Breast cancer is, unfortunately, the most prevalent type of cancer in the world. More than 1 million women in the world are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Victims of breast cancer also include men.
Pakistan has the highest breast cancer rate in all of Asia and every year, around 90,000 women are diagnosed with the disease while over 40,000 die of it every year
Although, it can happen to anyone and everyone, there are certain risk factors everyone needs to be aware so you can stay proactive about your health and lifestyle.
First of all, things like using cell phones, deodorants, coffee/caffeine or contact with someone who has it do not cause breast cancer.
These are some of the misconceptions that need to be dispelled. The risk factors usually involve having a history of breast cancer in the family, irregular periods, having periods before the age of 12, having your first kid after the age of 30, drinking alcohol etc.
Usually, women with high estrogen levels are at a higher risk of breast cancer as compared to others. So, keeping a check on your breasts and being aware of any changes that might be happening to them is the only way to go about it.
Fortunately, if the diagnosis is made early on in the disease, it has 9o percent more chances of total cure as compared to the other types of cancers
Here’s, therefore, how you can stay careful and keep a check on your breast health:
Since mammography (the screening of your breast) is rather expensive in Pakistan and not everyone can afford it regularly, carrying out Breast Self Examination (BSE) every month is a good way to go about it.
Here are three easy steps for BSE hat you can perform on your own:
Additionally, The Aga Khan Hospital’s website has detailed information on symptoms, details about tests, diagnosis, treatment, risk, complications etc. For more information on how to prevent yourself, what steps to take once you are diagnosed and generally for patient support when it comes to breast cancer, you can head over here.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer that one should always look out for:
Remember they don’t always necessarily imply that you have breast cancer but if you experience them at one point to another, it is wise to go see a doctor because it’s always better safe than sorry.
Lastly, here are some of the things you can do that can lower your risk of contracting breast cancer
Again, do keep it in mind that it can still happen to anyone so staying cautious and regularly doing breast self examinations are still very important, even if you’re adopting other lifestyle changes.
It is better to limit the usage of alcohol and tobacco before it’s too late. Controlling body weight, generally staying active in life, breastfeeding your kids, avoiding prolonged exposure to environmental pollution, eating healthy and limiting the intake of hormone therapies etc. can reduce the risk of breast cancer for everyone in general.
Lets’s vow to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle because while it is government’s responsibility to establish more accessible screening centers in the country, it is our responsibility to stay active and up to date with whatever is happening to our body. Staying cautious and spreading awareness is the best way to go about it, at the moment.
Better safe and sorry, ladies.
Cover Image Via: ius.org.uk