News | 4 Oct 2023
As October begins, the world’s attention shifts to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a critical initiative aimed at supporting individuals who have survived the disease, those undergoing treatment, and educating people about the various aspects of the illness. It is important to understand that breast cancer does not discriminate; it can affect anyone, regardless of gender or the size and shape of the breasts.
Breast cancer is a condition that presents itself in different forms. Just like the diversity of normal breasts, which can be large or small, smooth or lumpy, light or dark, and of different sizes. Breast cancer, too, presents itself uniquely in each case. Normal nipples can be small or large, stick out or in, and may have hair growing around them or not.
Understanding these variations in breast characteristics is essential in recognising changes that could signal a problem. It is normal for breasts to experience tenderness or discomfort during puberty, before and during menstruation, and during pregnancy. However, certain changes should not be overlooked.
Changes to look out for in your breasts includes; Lump in the breast, any unusual mass or lump that appears, regardless of its size, should be examined by a medical professional. Breast or nipple pain, persistent pain or discomfort in the breast or nipple area requires immediate attention. Unusual nipple discharge, if you notice any discharge, consult a healthcare professional. Dimples, bulges, or ridges on the skin of your breasts, changes in breast texture or appearance can be a cause for concern. Lump under the arm, swelling or a lump in the armpit area can be a sign of breast cancer. Itching, scales, sores, or rashes, any persistent skin changes on or around the breast should be checked by a professional healthcare worker. Redness, warmth, swelling, or pain, unexplained skin changes should be reported to a healthcare professional immediately. Lastly, change in the nipple to become pushed in (inverted), can require the attention of a medical professional.
Breast cancer is extremely treatable if diagnosed early, and immediate intervention can save lives. It is critical to prioritise self-care and frequent check-ups. Routine mammogram and self-examinations can help discover breast cancer early. Recognising these warning signs and seeking immediate medical attention are critical steps in the fight against breast cancer.
It is also important to understand that breast cancer does not discriminate based on gender. Men, just like women, have breast tissue, and this tissue can develop cancerous cells. However, breast cancer is less common in men than in women. The symptomps of breast cancer in men are similar to those of women.
Breaking down assumptions and stigmas around breast cancer in males is critical, as increased knowledge and open discussions can lead to earlier identification and greater support for those facing this diagnosis. For everyone, regardless of gender, regular self-examinations, medical checkups, and a proactive approach to health are necessary to detect breast cancer in its earliest and most curable stages.
Breast cancer affects millions of people around the world, and by working together to raise awareness, support survivors and fighters, and promote self-care and regular testing, we can make a huge progress in the fight against this illness. Together, we can ensure that nobody faces breast cancer alone and that early detection becomes a universal reality.
The support of family and friends is a priceless source of strength. Breast cancer is not just a physical battle; it’s a life changing experience that carries profound psychological impact. Individuals fighting this battle may experience an emotional roller coaster, uncertainty, and anxiety. That is why loved ones’ constant presence, encouragement, and understanding empowers them with strength.
Remember, knowledge is power, and staying informed about breast cancer is the first step towards a healthier, cancer-free future.