Breast Cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death among women worldwide. Therefore being awareness and early detection will be beneficial for appropriate treatment and better outcome. The presenting symptom of breast cancer may vary depending on specific type of breast cancer. However, the most common one is the breast lump which may be located anywhere along the chest wall to under the armpit. The lump can be palpated in one side of breast or both. Other signs include pain, abnormal nipple discharge or skin change without any previous injury. Additionally, the affected breast may be enlarged, inflamed or decontoured. An urgent doctor consultation is highly recommended for proper management. Dr. Thanita Mcalpine, our general surgeon at Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin shares that breast cancer is a complex, multifactorial disease where genetic susceptibility, environment, nutrition and other lifestyle risk factors interact. The first risk factor that should be taken in consideration is age. Even though the breast cancer incidence peaks at middle age, near 45 and 65 years, it also shows bimodal age distribution of diagnosis at early-onset and late-onset age varied by molecular and genomic characteristics. Another risk factor is direct family history: patient who has first degree relatives diagnosed of breast cancer will have higher chance for the disease. People who was previously diagnosed of breast cancer will be at risk for recurrence on the same side or the other. People who are overweight or have prolong usage of estrogen hormone, such as those who take contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy after menopause, will be at higher risk of developing breast cancer. For breast cancer screening method, women can do self breast examination monthly, at mid cycle by standing in front of a mirror using three finger palpating around nipple in a spiral fashion on both side. After checking all the breast tissue, the patients may palpate along both armpits up to both collar bones. It is advisable to come to hospital if any abnormalities are detected. The doctor will do clinical examination and send patient for appropriate investigations; mammogram and/or ultrasound. In some patients who are diagnosed of asymptomatic benign breast masses or cysts, the doctors may recommend closed observation within 3 to 6 months with followed up ultrasound breast. In case of having worsening symptom which may interfere daily life, the patients may be recommended for operation. People who are suspicious of breast cancer, tissue diagnosis is recommended and proper treatment will be obtained. “Besides self breast examination and clinical examination by a physician, breast cancer screening investigation such as mammogram and ultrasound breast should be done once a year for women who are older than 35 years old. Since breast cancer is known as one of the good prognosis cancer, anyone who is diagnosed of this disease in early stage (stage 0-1) will be considerably survived 100 percent after 5 years. Therefore, it is wisely to get early detection for better outcome.” Dr. Thanita said. In addition, breast cancer is hormone related disease, it can be prevented by lowering estrogen level in the body to potentially reduce the breast cancer risk, for instance: maintain a normal body weight, get regular moderate exercise, stop smoking, avoid alcohol consumption, reduce saturated and trans fats and reduce usage hormone replacement therapy or prolong usage of contraceptive pills. Ultimately, annual check-up by mammogram is crucial for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. ************************************************************************** For more information and booking an appointment, please contact : Tel: 032-616-883 (8.00 – 17.00 hrs.) General Surgery Clinic, ground floor Tel. 032-616-800 Call Center, Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin Line : @bangkokhuahin or https://lin.ee/5tso2l0