Cancer or carcinoma is the collective term for malignant tumors that may develop in the body. It is caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. Basically, cancer cells can occur anywhere in the body and spread to nearby organs or tissue. Fortunately, it is possible to detect and treat certain cancers at an early stage. This is especially true for cervical and breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Breast cancer develops when normal cells grow into malignant neoplasms in one or both breasts. During investigation of the breasts, painless lumps or hardenings are felt, benign tumors and lumps can also be found. Women with these symptoms are at high risk. 

Possible signs and symptoms
Certain signs and symptoms may indicate the development of breast cancer. It is important to mention that these signs and symptoms can also be related to other conditions.

It is, however, advisable to check for the following symptoms: 

  • lumps, bumps, or hard surfaces in the breasts;
  • lumps in the armpits;
  • dents or  retracted skin of the breast;
  • any change in the size of the breast;
  • a painful sensation in the breasts;
  • bloody discharge from the nipples.


Risk Factors
Basically, all women can develop breast cancer, but there are some factors that increase this risk.
Women who are at higher risk include:

  • Women whose mother or sister has breast cancer;
  • Women previously treated for breast cancer;
  • Women who have never been pregnant;
  • Certain types of benign tumors are associated with a higher risk of developing malignant cells.

Breast examination
Women who regularly check themselves for breast cancer, can easily identify changes of their breasts, this is beneficial, because abnormalities can be detected at an early stage. In addition, a breast examination can also be done by a doctor or nurse. The best time to examine the breasts, is in the first week after each menstrual period. If a woman is no longer menstruating because of her age or after uterine surgery, it can be done each month on a fixed day.

Breast Self-Examination
This simple method can save a life because breast cancer can be detected at an early stage, increasing the chances of recovery.

Important to remember
With breast cancer it is important to keep the following facts in mind:

Basically, any woman can get cancer, After 30, the risk of breast cancer increases, especially between the ages 45 and 55. Make it a habit of doing a monthly self-exam, from age 18, especially if breast cancer occurs in the family, or if risk factors are present. For woman over 50, it is recommended to have an annual exam done at Stichting Lobi.

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