Majority of women having breast cancer do not have any signs and symptoms in the initial stages of breast cancer – owing to which they tend to ignore doing breast-self-examination. In many cases, most of the women don’t know how to do breast-self-examination. If they don’t do breast self-examination, they simply remain unaware of their breast cancer – and therefore, don’t go for clinical examination (examination by a gynaec-oncologist) and screening. Owing to this reason, Breast cancer is being detected in the third and fourth stages. This is quite common in India. Late diagnosis is leading to ineffective treatment and poor survival rates.
Breast self-examination following by clinical breast examination and breast cancer screening (tests for detecting breast cancer) detect breast cancer early. Therefore, if you are a woman who suspects that there is something abnormal after doing breast-self-examination – you must approach a gynaeconcologist.
Women who are at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer due to a strong family history must start screening early. The screening for such women may involve genetic testing and MRI. Breast cancers known to occur in close family members, develop at an early age and tend to be aggressive. These cancers can be predicted and prevented with a high degree of accuracy based on genetic screening.
Breast cancers have the highest cure rates if diagnosed in the early stages. Simple tests like mammogram done at appropriate times can detect breast cancers early for a potential cure.