Breast Cancer

On average a woman in Malaysia has 1 in 19 chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime. This means a total of almost 700,000 women throughout the country are dealing with these symptoms. The highest risk goes to the Chinese, followed by Indians and the Malays, with ratio of 1 per 14, 1 per 15, and 1 per 24 respectively. According to a report issued by the National Cancer Registry, breast cancer accounted for 31 % of cases of cancer for women who had been diagnosed in 2003.

However, regardless to gender it should be noted that men also have to face the risk. Evidently, in 2012 breast cancer is detected in 26 Malays, 22 Chinese and 5 Indian men. Furthermore, Dr. Nik Munirah Nik Mahdi which is the Breast Cancer Resource Center Coordinator of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), said breast cancer that attacks the men are more dangerous because the cancer cells are more active and aggressive compare to cancer cells that attack women.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • Clot or lump formation is a common sign that remained for a long time;
  • inflammation, rash or swelling will occur if small lymph vessels and lymphatic vessels attacked by the abnormal tissue;
  • the skin will have an orange peel texture that is also referred to as "peau d'orange";
  • clots or lump may occur in the breast or armpit. Breast appearance will thicken or increase in size or shape;
  • breast skin formed indentations or ridges;
  • nipple will sinked, redness, scaly or have abnormal discharge; and
  • when it spreads to other areas, symptoms such fever, chills, bone and joint pain, jaundice, neurological, pleura will occur.

Breast Cancer Stage

  • Stage I refers to breast cancer at an early stage in which the horizontal size of the tumor is less than 2 centimeters and has not spread.
  • Stage II refers to the stage where the size of the tumor is between 2 to 5 centimeters; or more than 5 centimeters but has not spread; or less than 2 centimeters but has spread to the underarm lymph nodes.
  • Stage III is where the horizontal size tumor was increased to 5 centimeters and has spread to the underarm lymph nodes; or has spread numerously to lymph nodes in the armpit; or has spread to lymph nodes isolated in the clavicle or sternum.
  • Stage IV refers to the situation where cancer has spread to areas outside the chest.

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