Martina Navratilova’s awards cabinet must be built on solid foundations to withstand the weight of the awards she has accumulated throughout her career. Navratilova was world No. 1 for a whopping 332 weeks in singles, and a record 237 weeks in doubles, making her the only player in history to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks. The nine-times Wimbledon champ was seemingly unstoppable, then, in 2010, her life came crashing down.
Martina’s story emphasises the importance of acting on the signs of breast cancer as soon as they appear.
According to the NHS, it’s important to be breast aware so you notice any changes as soon as possible.
“Get to know what is normal for you – for instance, your breasts may look or feel different at different times of your life,” explains the health body.
This will make it easier to notice potential problems, it says.
What should you be looking out for?
According to Cancer Research UK, the first symptom of breast cancer most people notice is a lump in their breast or some thickening.
Most breast lumps are not cancer (benign) but it is important to always get a breast lump checked by your doctor, advises the charity.
“They will arrange for you to have tests to find out whether your lump is cancerous or not,” it explains.
Other symptoms to look out for include:
- Skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or Redness of the skin
- Fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding
- Changes in the position of nipple
Can it be prevented?
“As the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, it’s not known if it can be prevented altogether,” says the NHS.
Some treatments are available to reduce the risk in women who have a higher risk of developing the condition than the general population, however, notes the health body.
According to the health site, studies have looked at the link between breast cancer and diet. Although there are no definite conclusions, there are benefits for women who:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Have a low intake of saturated fat
- Do not drink alcohol
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