Knowledge alone is not powerful enough but what you do with it or react to it is the real power. October is breast cancer awareness month and we need to increase awareness of the disease for both men and women. There are basic things we need to learn about breast cancer in order to combat it. It does not discriminate, it attacks any colour, race, age and gender. It affects more women than men but Yes men also get breast cancer and it’s easily detectable earlier with them. Did you know it is the most common cancer? And unfortunately increasing due to lack of knowledge.
Facts about breast cancer:
*regular self- examination is the key to early detection.
-self-breast examination will lead you to effective treatment, giving high chance of positive outcome and with less pain & suffering.
-majority of deaths occur due to late diagnoses and it is all because of lack of awareness on early detection.
*self-examination has to be done at least not more than 30 days(monthly basis)
-breast tissue particular in younger women changes under hormonal influence during the cycle
-do not do it every day, you feel different almost every day and that will bring you so much confusion
*mammograms are advised for women regularly from the age of 40years.
*all women even younger women are at risk but those who have family history of breast cancer are at a higher risk
*women who never had children or those who have them after the age of 30
*use of alcohol
*overweight women especially after menopause
Some of the warning signs:
*not usually painful but you can have pain in the nipple or any area of the breast
*turning inward/pulling in of the nipple (nipple retraction)
*lump in the breast or the armpit
*nipple discharge when you are not breastfeeding sometimes tinged with blood
*flaky itchy skin around nipple area
*change in shape, size or colour of the breast
*skin irritation & dimpling of breast skin like orange peel
Breast cancer is usually painless but some do experience it due to swelling that may occur. Our breast are lumpy under normal circumstances and the signs may not be cancerous, but any change in the breast must be taken into consideration and have them checked by a doctor. There is no typical breasts, as women our normal differ from one woman to the next. There’s too many changes all depending on aging, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, medicine we take and weight loss or gain.
Some tips on how to lower the risk:
*breast feed if you can
*ask your doctor if you are taking oral contraceptives or if you are on hormonal replacement therapy
*limit your alcohol to no more than one drink per day
*exercise and try to avoid obesity
If left untreated it can spread to other parts of the body like lungs, liver, brain, bones, and muscles. Women need to teach their partners and their boy child about breast cancer and help them understand that it affects them too. We cannot continue losing lives when we can prevent and cure it. Lack of early detection can be fatal, we need to take measures because early detection remains the cornerstone to have control over it.
**LET’S SPREAD THE KNOWLEDGE & THE ACTION THEREOF TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF CANCER**