Symptoms to look out for
- A hard lump developing in the breast or armpit – typically painless and occurring on one side only.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast, including indentation, ‘growing’ (particularly prominent) veins or skin loss.
- Changes in the skin such as hardening, dimpling, bumps, redness/heat or an orange peel like appearance.
- Changes in the nipple such as retraction, the secretion of unusual discharge or a rash around the nipple area.
Since 2008 there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of people developing breast cancer worldwide. The good news is that despite this increase, there has been a significant drop in the number of deaths from the disease. This decrease can be attributed to a combination of factors such as better understanding of the disease, earlier diagnosis, improved testing and effective treatments.
Roche have been leading breast cancer research for decades and our medicines have transformed the face of the disease. But whilst we are committed to expanding our understanding of breast cancer and developing better diagnostics and treatments that lead to real benefits for patients, we realise that breast cancer is a complex disease that touches many facets of our reality, and, therefore, must be addressed on multiple fronts. BCAM provides an excellent opportunity for Roche and other organisations, companies, patient groups, patients, families and friends to align behind the common goal of increasing awareness and ensuring breast cancer remains front of mind in our society. For more information search for the #BCAM hashtag on Twitter
Despite the significant progress made over the last few decades in patient outcomes, breast cancer is still the most common cancer affecting women. Every 20 seconds a person is diagnosed with breast cancer and every minute someone dies of this disease.
These sobering facts underscore the importance of continuous investment in this field. Whilst investment in research and the development of new treatments play a critical role in improving patient outcomes, one should not undermine the importance of education and general awareness about the disease. When it comes to breast cancer, knowledge is not only power, but it may also be a life saver.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) which provides an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves just how important awareness is in our common battle against the disease. Awareness built on a simple but proven premise that can change lives:greater knowledge and awareness = earlier detection = increased survival rates.
Greater knowledge of the risk factors for breast cancer, the symptoms to look out for and seeking advice as early as possible make the detection and treatment of the disease at the early stages possible. If the cancer is found before it has spread, 98 percent of people live for at least five years, compared to just 24 percent when the cancer is diagnosed at a later stage.