What is Breast Cancer?
Breast Cancer is a type of cancer (malignant disease) that affects women and men, its incidences is much higher is women.
28% of all cancer detected worldwide is Breast cancer.
Facts you should know about Breast Cancer
1. Breast Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths, after lung cancer.
2. 1 out of 8 women develops Breast Cancer during her lifetime.
3. 8 out of 10 Breast Tumors are non-cancerous.
4. 9½ out of 10 women treated for early Breast Cancer will be alive five years later.
5. Breast Cancer can’t be prevented but can be treated and cured if discovered early.
Early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.
Who are at higher risk?
1. Are over the age of 50 years.
2. Have a mother, sister or daughter with Breast Cancer (family history of Breast Cancer).
3. Had her first child after the age of 35 years.
4. Began menstruation before the age of 12 years.
5. Had delayed menopause.
6. Had a cancer before.
7. Eat a high Fat diet and are 40% or more over weight.
8. Smoke more that 10 cigarettes per day.
9. Drink Alcohol regularly.
10. Used “Hormone Replacement Therapy” or the “Pill” for a long time.
Breast Cancer can affect any women even if she doesn’t have any of the risk factor mentioned.
Are you at higher risk?
What can you do?
1. Regular Breast Self Examination (BSE)
2. Regular Breast Clinical Examination (BCE) by the Doctor.
3. Regular Mammography after the age of 40 years.
4. Reduce your risk of developing Breast Cancer (by keeping a healthy weight, eating healthy, stopping smoking and exercise)
How to do BSE?
Breast Cancer lumps that are discovered by women themselves when performing regular BSE are half the size of lumps discovered by doctors.
The smaller the tumour the more effective the treatment in controlling and curing the cancer.
Women must learn and perform regular BSE from puberty till old age.
BSE is done once a month on the 6th till 10th day from the start of the menstrual period.
Women who don’t have monthly periods (e.g., menopause or after removing the womb), must do the BSE at a specific day each month.
Pregnant women and women with breast implants must also perform a monthly BSE.
Lactating women must do the BSE after expressing all the milk.
The 4 step for monthly breast self check (BSE)
Before you get started, pick one motion you will use every time you conduct your self-breast-check. This makes it easier for you to detect any changes in your breast.
1. Circular motion
2. Up and down motion
3. Wedge motion
Step One | Lying down
1. Place a pillow under your right shoulder.
2. Place your right hand behind your head.
3. Use the inner pads of the three middle fingers of your left hand (see red circle in the diagram).
4. Feel for any changes in your breast, above and below your collarbone and your armpit area (like a lump or a hard node or skin thickening).
5. Now repeat the same procedure for the left breast.
Step Two | Stand upright in front of a mirror
1. Place your right hand behind your head.
2. Use the three middle fingers of your left hand while feeling your right breast.
3. Inspect all the areas of your breast, chest and collarbone just like you did when lying down. (see the red outlined box)
4. Repeat the same procedure for the left breast using your right hand.
Step Three | Stand upright in front of a mirror
1. Arms held over your head
2. Check your breast for any change in size, shape and color.
Step Four | Stand upright in front of a mirror
1. Arms pressed against the hips and bending forward
2. Check your breasts for puckering, dimpling, rash, nipple discharge or retraction or any other change that do not look and feel normal.
What to look for when doing BSE:
1. Lump, hard knot or thickening.
2. Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening.
3. Change in the size or shape of nipple or the breast.
4. Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
5. Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
6. Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast.
7. Nipple discharge (especially bloody) that starts suddenly.
8. New pain in one spot that does not go away.
9. Pain or tenderness not associated with menstrual cycle.
When to do a CBE?
Is done as part of the annual health check up or when you feel something wrong.
Starting from the age of 20 years: CBE should be done every 3 years.
After the age of 40 years: CBE should be done every year.
When to do a mammogram?
Mammogram is an x ray of the breast tissue; it can detect the smallest abnormal changes in the breast even before being detectable by the women herself or by the doctor.
Mammogram is performed |
- At the age of 40 years and older and repeated every year to two years.
- Age 35 years if there is positive family history of Breast cancer.
- Timing of a mammogram: mammogram can be done anytime, but preferably done after the start menstrual cycle (in the first 10 days of the period)
Before going to the mammogram appointment |
1. Don’t wear perfume, deodorant or powder as it affects the mammogram result.
2. Bring your old mammograms and the reports if you have them.
Mammography screening is the only screening method that has proven to be effective. It can reduce breast cancer mortality (death) by 20 to 30% in women over 50 yrs old.
Where can you get a mammogram?
Abu Dhabi: Mother and Child Center (Central): 02 6117408
Abu Dhabi: National Screening Program: 02 4473496/ 02 4479232
Al Ain: Breast Care Center (Tawam Hospital): 03 7074330
Dubai: Dubai Hospital, Tel: 04 2714444, www.dha.gov.ae
Dubai: Preventive Medicine, Tel: 04 2721670
Sharjah: Mother and Child Center: 06 5245477
Ajman: Mother and Child Center: 06 5245477
RAK: RAK Health Center (Kuwaiti Hospital –X ray department-): 07 2337333
UQA: Umm al-Quwain Hospital (x-ray department) : 06 7060303
Fujairah: Fujairah Hopsital: 09 2224811