According to recent survey data from Ohio State University, fewer than half of adults are aware of some of the most common symptoms linked to breast cancer.
Data collection was conducted in September and included a sample of 1,004 women. The survey was conducted via web and telephone.
The findings revealed that the majority of adults (93%) recognise a lump as a key symptom of breast cancer, but fewer than half recognised other common symptoms linked to the disease.
This is concerning for many experts, as the majority of breast cancers do not manifest as a lump. If they do, it often signifies a fast-growing or advanced-stage cancer, which tends to be less responsive to treatment.
While the vast majority of individuals (93%) are aware that a breast lump can be a key indicator of the disease, only 31% of those surveyed knew that a retracted, inverted, or downward-pointing nipple could be a sign of cancer.
Less than half of the respondents were familiar with other symptoms including the loss of breast feeling (41%), pitting/thickening of the skin (45%), or nipple discharge (51%).
Although screening mammography remains the best tool for early detections, the results from the survey tell us that a third of women are uncertain about breast cancer screening guidelines. This issue is even more prevalent among women under the age 30, with 44% expressing confusion, even though they are not yet eligible for routine screening.
Ashley Pariser, MD, a breast medical oncologist, said, “The best way for us to find breast cancer early is for women to present as soon as they notice a change, ideally even before they see a change. So that’s why we recommend screening mammograms for those who qualify if we want to find breast cancer early”.
Therefore, it is crucial for individuals to be familiar with the appearance and feel of their own breast tissue. This way, even subtle changes can be promptly assessed, offering the best chance for early detection.
Source: The Ohio State University
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