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Risk Signs & Symptoms Prevention
   
ARE YOU AT RISK?
   
All women, especially those over the age of 30. Also look out for following cases –
  • Women with a family history of breast cancer (mother or sister)
  • Personal history of benign breast disease
  • Late age (30) of first pregnancy or never bearing children
  • Early beginning of menstruation or late menopause
  • Those with a high fat intake, or those who are obese

Signs & Symptoms

Early stages of breast cancer usually do not cause any symptoms. This is why regular breast exams are important. As the cancer grows, symptoms may include:
  • Breast lump or lump in the armpit that is hard, has uneven edges, and usually does not hurt
  • Change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast or nipple -- for example, you may have redness, dimpling, or puckering that looks like the skin of an orange
  • Fluid coming from the nipple -- may be bloody, clear to yellow, green, and look like pus

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Men can get breast cancer, too. Symptoms include breast lump and breast pain and tenderness.
Symptoms of advanced breast cancer may include:
  • Bone pain
  • Breast pain or discomfort
  • Skin ulcers
  • Swelling of one arm (next to the breast with cancer)
  • Weight loss
   
Calling your health care provider
   
Contact your health care provider for an appointment if:
  • You have a breast or armpit lump
  • You have nipple discharge
Also call your health care provider if you develop symptoms after being treated for breast cancer, such as:
  • Nipple discharge
  • Rash on the breast
  • New lumps in the breast
  • Swelling in the area
  • Pain, especially chest pain, abdominal pain, or bone pain
   
Prevention
   
Learning what causes cancer and what the risk factors are is the first step in cancer prevention. Many cancer risk factors can be avoided, thus reducing the likelihood of developing cancer. Many risk factors, such as your genes and family history, cannot be controlled. However, eating a healthy diet and making a few lifestyle changes may reduce your overall chance of getting cancer.
The best advice is to eat a well-balanced diet and avoid focusing on one "cancer-fighting" food. The American Cancer Society's dietary guidelines for cancer prevention recommend that people:
  • Choose foods and portion sizes that promote a healthy weight
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products
  • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Limit processed and red meat in the diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day (women who are at high risk for breast cancer should consider not drinking alcohol at all)

Women at very high risk for breast cancer may consider preventive (prophylactic) mastectomy. This is the surgical removal of the breasts before breast cancer is ever diagnosed. Possible candidates include
  • Women who have already had one breast removed due to cancer
  • Women with a strong family history of breast cancer
  • Women with genes or genetic mutations that raise their risk of breast cancer (such as BRCA1 or BRCA2)
   
   
               
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