Prosperity Life

Breast Cancer Prevention & Detection

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. In order to understand breast cancer, it is vital to understand how any cancer can develop. Cancer results from mutations (abnormal changes) in the genes responsible for the growth and health of cells. Normally cells reproduce in an orderly manner: old cells die and are replaced by new ones. However, mutations can turn on or turn off specific genes and cause the cells to divide without control or order. This produces a tumour.

Tumours can be benign or malignant. Benign tumours are not considered cancerous, and they are close to normal cells in appearance, do not grow too quickly and do not invade nearby tissues. A malignant tumour, on the other hand, multiplies and invades other tissues. 

How to do a self-exam

The best way to increase your chance of early detection and, therefore, successful treatment is doing a regular breast exam. recommends the following method:

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here is what you should look for:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and colour
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Step 3: While you are at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of your nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion.

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen and from your armpit to your cleavage.

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. 

Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Next, cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.

Prevention tips

  • Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits. 
  • Limit alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Breast-feed if possible
  • Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy

Found a lump? What are the next steps? 

The first thing is not to panic. You do, however, need to call your doctor to get it checked. Most breast lumps are benign. There are several common causes for lumps, including normal changes in breast tissues, breast infection or injury. It is important to note that breast tissue changes during a woman’s entire life. For example, it is sensitive to changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle.

Stats in Namibia

There was a study conducted on cancer statistics in Namibia between 2010 and 2014, and it found the following:

Breast cancer was the most common cancer among Namibian women between 2010 and 2014. A total of 1 579 cases were reported, comprising 27.4% of all female cancers. The annual incidence increased with increasing age, peaking at 189.1 per 100 000 in women 70-74 years of age. 

Breast cancer was the most common cancer in most ethnic groups and most regions


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