Following my diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer in November 2015, I want to do all I can to raise awareness of checking for Breast Cancer symptoms and signs.
Despite finding my breast cancer early, I do believe that I could have found it even earlier and I want to stress the importance of conducting your own regular breast checks.
I’m sharing information below from Cancer Council NSW. Please read it. Please be vigilant and please encourage your friends and family to be as well.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts grow abnormally and out of control. A tumour can form in the ducts or lobules of the breast.
When the cells that look like breast cancer are still confined to the ducts or lobules of the breast, it is called pre-invasive breast cancer.
Most breast cancers are found when they are invasive. This means the cancer has spread outside the ducts or lobules of the breast into surrounding tissue.
Breast Cancer symptoms
Signs to look for include:
- a lump, lumpiness or thickening
- changes to the nipple, such as a change in shape, crusting, a sore or an ulcer, redness, unusual discharge, or a nipple that turns in (inverted) when it used to stick out
- changes to the skin of the breast, such as dimpling of the skin, unusual redness or other colour changes
- an increase or decrease in the size of the breast
- a change to the shape of the breast
- swelling or discomfort in the armpit
- persistent, unusual pain that is not related to your normal monthly menstrual cycle, remains after a period and occurs in one breast only.
Breast Cancer statistics
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, representing 28% of all cancers in women.
- About 14,000 women are diagnosed each year.
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85.
- Although it can occur at any age, breast cancer is more common in older women.
- More than two in three (69%) are diagnosed in women aged 40–69. About one in four (25%) are diagnosed in women aged 70 and over.
- Nearly 80% of women diagnosed had invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), while about 11% had invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC).
- About 130 men are diagnosed in Australia each year. This represents less than 1% of all breast cancers.
You can find out more about Breast Cancer here: http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/breast-cancer/