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All you need to know about breast cancer

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The National Cancer Registry (NCR) 2017 shows the top five cancers affecting women in SA are breast, cervical, colorectal, uterine and lung cancer.

It’s important to empower women with knowledge regarding: . lowering their cancer and health risk; . recognising warning signs; . monthly breast self-examinations; . annual medical check-ups; and . cancer screening for early detection.

The breast cancer risk factors are as follows: . Many women who are under 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer.. Being overweight and having low levels of physical activity increases risk.. Alcohol and tobacco use increases the risk.. All women are at risk, but family history increases the risk.. Women who have never had children, or only had them after 30, have increased risk.

Breast self-examination in three easy steps:

1. In the mirror – Check for visible changes in four different positions. Look out for discharge, nipple retraction and a size difference.

2. Lying down – Use the three middle fingers feel the breast, nipple and areola. Start from the collar bone to the nipple.

3. In the bath or shower – Use the three middle fingers feel the breast, nipple and areola. Start from the collar bone to the nipple.

. A video of self-examination can be found at www.cansa.org.za.

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