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10 facts about breast cancer that could save your life

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), cancer is one of the primary killer diseases in the world. Knowing a few facts about the disease can save your life.

1. One in 31 women in South Africa is likely to get breast cancer.

2. Breast cancer is not only a woman’s disease: Men are also at risk of developing breast cancer, but the chances are much slimmer at 1 in 794.

3. Breast cancer in women is the second most common cancer in the world. Lung cancer takes top spot as the most common cancer worldwide in   both men and women.

4. Age plays a crucial role in breast cancer development, and according to Cansa, women under 40 years old are still at risk of getting breast        cancer than those over 40 or post-menopausal. Women of older age are however of higher risk of developing the disease.

5. A lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer. Some lumps develop due to a blocked milk duct or even a cyst. It’s therefore necessary to get  checked if such an abnormality occurs, even if it might not be cancerous.

6. Women who have not given birth, or have had their first child at the age of 35 years old and older, have an increased chance of developing  breast cancer.

7. Breast cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer-related death among women in South Africa, after cervical cancer.

8. Obesity or being overweight has been linked to breast cancer.

9. Early detection can save your life. This can include self-examination, or a touch test, which can allow you to physically feel for any   abnormalities or lumps in your breast.

10. Breast cancer is not a death sentence, and can be beaten. A number of procedures are available, and do not always have to involve invasive  surgery. Once diagnosed with cancer, a variety of treatment options are available.

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