0505 GMT February 29, 2020
She said breast cancer is painless in the early stages, but changes in the affected organ could help detect the disease early.
"A monthly self-examination is essential for saving lives, when it comes to breast cancer," she said, adding that breast cancer is among curable cancers when diagnosed early.
Hashemi noted that eating habits, alcohol and tobacco smoking could raise the risk of breast cancer.
"One of the effective ways to reduce the risk of the disease is by having a healthy lifestyle," she said.
The specialist urged women to feel their breasts for 15 minutes every month to detect any possible lumps, distortions or swelling early and report the same to the doctor.
"Sometimes ultrasound or mammography is needed for detecting the disease," she said.
“If a close family member has been diagnosed with the disease, other members could also be at risk because the breast tissue is similar among family members.”
Hashemi said the risk of getting breast cancer rises after the age of 40.
"Taking exercise, avoiding fast food and eating fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for preventing the disease," he said.
About 7,000 Iranian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and currently 70,000 are living with the disease in Iran.
Global figures show that by 2020, about 20 million people would contract the disease.
The average age of contracting cancer is lower in Iran compared to European countries.
While an Iranian woman may contract the disease between 45 and 55 years, her European counterpart could get the disease between 50 and 60 years.