Awareness Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the leading female malignancy in the world and is now the most common cancer in Nigeria. Breast cancer has always been a source of severe distress to the patients and their families because of the high frequency of the disease, and the esthetic and symbolic value invested in the breast. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, almost one fourth of women who develop this cancer will die of the disease worldwide. About seventy per cent of women with breast cancer are older than fifty years; only five per cent are younger than forty years. The incidence of breast cancer is increasing in the developing world due to increased life expectancy, increased urbanization and adoption of western lifestyle. Breast cancer causes are unknown, thus it is considered as a disease primarily associated with some risk factors. These factors are simply being a female, getting older, family history of breast cancer especially a first-degree relative, early menarche at the age of 12 and under, late menopause after the age of 55 years, and having the first child after the age of 30 years. Obesity, known to be associated with the poor prognosis primarily as a consequence of increased estrogen production and bioavailability, is more common in black than in white breast cancer patients. An additional factor may be an early age at first completed pregnancy for black women, which is associated with a reduced breast cancer risk but also a poorer prognosis.  

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