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Breast Cancer Awareness

October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. There are 55,920 cases diagnosed every year. Such a large number means that overall, it’s one of the most common cancers in the UK. 1 in 7 women will have breast cancer over their lifetime. While there are 11499 deaths each year the prognosis is generally good, 76% of women live for another 10 years or more after their diagnosis. You may think this is a female only issue, but men do get breast cancer too. Typically in men, it is rarer and happens over the age of 60.

Early detection is key. The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Regularly check your breasts for new lumps, thickening in the breast, thickening in the armpit, change in size, change in shape, change in texture, puckering, dimpling, rash, redness, leaking nipples, and changes in the position of the nipple.

There are several types of breast cancer. To understand them better we need to look at the structure of breasts. Breasts are predominantly made of adipose tissue (fatty tissue) with glandular tissue running through it. The glandular breast tissue is clumped together in lobules. The lobules resemble the structure of a bunch of grapes. Lactiferous ducts run from the lobules to the nipple and dense connective tissue runs through the entire breast giving it structure.


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