Updated: Oct 28, 2019
We women have been blessed with the exceptional gift of bringing life to this world. We are able to produce a whole another human being and even feed it during the earlier stages, all by the help of our own body. However, one thing glooms over our breasts and breast cancer has ended up being the most common cancer affecting women, and second most common of all cancers.
Cancer can be a frightening thing to talk about, frightening to even think about. But sit down and think for a second. Think about all the women in your life, and how would you feel if they were affected, how would your loved ones feel if you were affected. According to Globocan 2018, 22.8 percent of total cancers affecting women were breast cancer.
Almost every woman knows someone who has been affected or has been affected, my own aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. However, some women either find out too late or they don’t even have enough money for treatment. According the WHO, in 2018, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer – that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women.
But prevention is always key, early detection and treatment can be the answer and you don’t always have to resort to surgery, this could potentially save your life. I know it can sound stressful, another body part to worry about, women already have enough problems to deal with! But I assure you, we ourselves can detect any changes in our breasts.
While you are getting ready for the day, taking a shower, applying some moisturizer, or taking it all off to settle in for the night, you can already detect any changes or pain if it were present. You don’t need an expert, you yourself can make sure that your body is protected!
Make sure to look out for:
· A lump or swelling in the breast or near it.
· Any changes in the breast size or shape
· A change in the skin texture or color of the breast
· Any change in the nipple such as a rash
· An unusual discharge from the nipple
· Any unusual or constant pain
These differences can be a huge indicator, it might not always be breast cancer but if you feel any of these symptoms, it is important to get them checked out.
Some women could be carrying it in their genes, which increases their chance of breast cancer a lot more, almost making it impossible to not get it. Angelina Jolie was one of these women, she carried the faulty gene BRCA1, which increased her chances of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
As mentioned in her article for the New York Times, Angelina Jolie had 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman. So she decided to undergo a preventive double mastectomy on her breasts, this removes the disease over a number of surgeries. Her chances dropped to 5 percent and she was very happy with her decision, as she said, I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.
We need to educate our daughters, our mothers, our sisters, our friends, and all other women out there so that they can protect themselves. We need to increase awareness so that women feel more comfortable, confident, and secure especially if having experienced this. Maybe we cannot prevent breast cancer, but we can certainly detect in its early stages when the cancer is still small so it can be treated successfully without having a surgery.