Breast cancer definition & its statistic in Malaysia

Breast cancer is a malignant growth that begins in the tissues of the breasts. It occurs when the cells in the lobules or the ducts become abnormal and divide uncontrollably. These cancerous cells will then begin to invade the surrounding breast tissue and spread via blood vessels and lymphatic channels. Breast cancer is also the most common form of cancer affecting women in Malaysia, where about 1 in 19 women is at risk.

Top risk factors for breast cancer

  • Getting older
    Most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50 years old as the risk for breast cancer increases with age.
  • Genetic mutations
    Women who have inherited genetic mutations are at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Reproductive history
    Early menstrual period before 12 years old and starting menopause after age 55 means exposing women to hormones longer, raising the risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Personal history of breast cancer or certain non-cancerous breast disease
    Women with breast cancer history are more likely to get breast cancer for the second time. Non-cancerous breast diseases such as atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ are associated with a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
    A woman’s risk for breast cancer is higher if she has first-degree relatives or extended family members who have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

Symptoms to look out for

Breast cancer has several symptoms, but the most noticeable symptom is a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.

Other symptoms include:

  • Change in the size or shape of either one or both breasts
  • Discharge from either of your nipples
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • A rash on or around your nipple
  • Change of appearance of your nipple (eg. sunken into your breast)

Consult with a doctor if you notice any of the symptoms above and about ways to reduce your risk. Learn more about Regency’s Women & Children Centre of Excellence today.

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