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Breast Cancer

The Diagnosis | The Treatment | Questions

The Breast

The breasts are made up of fat, connective tissue and gland tissue
A network of ducts spreads from the lobes towards the nipple
When a woman is pregnant, the breasts produce milk to feed the baby

Under the skin, a 'tail' of breast tissue extends into the armpit (axilla). The armpit also contains a collection of lymph glands which is part of the lymphatic system.

Breast Tumours (LUMPS)

Nine out of ten breast lumps are benign and are not cancers
Most benign breast lumps are cysts. These are sacs of fluid which build up in the breast tissue
Another common benign breast lump is a fibroadenoma - a collection of fibrous glandular tissue. Benign breast lumps are easily treated
Men can develop breast cancer but it is one hundred times less common than in women.

If you do notice a lump in your breast, don't delay visiting your doctor. Anything unusual should always be examined, because even though most breast lumps are benign, they still need to be checked to rule out the possibility of cancer. Also, if it is cancer, the earlier the treatment, the better the chance of cure.

The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
In ninety per cent of women, breast cancer is first noticed as a lump in the breast. There are however, other signs to be aware of:


Change in size or shape
Dimpling of the skin
Lump or thickening


Blood-stained discharge (very rare)
Rash on nipple or surrounding area (also very rare)
Becomes inverted (turned in)
Lump or thickening


Swelling in armpit

Pain in your breast is not usually a symptom of breast cancer. In fact, many healthy women find their breasts feel lumpy and tender before a period, and some types of benign breast lumps are painful.

Breast Cancer In Hong Kong

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Early Detection (SCREENING)
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of recovery.

Mammography can detect changes in the breast tissue before they develop into a lump large enough to be easily felt with fingers.

Nevertheless more than 90% of breast tumours are first detected by women themselves.

Common ways of detecting breast cancer :

Breast self-examination
Become familiar with how your breasts normally feel, at different times of the month. You will then quickly be aware if there are any changes in your breasts that are not normal to you.
Mammograms (breast X-rays) can often detect cancer before it can be felt, and for women over the age of 50, this is the best method of detection.