Nearly one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, making it the most common female cancer. But the hope is there: the treatments are progressing and the rate of cure also. Pains, fatigue, nodules are well-known signs of this. Yet there are other unsuspected symptoms that most women neglect.
What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
Several factors increase the risk of breast cancer, including:
Age: the older the woman, the higher the risk. Two thirds of breast cancer cases occur after 50 years.
Family history is equally implicated in the development of breast cancer, the risk being increased by fifteen times for women with a first-degree relative, sister or mother. Hereditary cancers are nonetheless rare, only 5% of the affected women carry a genetic predisposition that is transmissible to their daughters.
Hormonal impregnation also plays an important role. The effect of certain female hormones, particularly estrogen, promotes the development of certain types of breast cancer. This increase in estrogen occurs in particular in the absence of pregnancy or breast-feeding, early menstruation, late pregnancy or menopause, prolonged hormone therapy, oral contraceptives, obesity and alcohol consumption.
Generally, breast cancer is painless, and most of its tumors are detected by women themselves.
This is why it is important to monitor the body changes that occur during the menstrual cycle, without falling into paranoia. It is also recommended to regularly perform a palpation of the breasts and to refer to his / her doctor in case of abnormality or feeling of discomfort or pain.
What are the symptoms to watch for?
The appearance of suspicious moles
Breast cancer is not just the appearance of palpable nodules in the breast. There are signs that go unnoticed, such as the appearance of moles, which is not always harmless. Indeed, disproportionate and suspicious growth of these moles is generally associated with melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer.
A study carried out at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research indicated that women who accumulate these small spots would have a 13% greater risk of developing breast cancer than those who Do not. Since the causality is not established, these moles would be influenced like breast cancer by the levels of sex hormones. They serve as an indicator of the latter and serve to assess the risks of breast cancer.
A chronic cough
Cough and shortness of breath are usually thought to be caused by benign respiratory and lung diseases. Now, this symptom may also be a sign that cancerous breast tumors have spread into the body's deep tissues and have reached the lungs. This is metastasis.
Breast cancer is usually accompanied by hormonal disorders responsible for the drying of the urethra, the conduit for evacuating urine. Thus, people with breast cancer may have urinary tract infections or suffer from urinary leakage. These disorders can also be accentuated by coughing which exerts pressure on the abdomen and bladder.
Cancer-related fatigue is significantly greater than that usually experienced after physical exertion. Rather, it is a general debilitating weakening that goes beyond mere fatigue, and that sleep or rest can not relieve. Basic tasks such as climbing stairs, washing, eating or speaking are part of the combatant's journey for the sick person.
Back pain is usually caused by abrupt gestures or bad habits or postures, and is often mitigated by taking anti-inflammatory or analgesics. However, back pain may occur during breast cancer, as a result of the spread of tumors in the bones or in the spine. Pains and stiffness in the lower back which appear without apparent reason (false movement or intense effort) must be the subject of an urgent medical consultation.