Breast cancer is a malignant tumor in the breast. It gets formed when breast tissue cells divide and grow without being subject to the control of natural systems in the body. These cells may invade surrounding tissue and can be transmitted to other parts of the body through the blood or lymphatic system if not treated.
No one knows what the cause of breast cancer is and how to prevent it. What we do know is that early detection provides multiple treatment options and a greater chance of survival. Breast cancer is found in one-third of cancer cases among women, and is the most common cancer among women in the Arab world. Due to a lack of awareness among women of the importance of maintaining breast health and following self-examination and early detection steps, the number of cases detected in late stages increases. This is despite the possibility of achieving the highest cure rate of up to 98% if discovered early.
All women are at risk of getting breast cancer. However, some women are at a higher risk due to more than one risk factor. Every woman who has a risk factor that can be changed should make an effort to lower her risk of breast cancer. Some of the risk factors associated with breast cancer are related to your genetics, so they cannot be changed.
The risk factors are:
• Being Female
• Family History of breast cancer - It is higher if more than one relative was diagnosed with breast cancer, or if they were diagnosed at a young age.
• Estrogen and Progesterone Hormones
- Use of menopausal hormone therapy
- Taking birth control pills for long periods of time.
• Menstrual Periods
- Starting the menstrual cycle early (before 12 years) and/or,
- Reaching menopause later (after 55 years)
• Not Breastfeeding
- Fat consumption
Make sure to follow early detection steps in order to detect tumors in the early stages and thus have an excellent result during treatment.
Know what is normal for your breasts by doing a monthly breast self-exam starting at age 20.
Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40.
Have an annual or biennial mammogram starting at age 40.
Visit your doctor if you notice any of these breast changes:
Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
Change in the size or shape of the breast
Dimpling or puckering of the skin
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
New pain in one spot that does not go away
The Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt is a non-profit organization registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity 5840/2004. Over these 14 years, BCFE has been providing a high level of care and diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation services for women from different social and economic strata around Egypt. BCFE has also been promoting early detection guidelines.