International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March, every year. It marks a day of celebration of women, their roles and their rights in the society.
However, when we look at the women around us, we realise, that they are so selflessly involved in taking care of everything and everyone, that they seldom find the time to take care of their own selves.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, and one of the leading causes of death among women. Breast cancer also affects men, but the number of women affected is way higher.
One of the most important steps in breast cancer treatment is early diagnosis, which can be made possible by being aware of its symptoms. However, do breast cancer symptoms remain the same for all age groups?
What are some signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Some initial symptoms of breast cancer or tumour include –
- Skin changes – swelling, redness, etc in one or both breasts
- Increase in size of the breasts
- Abnormal shape of the breasts
- Change in appearance of the nipples
- Discharge other than breast milk
- Pain in breasts
- Lumps or nodes inside the breasts
- Irritation/itchy breasts
How do Breast Cancer symptoms vary?
While breast cancer symptoms can vary from person to person, irrespective of age, age can play a significant role in the diagnosis process. Lumps or nodes in the breasts are one of the most important signs of breast cancer.
However, in younger women, since the breasts are firm, it can be difficult to detect the lump. The tumour might not even show up in mammograms very well. Most young women with breast tumour detect the lump themselves and report it to their doctor.
However, in the case of older women, the shape, size and firmness of the breasts begin to change as we age. Pregnancy, nursing, and other processes play a major role in such changes.
When the breasts change shape, size, etc. it can be difficult to tell if it is a symptom of breast cancer or just a natural change. Lumps in the breasts are also common in older women, and not all of them are harmful. However, any lumps detected in the breasts should be reported to the doctor immediately.
It is important to get yourself screened for breast cancer regularly, irrespective of age. Women who have a close family member with the condition, who have had their first menstrual period before the age of 12, or a full-term pregnancy before the age of 30, should be even more careful.
Self-examination of breasts is easy and recommended every few weeks. A visit to the doctor and proper screening is recommended every few months. Remember, early diagnosis is key for better and successful cancer treatment.
Wish women all over the world happy International Women’s Day.