Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Australia. Each year, around 12,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and around 3,000 women die from the disease. Treatment is possible in many cases, and survival rates in Australia continue to improve. Today, 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer survive five or more years after diagnosis.
Awareness of the disease is of the utmost importance. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where the medical community aims to educate people about what breast cancer is, its symptoms, and how it may be treated.
For personalised advice or to book an appointment, contact our team at Newbay Medical Clinic today.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the breast tissue. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it is much more common in women.
There are several different types of breast cancer, which are distinguished by the way the cells look under a microscope. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the milk ducts. Another common type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which begins in the milk-producing lobules. There are also several other less common types of breast cancer.
Breast cancer can be treated in a number of different ways, depending on the specific type and stage of the cancer. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be used.
The outlook for breast cancer varies depending on the individual case. Early detection and treatment of breast cancer can significantly improve the chances of survival.
Breast cancer is a complex disease, and treatment can be complex as well. It is important to work with a team of experienced doctors and other healthcare professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer?
There are a number of symptoms that can be associated with breast cancer, though it is important to keep in mind that not all of them will necessarily be present in every case. In some instances, breast cancer may cause no symptoms at all. That being said, some common signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump or mass in the breast that can be felt
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin on the breast
- A rash or crusting on the nipple or surrounding area
- Discharge from the nipple (which may be bloody)
- Swelling or tenderness in the armpit
If you notice any of these changes, it is important to see a doctor right away so that the cause can be determined. Breast cancer is often treatable when caught early, so prompt medical attention is key.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
There are a number of risk factors for developing breast cancer, including:
- Age – the risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older
- Family history – having a close relative with breast cancer increases your risk
- Personal history – if you have had breast cancer before, you are at an increased risk of developing it again
- Hormonal factors – women who have never had children, or who had their first child after the age of 30, are at an increased risk
- Weight – being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing breast cancer
- Alcohol – drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing breast cancer
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Exercising regularly
- Breastfeeding, if possible
If you are concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer, or if you have any symptoms of the disease, please see your doctor.
Book A Screening Today
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women, but treatment may be possible in many cases. If you’re concerned about any changes in your breasts or believe you may be at increased risk of developing breast cancer, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
At Newbay Medical Clinic we believe in putting you first and we prioritise accessibility to provide an unmatched level of care. To address any concerns you may have, speak with your GP or book a screening today.