Pink October- A Brief Discussion on Breast Cancer
Breast cancer tops the list when it comes to women's healthcare issues. It is seen that every four minutes one Indian woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. According to a recent survey in 2020 more than 1.5lakh new breast cancer cases were being registered with more than 80 thousand reported deaths.
50% of Indian women start the proper treatment in the 3rd or 4th stage. According to a worldwide survey 1 in 4 cancer patients are diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately in 2020, more than a million new cases were registered, and the estimated death reports were more than 6.5 lakh.
The breast cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be felt as a lump. Breast cancer starts spreading due to the unusual growth of the cells. It is important to understand that at an early stage the cancer cells are mostly benign and not malignant.
Non-cancerous tumors can be operated on and they aren't life-threatening at all, but some benign lumps can increase the risk of having breast cancer. In the first stage, you can feel it if you rub the breast, or else you can also see it on X-ray plates.
In the 3rd or 4th stage, the cancerous cells generally tend to spread through the blood vessels and lymph vessels. This stage is called advanced breast cancer. If cancer spreads in different parts of the body like the liver, lungs, bones, or brain, it is called metastatic breast cancer.
Survival chances for breast cancer are high when detected and treated at an early stage. But unfortunately in many countries, 50-80% of women are diagnosed with the disease in the last stage.
Breast cancer symptoms and cause:
To find a solution you need to go to the roots and resolve it totally. And for that, we need "awareness." We all need to have adequate knowledge about the past, present, and future of breast cancer. Unfortunately, a lesser amount of people in India are aware of breast cancer, and the rest of them are eager to be silent when it comes to discussing this topic.
-A lump or thickening of the surrounding tissues, that feels unusual
-Change in size, shape, and appearances in both the breasts
-Change in the skin over the breasts
-A newly inverted nipple
-Redness over your breast or changing the skin colour
-Flaking of the pigmented area surrounding the nipple
Due to several hormonal changes a woman's body faces a lot of unique problems, which makes the whole field of women's wellness a tricky part. It is observed that most Indian women develop breast cancer between the age of 50-60 years, and especially in the urban area, there is a continuous increase in breast cancer cases. Though there is no particular reason that doctors have detected breast cancer, lactating mothers have a high chance of getting breast cancer. Breast cancer can also begin in glandular tissues called lobules or in other cells or tissues in the breast.
The doctors have predicted that hormonal, lifestyle and environmental changes can cause issues in women's health, for example, excessive alcohol consumption, giving birth at an older age, taking hormone therapies, early or late menstruation, etc. But people who have no chance to develop breast cancer are sometimes diagnosed with the disease. The scientists and researchers are still looking for an answer to that.
Can breast cancer be diagnosed at home?
Of course, it can! With a proper breast self-exam, you can easily diagnose breast cancer at home and that too in a very early stage. Regular examination of your breasts helps you to prevent and monitor a lot of complications of breast cancer.
Steps to follow the examination:
Step 1: Look at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulder straight and arms on your hips. Try to check if there is any lump or swelling and if the size, shape, and skin color of both the breasts are equal. If you see any bulging, redness, rash, or inverted nipple then do a thorough check-up with the doctor.
Step 2: In the second stage raise your arms together and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While looking at the mirror, try to see if there is any milky or watery discharge from your nipples.
Step 4: In this stage lie down and cover your breast with your arms and smoothly rub your breasts in a circular motion. Try to keep the touch firm and start from the nipple area and slowly feel the entire portion. This stage is to ensure if you have any lumps or feeling any pain while doing the test.
Step 5: In the final stage try to sit or stand and feel your breasts. Try to do this while in the shower and notice if you feel the skin is unusual or slippery.
Breast cancer awareness month:
To salute all the heroes and survivors of breast cancer, the month of October has been stated as breast cancer awareness month. The mission and vision of this campaign are to increase awareness regarding breast cancer. Also, there are campaigns conducted by several organizations to raise funds for women who can't afford the expensive treatment. Throughout the month people refer to the pink ribbon as the symbol to honor the fighters and survivors of breast cancer.