Women's Health

How To Detect Breast Cancer?

Written by Dr. Gowrimeena and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 
Image: How To Detect Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is now emerging as one of the leading causes of death in women. Unfortunately, we don’t have any vaccines to prevent it. The lumps may be painless, so patients may delay the visit to the doctor. A breast lump may be benign (simple/innocent) or malignant (cancer).

Early detection is the key :

  • It can show up as lumps or swelling, skin changes over breast, nipple changes and discharge from nipples.
  • Breast self-examination is a simple, quick effective method to pick up breast lumps (swelling).
  • We advise all women particularly after age 30 to examine themselves once a month after their periods are over.

Mammogram Test to Ascertain Breast Cancer:

  • Mammogram is an X ray test for the breast which we advise for women aged 40 and more. It can pick up abnormalities not felt by the examining hand. It is commonly perceived as a painful test but it’s only mildly uncomfortable.
  • This discomfort can be further minimised by taking the test after the periods are over when the breasts are soft and supple(Prior to periods due to hormonal changes breasts can be tender to touch).
  • For women less than age 35, mammogram is done by ultrasound scan when we suspect a problem.
  • In women with family history of cancers, screen has to be done even earlier. Familial breast cancer constitutes only 10% of all breast cancers.

Breastfeeding have been found to be protective against breast cancer in the nursing mother.

If you find any breast lump, nipple change or discharge please consult your gynaecologist immediately.

Last reviewed at: 06.Sep.2018

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