be in. Breast cancer diagnosis can be quite troublesome, but taking preventative measures is only bound to do well.
Another essential to take when trying to detect breast cancer is conducting a self-breast exam. Make sure to conduct this test when you are not on your period, so that your breasts are not swollen or tender due to reasons pertaining to the menstrual cycle. It is essential to take this test, which involves feeling your breasts, once a month, preferably around the same date each month. This is to familiarize yourself with how your breasts normally feel, so that when and if they feel different you can easily detect an abnormality. Mostly, with breast cancer, the breasts may feel lumpy around the area under the armpits, pebbly around the lower breast sides and grainy under the nipples. If you are feeling any such textures, make sure to contact your physician ASAP.
Clinical Breast Exams
It is advisable for women to have a clinical breast exam every 3 years once they have reached their 20’s as a precautionary measure, in an attempt to detect breast cancer possibilities. After the age of forty, women should get this exam done on a yearly basis along with a mammogram to be on the safe side. Detecting breast cancer can be quite tricky, and it is always preferable to keep all bases covered.
Additional Screening Tests
When trying to screen out the possibilities of breast cancer and attempting to detect breast cancer in its early stages, if you feel the need to get additional screening tests done in order to examine any abnormalities, do not hesitate to do so. An ultrasound, an MRI or a breast tissue samples are all good ideas to help you rule out or detect breast cancer possibilities. Even though these tests are not carried out in isolation as a means of diagnosing breast cancer, they can aid the process when conducted in collaboration with other screening tests, such as those mentioned above.
Keep An Eye Out For Signs And Symptoms
Being conscious of any possible signs and symptoms of breast cancer is always a good idea when it comes down to diagnosing breast cancer. If your breasts feel swollen, lumpy, thicker than the other areas, or if you witness something such as blood or fluid discharge from the nipples, it is highly advisable that you refer to your doctor on an emergency basis. Furthermore, a change in the size of the breasts, or redness, peeling or flaking of the nipples are all matters of concern as well, matters that can help detect breast cancer.