Breast Cancer Awareness month is a good opportunity to check your knowledge on risk reduction, signs and treatment. Take Dr Dawn Harper’s quick quiz to see what else you need to know.
1. You could have breast cancer if you have the following:
A A lump in the breast
B A change in the skin of the breast
C Discharge from the nipple
D A change in the shape or size of your breast
Answer All of the above.
Most women know that a lump in the breast could be a sign of cancer, and while nine out of 10 lumps seen in breast clinics turn out to be benign, a newly found lump should always be checked by your doctor. But it’s important to know the other signs to look out for. These include any change to the skin of the breast (especially if the skin looks tethered) or nipple discharge (especially if it is blood-stained or one-sided). Most breasts are asymmetrical, but if that asymmetry is changing it also needs to be investigated. That’s why I’m keen for women to get into the habit of looking at their breasts before feeling them.
2. The following factors increase your risk of developing breast cancer:
A Having close family members with breast cancer
B Being overweight or obese
C Getting older
D Being of Asian descent
E Drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week
Answer All of the above except D.
A large report showed that breast cancer is most common in Caucasian women and this is thought to be, at least in part, down to lifestyle choices.
3. Possible treatments for breast cancer include:
A Removing the lump (lumpectomy)
B Removing the breast (mastectomy)
Answer All of the above.
The treatment of breast cancer can include any combination of these, depending on the particular cell type of the cancer, the size of the tumour and how far the cancer has spread. Each woman affected by the disease will have a treatment regime tailored to her and her cancer. Her team will involve her in the decision-making and give her all the information she needs to make the right choice for her.
4. True or false?
Breast cancer screening is only necessary between the ages of 50 and 70.
While screening, ideally, should happen every three years between the ages of 50 and 70, it’s a good idea for younger women who are at increased risk to be screened.
Article sources and references
- National Breast Cancer Coalition. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures. Accessed October 2021https://www.stopbreastcancer.org/information-center/facts-figures/