Breast Cancer Awareness + Self Examination Guide

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October is a month set aside to raise awareness for the menace that is Breast Cancer. Globally there is a yearly death toll of 41,400 people of which 40,920 are women and 480 are men.

This blog post highlight some key questions that people have regarding Breast Cancer is what it means, symptoms, diagonosis, treatment, risk factors, and preventive methods in a lay man’s understanding.

What is breast cancer?

Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells which can destroy body tissues. Breast cancer is a type of cancerous growth that affects breast tissues.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

Breast cancer can be diagonised through a number of ways

Screening: a Self examination and Clinical examination

Biopsy : A tissue from suspicious area is collected and tested for cancerous cells.

Mammogram: an Xray viewing of the breast.

Self Examination

Self Examination should be done once every month, at least 3 – 4 days days after your menstrual cycle and If you notice any changes or issues, visit your doctor.

The proper way to do a BSE

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Risk Factors

Some of the factors that increase your risk of getting breast cancer are:

  • Being a woman
  • Getting older: Women who are above 50 have a higher chance of getting breast cancer.
  • Hereditary
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Late pregnancy: Women who give birth after 30, do not breast feed and have never had a full term pregnancy are more at risk.
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Not maintaining a healthy diet
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Taking hormones and birth control pills.

Symptoms

  • Inversion of the nipple
  • Nipple discharge
  • Swelling and irregular sized breasts
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Visible Lymph nodes
  • Redness, thickening of the nipple or breasts.
  • Lumps in the breast

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Note: Some of these symptoms can be caused by other health conditions so see a doctor for proper diagnosis.

Is Breast cancer treatable? How?

Yes breast cancer can be treated, early detection is very important to surviving cancer.

Some of the possible treatment for Breast Cancer are :

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Systemic therapy

For more research here

How can one prevent Breast Cancer?

  • Eat whole foods.
  • Avoid over processed foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet
  • Don’t Smoke
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Lessen the dosage and duration of hormonal therapy
  • Limit use of oral contraceptives
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution
  • Use the right gear when being exposed to chemicals and UV rays.

Cancer support groups in Ghana

Cancer Support Network of Ghana – @cancersupportnetworkghana

Pink for Africa – @pinkforafrica

Save Ghana Cancer Foundation

Cancer Society of Ghana

Run for a Cure Ghana

Note

Let’s make conscious efforts to examine our breasts constantly, maintain healthy lifestyles, remind our loved ones to examine their breasts and be supportive of people who are going through the pain of cancer.

Donate as much as you can to help people battling cancer.

Link to further resource

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352475

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

https://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/want-to-know-about-breast-cancer/what-are-the-signs-and-symptoms-of-breast-cancer

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676

Thank you for reading, think we omitted anything? Share in the comments section.

                    Until next time, Love Beautiful Almond 
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Ezinne
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I’ve always wanted to know what actually causes breast cancer so I avoided them. Thank you for answering that for me. This is super helpful

Esinam
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Esinam

Thanks for educating us.The article is very informative

Sylvia
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Sylvia

Great blog post! It was very easy to read and understand.. keep up the good work, Jane!