Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. It is the principal cause of death from cancer among women. A according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 500,000 deaths from breast cancer was reported globally in 2012 and the prevalence and mortality has increasing.

 In 2016, an estimated 246,660 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. alone. So no matter who you are or where you live, understanding breast cancer is important. But the most important thing to know is this: a diagnosis of Breast Cancer is not a death sentence. Breast cancer can be treated, when diagnosed early. The Catche here is EARLY.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer occurs when normal Breast Cells divide and grow abnormally without their normal control. What triggers this abnormal behavior of the cells remain elusive to scientist and research is ongoing to unravel this puzzle. If the abnormal cells grow inside the milk ducts, but do not spread to nearby tissue, the condition is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Invasive breast cancer occurs when cancer cells spread to grow beyond the ducts, spreading to local, regional and distant organs. Invasive breast cancer that spreads to other parts of the body is called metastatic breast cancer. The target organs for mastitis are;

  • Lungs
  • Bones
  • Liver
  • Brain

Warning Signs

The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. The most common signs are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge. Due to the use of regular mammography screening, most breast cancers in the developed countries are found at an early stage, before any clinicalism. However, not all breast cancers are found through mammography. If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider.

In some cases, these changes are not cancer.

For example, breast pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer.

However, the only way to know for sure is to see a doctor or breast health nurse.

Early Detection And Prompt Action Is Equal To Prevention.

Breast lumps or lumpiness

Many women may find that their breasts feel lumpy.

Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture. Some women have more lumpiness in their breasts than others. In most cases, this lumpiness is no cause to worry.

If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast and feels like your other breast, then it is probably normal breast tissue.

Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast (or the other breast) or that feel like a change should be checked. This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition (such as a cyst or fibroadenoma).

Learn more about benign breast conditions.

See a health care provider if you:

  • Find a new lump (or any change) that feels different from the rest of your breast
  • Find a new lump (or any change) that feels different from your other breast
  • Feel something that is different from what you felt before
  • It’s best to see a provider if you are unsure about a new lump (or any change).

Although a lump (or any change) may be nothing to worry about, you will have the peace of mind it was checked.

If you have had a benign lump in the past, don’t assume a new lump will also be benign. The new lump may not be breast cancer, but it’s best to make sure.

Nipple discharge

Fluid leaking from your nipple (nipple discharge) can be troubling, but it’s rarely a sign of breast cancer.

Discharge can be your body's natural reaction when the nipple is squeezed.

Signs of a more serious condition (such as breast cancer) include discharge that:

  • Occurs without squeezing the nipple
  • Occurs in only one breast
  • Is bloody , blood stained, greenish, black etc. (not milky)

Nipple discharge can also be caused by an infection or other condition that needs treatment. If you have any nipple discharge, see a health care provider