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Breast cancer awareness

View profile for Laura Owen
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Breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK.  The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50 years of age, but it can also affect women younger than this.

Whilst the risks of developing breast cancer increase with age, other factors known to escalate the risk of breast cancer include a previous breast cancer diagnosis, family history of breast cancer and obesity.  

Symptoms of breast cancer can include:

  • A change in the shape or size of one or both breasts
  • A lump or swelling on the breast, armpits or upper chest
  • A change in the appearance of the nipple
  • A change to the skin of your breasts, such as dimpling or puckering
  • Discharge from one or both of your nipples
  • A rash around the nipple

It is crucial that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and that they see their GP if they have any concerns.  The GP may refer a patient to a breast clinic for further tests.  Mammograms, which are x-rays of the breasts, are most routinely used to detect changes in the breast tissue at an early stage. Women aged 50-70 are invited for breast mammogram screening every 3 years.  A mammogram however may not detect some types of breast cancer and further assessment may be required.

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