Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. As a matter of fact it is the most dreaded illness for every woman especially those well endowed with gorgeous breasts.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and October 13th is ‘No Bra Day’. The day was apparently created in 2011 and its audience has continued to grow to the point where it is sweeping social media. However, there has been some debate as to whether or not No Bra Day has the intended effect of raising awareness about breast cancer, or if it is just an excuse for women not to wear what is deemed by some to be a fairly restrictive piece of underwear. With the volume of near-nude pictures flying around on the premise of No-Bra Day, your guess is as good as mine!
However, the Breast Cancer Awareness Exercise in itself is something that should not be treated with such levity due to the seriousness of the ailment and the number of people we know that have been killed by it! You probably know one woman who died of Breast cancer or who is battling with it. I personally know more than one. And if you are a woman with Boobies or a man who has a mother, sister, wife or friend then the issue of Breast Cancer should interest you.
Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. More women are surviving. But more are being diagnosed than ever before. Every 45 minutes, another woman dies from the disease.
There are several germane questions needing answers such as; What causes Breast Cancer? How can we prevent it? If diagnosed, What are the chances of survival? How is it treated? These are questions bugging the minds of a lot of concerned people.
So, find here some things you must know about Breast Cancer from my little research expressed in a layman’s language and devoid of medical jargon for easy comprehension. I sincerely hope you will find this information useful in protecting yourself and your loved ones.
WHAT EXACTLY IS BREAST CANCER? Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. If cancer is found, tests are done to study the cancer cells.
Symptoms of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in size or shape of the breast or discharge from a nipple.
Breast self-examination, a Breast Scan for women below forty years of age and Mammography for women above 40 years can help find breast cancer early when it is most treatable.
Treatment may consist of Radiation, Lumpectomy, Mastectomy, Chemotherapy and Hormone therapy.
WHAT CAUSES BREAST CANCER? Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer; therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.
When breast cancer is detected early and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed.
WHEN TO CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR
Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice:
- A hard lump or knot near your underarm.
- Changes in the way your breasts look or feel, including thickening or prominent fullness that is different from the surrounding tissue.
- Dimples, puckers, bulges or ridges on the skin of your breast.
- A recent change in a nipple to become pushed in (inverted) instead of sticking out.
- Redness, warmth, swelling or pain.
- Itching, scales, sores or rashes.
- Bloody nipple discharge.
Your doctor may recommend additional tests and procedures to investigate breast changes, including clinical breast exam, mammogram and ultrasound.
Every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk of breast cancer. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options possible, you can empower yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.
In summary find a brief overview on quick facts about Breast Cancer below:
- Worldwide, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in women.
- Every 19 seconds, somewhere in the world, a case of breast cancer is diagnosed in a woman.
- Every minute, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer.
- Breast cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer.
- At the current rate, 13 million breast cancer deaths around the world will occur in the next 25 years.
- The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Black women.
- Breast cancer is not usually painful. Early breast cancer shows no symptoms and is not painful, which is why it’s important to self examine and have regular check-ups.
- Breast cancer can happen to anyone. While there are women who are at higher risk, it is estimated that three quarters of women who develop breast cancer are not in the high-risk category.
- Breast cancer is not your fault. Some people believe that breast cancer is a punishment, due to witchcraft or past sexual behavior. Cancer is no one’s fault.
- Most breast cancer – about 85 percent – occurs in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
- Height – taller-than-average women have a slightly greater likelihood of developing breast cancer than shorter-than-average women. Experts are not sure why.
- Breast density is one of the strongest risk factors for Black women in developing breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding reduces your risk. Breast is best not only for the health of your baby. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life.
- Women who have not had children have a greater risk of breast cancer just as those who have children late in life, for example after the age of 30.
- Men can also get breast cancer. About 2,150 are diagnosed annually – or about 1 in 1,000 men.
- You cannot catch breast cancer or transfer it to someone else’s body. Breast cancer is the result of uncontrolled cell growth, which starts in the breast and cannot be passed on to another person.
- Another top risk factor for breast cancer: Simply getting older, AGE! 79 percent of new cases and 88 percent of deaths occurred in women age 50 and older.
- While breast cancer risk rises with age, breast cancer tends to be more aggressive when it occurs in younger women. One type of breast cancer that is especially aggressive and occurs disproportionately in younger women is inflammatory breast cancer.
- The risk of overweight women developing breast cancer after menopause is 1.5 times higher than in lean women. Obese women are at twice the risk of lean women.
- Do not underestimate the importance of a monthly breast self-exam. By becoming more familiar with your breast tissue and appearance, you will be more likely to notice changes should they occur.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re up to four times more likely to develop a new cancer in the same breast or in the other breast.
- 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-examination but not all lumps can be detected through touch alone.
- The key to breast cancer survival is early detection, so examine your breasts. The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it, so learn to do breast self examinations every month a week after your period.
- A lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer.
Lumps are not always bad news and maybe due to blocked milk duct or a sebaceous cyst, but they should always be checked.
- Exercise reduces breast cancer risk for women of all body types – even lean women. This is because Exercise pumps up the immune system and cuts your levels of the hormone estrogen, which is what fuels tumor growth.
- A high-fat diet increases the risk of breast cancer because fat also triggers the estrogen.
- Those with a diet high in animal protein have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Lastly, Being diagnosed with breast cancer is not a death sentence. With all the advances in science, women today have a better chance of surviving breast cancer. But the key is finding the cancer early… EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL.
Stay Healthy Sisters!