Since a very long time, the term “breast cancer” has been associated with stigma. However, with changing times, the perspective of people regarding this prevalent form of cancer is also changing.
Raising awareness for breast cancer has become more of a campaign where supporters hope to educate others regarding the symptoms and treatment. These supporters further believe that greater knowledge will enable the early and speedy detection of breast cancer.
October is celebrated as the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is symbolized by the Pink Ribbon. The primary goal behind raising awareness for this cancer is to ensure that the disease gets detected early.
According to recently conducted surveys, breast cancer seems to be the most common of all cancers affecting women. Thus, taking the necessary preventive measures and being aware of the conditions becomes quite important.
Here are some of the essential points which are an integral part of the breast cancer awareness program.
Know the symptoms – The first step of raising awareness is with understanding the symptoms of breast cancer. It is important for women to understand what is normal or abnormal if they have one of the following symptoms –
- Hard lump, thickening or knot inside the breast or the underarm.
- Visible change in the shape or size of the breast
- Swelling, puckering or dimpling of the skin
- Sore rash, itchy or scaly nipples
- Darkening or reddening of the nipples
If you notice these signs, then it will be best for you to pay your healthcare provider a visit. By consulting them, you can then take the necessary screening steps along with beginning the treatment procedure.
Don’t forget the screening – Understanding whether you are at risk or not can become possible with timely screening. Your healthcare provider will help in assisting you with the necessary screening tests you need to take for assessing the risk factors. Specialists suggest that a clinical breast examination, for a minimum of three years will be ideal, after the age of 20.
However, for those aged 40 and above, a mammogram will help the cancer specialists in determining whether they are at average risk or not. Regular screening tests and getting the right treatments go a long way in lowering the risks of breast cancer.
Making some healthy choices – Advocating healthy lifestyle choices has always been an integral aspect for preventing breast cancer. Being physically active and exercising regularly is necessary for maintaining a healthy weight. Cancer specialists also believe that incorporating 100% whole grain food items like brown rice, quinoa, millets and cereals will be helpful too.
Limiting unhealthy or bad fats like saturated and trans fats is another vital point. Instead consuming monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats will be beneficial. These can be found in avocado, canola and olive oil, nuts and olives.
These few vital steps strengthen the aspect of understanding and learning more about breast cancer. It also helps in educating women about the symptoms and the healthy choices they can make for keeping breast cancer at bay. Women are indeed more aware about this form of cancer, which is no longer treated as a stigma.
For further information and screening tests, consult Dr. Shakuntala Shah and get expert advice from Apollo specialists.