October 27, 2022
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Each October, the world takes part in breast cancer awareness, to spread the impact of breast cancer in women and show support to those who were affected by breast cancer. In 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685 000 deaths globally. (WHO)
Some of the risk factors of breast cancer include being born female, starting menopause after the age of 55 and inheriting certain genes according to cancer.org. However, this does not mean that you will get breast cancer if you fit any of those risk factors. One should always be on the lookout for breast cancer. The symptoms of breast cancer are:
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
It is essential to get checked for breast cancer as early as possible. Early detection can be done through ultrasounds, mammograms or breast self-examinations. Early detection makes sure that breast cancer is treated before it becomes inaccessible. It helps you reduce the health costs associated with treating cancer. It is important to lower the risk of getting breast cancer.
This can be done by living a healthy life.
A healthy life means eating healthy food and avoiding weakening your immune system. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight also reduces the risks of getting breast cancer. Exercising and getting involved in physical activity is one way to stay healthy thereby reducing the risk of getting breast cancer.
Breast cancer is treatable. It can be by local treatment which means the tumour is treated without affecting the rest of the body. It can also be treated through systematic treatment, using drugs to treat breast cancer because they can reach anywhere in a human’s body. These drugs are administered orally or injected into the bloodstream for faster absorption. The different types of systemic therapy are chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy.
This October, let us spread awareness of the impact of breast cancer and the benefits of early detection. The theme for this year’s breast cancer awareness month is Together We C.A.N. CAN is an acronym that stands for:
C - Change the conversation
A - Assist those impacted by breast cancer to get the information they deserve and need, and
N - Nurture and build a community of support.