Significance of Breast Cancer Awareness

Significance of Breast Cancer Awareness In Today’s World

As Ann Jillian said, “There can be life after breast cancer. The prerequisite is early detection.” 

By Shivalika Sharma Bahukhandi

“Cancer doesn’t care, so you have to.” –  Crystal Brown-Tatum

According to IARC Globocan, 2018, the global stress has risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million  deaths  worldwide. It is even estimated that one-in-five men and one-in-six women worldwide will develop cancer over the course of their lifetime, and that one-in-eight men and one-in-eleven women will die from this disease. By far, breast cancer is amongst the  top  five most probable  types of cancers worldwide, both in developed and developing countries. The cases have been rising at an alarming rate in the past  years in economically backward  countries due to an increase in urbanization, poor prognosis and adoption of the western lifestyle over traditions. Breast cancer is not only  limited to women, men can be diagnosed with  it too, however the chances of occurrence are comparatively low, i.e.,  1 in 100 breast cancer cases diagnosed are found in men. Everyone, therefore, should be aware and should be able to differentiate  between a normal breast  how it looks like and feel, for recognizing any change that might occur. 

“While knowing what to look for is important, a woman should still get her regular mammograms and clinical breast exams, as these tests can help detect breast cancer before she even has symptoms,” said Tuite.

There are many warning signs our body shows that helps us  in identifying that something is wrong. Lump in the breast or underarm (armpit), Swelling or thickening of all or part of the breast, Dimpling or skin irritation of breast,, localized and persistent breast pain, Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin, nipple discharge (other than breast milk) or any change in the size or shape of the breast are some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.  Various day to day factors appear to be driving this increase, particularly a growing and ageing global population and an increase in exposure to cancer risk factors linked to social and economic development.  A woman who is 50 years or older,  may have changes in their BRCA1 OR BRCA2 genes which are the breast cancer genes, making them more prone. Some things can be done to  lower the breast cancer rates, like keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly, avoiding , or limiting the alcohol intake, understanding the associated risks related to hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, , breastfeeding your children, if possible.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness regarding breast cancer, pink color, and ribbons  symbolises breast cancer awareness and support. Spreading awareness is extremely important, due to the lack of medical infrastructure & treatment of breast cancer, therefore, to control this, the only option available is early detection of the disease. When breast cancer is detected early, there is a  great chance that it can be cured but if not, treatment can no longer be an option at later stages.