October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month:Why Do Victims Wait Till It Is Too Late?What You Should Know

This October like every other previous one is "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" but unlike others, this particular month floods my heart with grief from the loss of a friend and all I can think about with regards to this matter is the very pressing but unanswered question- Why do majority of victims wait till it is too late? "I'm not feeling too well Kevwe but I am believing God for a miracle", she told me. "What is the issue?", I asked with the voice of one eager to help;"I'll rather not discuss it but you will know in due time". These were her last words to me over a phone called I placed with the intention of inviting her to a planned University Class mini-reunion. Little did I know that, those words would be her last to me or any other friend/classmate we shared in common. She was barely over 35 years of age but it was far gone and it was breast cancer. How did my friend or the many other fallen victims get to that point of no return? If the answer is lack of awareness, then this month has been set aside to ensure that moving forwards, adequate information is circulated all around the world to prevent other ladies or even men from dying as a result of Breast Cancer.

If you still don't know, breast cancer is the uncontrolled multiplication of cells in the breast or abnormal growth of breast tissue. It is said to be the most common cancer in women and the number three cause of cancer deaths amongst women worldwide. The various types depend on what part of the breast is being affected. For reasons not very well understood by Medical Scientists yet, just like every other cancer, some of the cells that make up the affected part of the breast tissue just lose their normal programming and uncontrollably go haywire, even spreading to other parts of the body to cause havoc - in advanced cases. In the mist of all the frustration, Scientists have identified risk factors to include: a family history of breast cancer/genetic predisposition; alcohol abuse; obesity/ morbid over weight; tobacco smoking; the use of combined contraceptive medications; old age; early onset of menstruation and late onset of menopause; radiation therapy for other chest conditions etc. Even women who choose not to breast feed after child birth have been identified as having a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Whilst there is nothing anyone can do about some of these risk factors but to be on the lookout vigilantly, luckily there's a lot that can be done about others (modifiable risk factors). Before we enumerate these preventive measures, permit me to however touch on what  the symptoms/ red flag signs are that indicate the need for quick action to be taken towards early diagnosis of perhaps pre-cancerous or even cancerous lesions and prompt treatment in the early stages.
Normal Breast tissue - πŸ‘€: free vector images
"Doctor, first I thought the nipple discharge was normal but then I began to notice that the particular breast was growing bigger from the growth of what felt like a seed(lump) with my changing skin beginning to drag the nipple to one side". "I noticed something like a pimple on my breast so I pierced and squeezed it out but it is refusing to heal and now I have swellings in my armpit; well my attempts at weight loss are beginning to pay off very well so I'll take that as a consolation- 20 kg/ approximately 3 stones in one month, fantastic". "I hate to visit the hospital, so I'll just pray, try to eat healthy, drink alkaline water and I'm sure my breast will spontaneously return to normal". If you know anyone in this shoe, tell them to visit their primary healthcare provider as a matter of urgency. You are making a big mistake. Your breast might only get worse. Anyone presenting with these symptoms are showing classical red flags for breast cancer. Might not be eventually until proven otherwise but whatever it is, best to sort it out medically sooner than "as soon as possible. Any life lost is one too many.

πŸ‘€: slideshare.net
Just like with any other cancer or avoidable disease condition, PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE! In this regard, life saving prevention strategies will include but are not limited to:

  • tobacco smoking cessation 
  • drastic reduction of alcohol intake to the medically accepted limits per week and well spaced out....
  • eating a healthy diet and leading an active life with compulsory periods of exercise
  • avoiding unnecessary use of implicated contraceptives or Hormone Replacement Therapy; if possible...
  • considering to breast feed as much as possible instead of breast preservation and substitution with formula feeds...
  • having an annual mammogram (special imaging) of your breast done for those over 50...
  • and very importantly, making it a habit to do your self-breast examination as illustrated below... so on and so forth


Breast Self Examination- πŸ‘€: Royalty Free

You can access more information from the references below and from other sources as well.  Take advantage of the month and get adequately informed. Whatever you choose to do moving forwards, never forget that.....↓↓↓.

Do well to keep a tab with us but most importantly, never lose sight of your wellness goals. Health is certainly wealth....all day,everyday. Cheers.

REFERENCES:
CDC|What Is Breast Cancer

NHS|Breast Cancer In Women

UICC|Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2018