Breast Cancer in women

23 October 2022
2 min read

October marks breast cancer month or pink month. In a global effort to raise awareness around breast cancer, it is important to remember that first and foremost self-examinations can lead to early detection and treatment of breast cancer, saving lives, as you will always know your body the best.

Breast cancer can occur in women, and rarely occurs in men, however, there have been documented cases.

Breast cancer, in the same manner as other cancers in the body, occurs when there is an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in and around the breast. Commonly, it arises in the milk ducts and glands of the breast, often starting as a tumour or area of calcium that develops due to an abnormal cell growth. Breast cancer is either primary or metastatic. A primary tumour develops within the breast. However, if the primary cancer breaks off and moves to another part of the body or organ, it is then referred to as metastatic breast cancer. It is possible for men to get breast cancer, however the risk in men is lower than in women.

What are the Risk Factors?

The cause of breast cancer is unknown, however there are risk factors and conditions, which can put you at higher risk.

  • Increasing age and female gender
  • The BRCA 1 or the BRCA 2 gene mutations
  • Menstruation commencing at an earlier age
  • An older age at the birth of a woman’s first child, or never having given birth
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Use and increase of hormones estrogen and progesterone
  • Obesity
  • First-degree relative (mother, father, sibling or child) with breast cancer, or BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations.
  • Prior radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30.
  • Personal prior history of breast cancer

One can still develop breast cancer without any known risk factor.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

  • Lump in the breast, that wasn’t present before
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Painful breast
  • Changes to the colour, shape or texture of the nipple and/or breast
  • Wrinkling or puckering of the skin overlaying the breast
  • Sometimes there are no direct symptoms, but breast cancer is discovered during routine screening


Treatment is based on the stage and type of cancer and might consist of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or a combination of 2 or more of these interventions. When breast cancer is detected in the early stages, 90% of patients survive for many years post-diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, completing a regular self-breast examination, completing regular mammogram check-ups, and presenting early for treatment are critical to early breast cancer detection, effective treatment, a reduction in pain, and a dramatic decrease in the loss of life.

Keep in mind that early detection of breast cancer leads to effective treatment and a positive outcome. It is key that both men and women implement simple lifesaving breast examination techniques.

NMG Consultants and Actuaries is an Authorised financial services providers t/a NMG Benefits.

The content in this communication is for information purposes and is not intended to be detailed advice, you should seek the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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