Before we enter national breast cancer awareness month, it is a good time to learn about the disease and what can be done to intervene early.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast divide and grow faster than normal, often forming tumors. The majority of times are very slow-growing, and by the time they are noticeable to the afflicted they could have been growing for many years. Other kinds of tumors are more aggressive and grow quickly.
It’s estimated that about 50-75% of breast cancer begins in the milk ducts, while fewer types of cancer can begin in different breast tissues.
In 2021, an estimated 281,550 women in the US will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer. The American Cancer society also predicts there will be 2,650 new cases of invasive breast cancer in men.
According to breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen, breast cancer symptoms are different in all women. However, some of the leading signs are as follows:
A change in the look or feel of the breast
A change in the look or feel of the nipple
The signs are similar in men, though nipple discharge is considerably rarer. Both groups should also look for any skin changes such as scaly or itchy rashes of the nipple, and dimpling or puckering of the breast.
While many of these signs are not necessarily an indicator of cancer and often are benign, you should see a healthcare provider immediately upon discovering them. Treatment for breast cancer is more effective the sooner the cancer can be identified.
What should you do?
Performing regular self-examinations of your breast is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy and safe. Encourage the others in your life to examine their breasts regularly too, particularly if you are a parent to older teens.
Make sure you attend annual physical examinations and begin getting yearly mammograms earlier in life.
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In addition to keeping you up to date on all things clinical trials, we also act as a digital CRO with a specific focus on patient recruitment and retention. We believe that patient recruitment and study startup (especially study design and study material) are heavily intertwined. After all, study design can make or break clinical trials, and the patient-perspective should be considered when designing studies to ensure that patient targets are met not only on time, but also on budget.
For Citruslabs, patient recruitment starts with study design and ends with trial completion. We recruit patients through our network of health apps, which enables you to connect with thousands of patients in real time. The best part: these patients are already educated and prepared for the clinical trial process.