October is breast cancer awareness month and it is for all those women who lived and died fighting cancer. It is for all those women who are still in war with it. October is the month of pink.
“It didn’t hurt, and I didn’t even notice until the swelling became a lump of its own. But then I was told that I had breast cancer and that it was spreading at an alarming speed. My life changed overnight.” – Aisha Abdullah (breast cancer survivor)
“Breast cancer runs in my family. My mother had it. And my grandmother had it too but they were obese women who ate unhealthily. I thought that I was perfectly fit, and yet I was diagnosed with it a month before my marriage. I had chemotherapy to beat cancer and therapy to stay positive. It was a horrific journey.” – Sarrah Farooq (breast cancer survivor)
“My sister had breast cancer. We thought that it would just come and go. And it did go, only to return. This time, however, my sister had no option for treatment. They had to cut it off.” – Maryam Dawood
What is Breast Cancer?
In breast cancer, the cells of the breast grow out of control. The most common kinds of breast cancer include invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.
It is the second most common cancer in the world. There are nearly 1.7 billion cases diagnosed yearly and roughly, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Some of its risks include increasing age, a family history of breast cancer, inherited genes, radiation exposure, obesity, early period (before the age of twelve), having a child at an older age, postmenopausal hormone therapy and intake of alcohol. However, it should be noted that some people maintain a healthy lifestyle and still fall victim to this disease. Overtime, doctors have estimated 50% of breast cancer cases to be linked with gene mutations inherited from the family.
Recognizing the symptoms:
The ideal time to perform breast self-examination is after your period ends. Recognizing the alarming symptoms at an early time can increase the chances of survival.
It is highly recommended that women above the age of twenty get a breast examination done from a good physician.
Some symptoms of breast cancer include:
· Skin changes around the breasts (redness, swelling)
· A change in the size or shape of the nipple
· Nipple discharge
· Itchy breasts
· Flaky skin around the nipple
· Increase in breast size
· Changes in touch
· Skin irritation
· Nipple pain
· One breast is bigger than the other
Fact: Although rare, men suffer from breast cancer too.
Death from breast cancer has seen a decline due to early detection and various treatment options suited to bodily needs. The treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. If you or a family member is a breast cancer survivor, make sure to have follow-ups with an oncologist as they ensure that the body is in perfect health.
Let us Take Care of Your Health.
Get FREE health tips, medical advice, lifestyle hacks and the latest news delivered straight to your inbox!