Breast Cancer: Early Detection Saves Lives
One in eight women in the UK will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. That's why it's so important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and to know how to detect it early. In this blog post, we'll discuss how breast cancer is diagnosed, treated, and prevented. We'll also look at the latest advances in breast cancer research, including new treatments that are available now or that may be available in the future.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the UK. Each year, around 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and around 11,500 die from the disease.
What Are The Top 10 Symptoms and Signs of Breast Cancer?
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt)
- Skin dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking, or thickened
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or near the collar bone (Sometimes this can be a sign of breast cancer spread even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.)
Most breast cancers are found by women themselves or by their doctors during routine screening. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the easier it will be to treat.
There are two types of breast cancer screening programs available in the UK: breast screening and symptomatic breast assessment.
Breast screening is offered to all women aged 50 and over every three years. It involves a mammogram, which is an X-ray of the breasts. There are several screening methods for breast cancer, including self-examination, mammography (X-ray of the breast), ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves), and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Mammograms can detect breast cancers when they're too small to see or feel. If breast cancer is suspected, a biopsy (tissue sample) will be taken to confirm the diagnosis. Once breast cancer has been diagnosed, further tests may be carried out to determine whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
If you're under 50 years old and have a family history of breast cancer, you may be eligible for breast screening with MRI scans instead of mammograms.
Symptomatic breast assessment is offered to women of any age who have breast symptoms that are not due to normal changes or benign conditions.
If you're worried about breast cancer, it's important to see your GP as soon as possible. They will ask about your symptoms and may examine your breasts.
If they think you might have breast cancer, they'll refer you for further tests. These tests can help to find out whether you have breast cancer and, if so, what type it is.
The main tests used to diagnose breast cancer are:
- a mammogram (X-ray of the breasts)
- an ultrasound scan (using sound waves to create a picture of the inside of the body)
- a biopsy (removal of a small
The main treatments for breast cancer are surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy), chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and endocrine therapy (hormone treatment). Targeted therapies are also being developed, which are designed to target specific breast cancer cells.
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, including maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and limiting your alcohol intake. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may be able to reduce your risk by taking preventative measures such as having a mammogram or breast MRI every year. You may also be eligible for genetic testing if you have close relatives with breast cancer.
If you're worried about breast cancer, talk to your GP. They will be able to discuss your risk factors and advise you on the best course of action. breast cancer is a serious disease, but if it's detected early, it can be treated successfully. With the latest advances in breast cancer research, there are more treatment options available than ever before. So if you're worried about breast cancer, don't hesitate to speak to your GP.
At Oncotrust, our 7-Day Diagnosis Pathway provides rapid affordable tests including digital 3D mammography, ultrasound, biopsy, MRI, PET-CT scanning, and multidisciplinary review. If you are waiting for staging tests (PET-CT, MRI) or are worried you may have symptoms of breast cancer, then make an appointment with our Private GP service or complete the online questionnaire via our Contact Us page.