Dr Taghreed Almahmeed
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The number of breast cancer cases have been rising at an alarming rate across the globe.
One of the most common cancers in women, breast cancer can be treated successfully if detected at an early stage. It can even affect younger women and beginning from 20 years of age, regular screening and self-examination is required.
Of the new breast cancer cases reported in the UAE, 40% are under the age of 50 according to the UAE National Cancer Registry Data.
“Currently, there is a spurt in cases of breast cancer. Thus, it is imperative to catch it early and treat it efficiently. Breast self-examination is a vital screening tool to know about cancer when used in combination with regular physical exams by a doctor, mammography, and even ultrasound and/or MRI, and all these screening tools work in a different way,” says Dr Taghreed Almahmeed, Consultant General Surgeon at Al Zahra Pvt. Hospital Dubai.
There are many different types of breast cancer and they occur in two broad categories: invasive and non-invasive.
Most of the breast cancers are invasive, meaning the cancer has spread from the original site to other areas, like nearby breast tissue, lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body.
Non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer cells remain in a particular location of the breast, without spreading to surrounding tissues, lobules or ducts.
“Self-examination is the most convenient and cost-effective way to spot any changes in your breast, says Dr Taghreed. “Breast cancer can have different symptoms for different people. Many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. A lump may be too small for you to feel or to cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own. This is why early breast screening is very important,” she added.
Highlighting the common symptoms of breast cancer, she said: “It is essential for you to avoid ignoring the red flags like lumps, soreness, redness, nipple discharge and rash, or skin puckering.
“Timely intervention can reduce mortality and morbidity that occurs owing to breast cancer,” says the doctor.
Staging of the cancer is a way of describing how extensive the breast cancer is, including the size of the tumour, whether it has spread to distant parts of the body, and what its biomarkers are.
“Spread awareness of breast cancer by telling your female friends and family to get mammograms.”
In the UAE, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women constituting 38% of all female cancers which has steadily increased over the last 3 decades.
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