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BREAST CANCER: SCREENING, DIAGNOSIS, AND TREATMENT

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the breast cells and affects both men and women of all ages.

Signs of breast cancer

Generally, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms, or be confirmable in its early stages without a breast cancer screening.

However, here are some signs that can indicate a need for an immediate breast exam:

  • Breast lump, or tissue thickening that feels different from other surfaces
  • Breast pain
  • Abnormal nipple discharge
  • Discolored skin around the breast
  • Breast lump, or swelling under your arm, etc.

Diagnosis of breast cancer

A breast cancer diagnosis may require a physical examination of the breast, imaging tests, or a breast biopsy.

The differences between them are:

1. Mammogram: A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast used to detect tumors or other signs of breast cancer for women 40 and above. It can detect benign tumors and cysts at a very early stage.

A mature African-American woman in her 40s wearing a hospital gown, getting her annual mammogram. She is being helped by a technologist, a blond woman wearing scrubs. The focus is on the patient.

2. Ultrasound: A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the tissues deep in your breast.

Note: An ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between a solid mass and a benign cyst.

Also, unlike a mammogram, a breast ultrasound does not use radiation. Therefore, it is safe for people who need to avoid radiation-based imaging, for example, pregnant women.

Nonetheless, a doctor might require both imaging tests for a patient as they differ in imaging modality, and quality, among others.

3. Breast biopsy: This test removes tissue or fluid from the breast to check for cancerous cells.

What comes next after a breast screening?

If your test was positive, your doctor might require further tests to ascertain the spread of your cancer. It will also inform your doctor about the next course of action, and the kind of treatment you need.

Treatment

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the kind of breast cancer, and how far it has spread. It can include one or some of the following:

BREAST CANCER
A female cancer patient of African decent smiles as she is given good news from her doctor. She is dressed casually in a blue t-shirt and wearing a headscarf as she talks with her female doctor if Indian decent.
  • A surgical operation to cut out the cancer tissue.
  • Chemotherapy: The use of pills or drugs injected into your veins to shrink or kill the cancer cells.
  • Hormonal therapy: To prevent cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
  • Biological therapy: This treatment uses the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: uses high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) to kill cancer cells.

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How to book a breast cancer screening

If you’d like to carry out your next breast exam with us, please walk into any of our health centers near you. You may also make an appointment by calling us at 016291000, 016290998 or sending us a Whatsapp message.

Alternatively, If you’d prefer to carry out your screening as part of a complete body check-up, click here. Next, select and pay for our silver, gold, diamond or platinum health check package.

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