CANCER!!! The very word is feared and dreaded by everyone around the globe. Most people suffering this illness feel it’s a death sentence that cannot be reversed. But, seriously it is not the end of the road. There are ways to overcome this illness.
But, before trying to understand how to overcome, it is important to understand what Cancer is? Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth which may or may not spread to other parts of the body. All forms are not cancerous as it is only the malignant ones that spread to various parts of the body and not the benign ones.
One of the most common invasive cancers prevailing around the world today is ‘BREAST CANCER’. More commonly seen in developed countries but, the outcome generally is better-developed countries than in developing countries.
Who would you say is at Risk for development of breast cancer?
More often seen in Females compared to males (yes males can also develop breast cancer although the occurrence is rare).
-Lack of exercise
-Hormone replacement therapy
Let me now take you through the 3S of Breast Cancer- Signs Symptoms and Self Examination
Look out for these Signs and Symptoms:
-Almost every time the first symptom noticed is a lump in the breast that feels different from the rest of the breast tissue.
-Dimpling or puckering of the nipple.
-Change in position or shape of the nipple may become inverted.
-Orangish discolouration of the skin around the breast or the skin appears like orange peel, called peau de orange.
-Discharge from the nipple.
-Size of one breast may vary from the other.
-Constant pain in the breast area or armpits.
-Swelling in the armpits or around the collarbone.
-Redness / itching / discoloration / increased sensitivity / burning
Please beware that you might not have any symptoms till very late which brings about the need for regular check-ups.
How to self-examine?
The best way to be aware of breast cancer is by self-detection.
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Look out for:
– Their size, shape, and colour.
– Dimpling, puckering or bulging of the skin
– A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out).
– Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While you’re standing in front of the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts.
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step4.
Indian Breast Cancer Support Groups:
Support groups play a very important role in helping a patient fight cancer, as also give an opportunity to learn from others about the same. By seeing others who have faced the same disease, it gives the patient strength to face and fight her own battle. The most important thing for these patients is hope. If they have hope, they have everything.