We all have them. They can be big or small, firm or soft, we can show them off or keep them hidden. Even men have them! Yes! We’re talking about breasts, and more specifically, breast cancer. Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Filipino women, with 3 in every 100 women developing breast cancer before the age of 75? Shockingly, breast cancer is also the most common cancer for women worldwide, with more than 2 million new cases recorded in 2018 alone.
Breast cancer is often thought of as a women’s disease, but did you know that men can also develop breast cancer? Unsurprisingly, this can have an equally as devastating effect on the life of the patient and his family.
So what exactly is breast cancer, and how can we detect and help to prevent it? Breast cancer occurs when the cells within the breast begin to grow abnormally, and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body, generally via the lymph nodes.
Breast cancer most often begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the glands that produce milk, or the ducts, the passages through which milk passes from the lobules to the nipple. Many cases of breast cancer present as a lump or a change to the breast tissue, and are found either by self-examination, or after consultation with a doctor. The cause of breast cancer is largely unknown, but there are some factors that increase the chance of it developing:
- Being female – women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men
- Old age – the biggest risk factor
- Being overweight – particularly after menopause
- Alcohol – more than 2 standard drinks per day increases the risk
- The oral contraceptive, or HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) medications.
Another important risk factor to consider is your family history of breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have a family member who has had a breast cancer diagnosis. There are a number of inherited defective genes that have been identified as increasing the risk of breast cancer. These are known as Breast Cancer Gene 1 (BRCA1) and Breast Cancer Gene 2 (BRCA2).
In the Philippines, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, aiming to highlight the importance of self-examination, early detection, and general awareness about breasts and breast cancer. EasyDNA Philippines understands the importance of this awareness month, and suggests the Genetic Predisposition Test for those who are curious about their genetic susceptibility to this terrible disease.
The Genetic Predisposition Test gives peace of mind about breast cancer and 34 other common conditions. Our scientists analyse your unique DNA, checking against the markers associated with the onset of 34 diseases and conditions. The test is easy and painless, requiring only oral swabs. Your DNA samples will be analysed, and the results returned to you in a timely manner.
So take the month of October to look after your breasts. Check for any abnormalities, seek a second opinion from a professional, and take charge of your health future. Put your breast foot forward and be proactive with a Genetic Predisposition Test to discover if you have a genetic susceptibility to breast cancer.