Raising Breast Cancer Awareness: FAQs
Breast cancer awareness month is celebrated every year in the month of october globally. It is celebrated with the aim of creating awareness about breast cancer and supporting those affected by it. In India, Breast cancer has been ranked the no: 1 cancer affecting 1 in 28 Indian women. The prevalence of breast cancer has risen up that the reports state that every 4 minutes a woman in India is getting diagnosed with breast cancer and every 13 minutes a woman dies due to breast cancer.
Breast cancer is regarded as advanced cancer since it produces a high mortality rate, but the truth is that most Indian women express a no serious attitude towards the early warning signs and are unaware of the screening tests.
To create breast cancer awareness, Let’s see 12 frequently asked questions about breast cancer which might help to resolve most of the doubts related to this disease.
Top 12 Breast Cancer FAQs
1.What is Breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the breast. It occurs when the cells in the breast begin to multiply and divide abnormally, and this abnormal growth of breast cells leads to the formation of a lump or a mass in the breast.
2. Do men get breast cancer?
Men and women both are prone to breast cancer. However, men are less prone to get breast cancer when compared to women.
3. What are the causes of breast cancer?
The exact cause behind breast cancer is not known. However, a few risk factors are said to be associated with breast cancer. They are:
- Increase in age
- Family history
- Gene mutations (BRCA 1 and BRCA 2)
- Late menopause
- Getting early menstruation
- Having no children
- Alcohol consumption and smoking
- Exposure to radiation
- Long term use of oral contraceptives
- Physical inactivity
4. What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
The various symptoms of breast cancer are:
- Formation of lump or mass on the breast or the underarm
- Changes in the breast shape, size, or appearance
- Changes around the skin near the nipple or the breast like peeling, redness, crusting, flaking, or scaling.
- Inverted nipple
- Redness or darkness around the breast
- Dimpling of the breast skin
- Nipple discharge that is bloody or clear
- Swelling in the breast
- Itching or a rash on the nipple.
5. How to lower the risk of breast cancer?
There are no proven methods that could help prevent breast cancer. However, by lowering the risk factors, the chances of developing breast cancer can be reduced. They are:
- Being more active physically
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Stopping or reducing alcohol consumption or smoking
- Limiting hormonal replacement therapy.
6. How to screen for breast cancer?
Breast cancer screening can be done in the following ways. They are:
- Self Breast Examination
- Clinical examination by a doctor or a nurse
7. What is a Self Breast Examination?
A self breast examination is a method that is used to examine the breast and check for changes that might be an indication of breast cancer. Self breast examination can be done monthly by using the following steps:
- Visual inspection
- Standing up and inspecting manually
- Lying down and inspecting manually
8. What is mammography?
Mammography is an x-ray imaging method used to examine the breasts for any abnormality that can be cancerous. The x-ray image of the breast is known as a mammogram, and it is used as an early screening method for breast cancer.
9. How to diagnose breast cancer?
The following test can be done to diagnose breast cancer.
- Breast ultrasound
- Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging
10. How to treat breast cancer?
Breast cancer can be treated by the following methods. They are:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormonal therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
- Palliative care
11. Can breast cancer be cured completely?
Yes, when screened and treated early, breast cancer can be cured.
12. What are the breast reconstruction options available?
There are two main techniques of reconstruction surgeries available.
(i) Flap reconstruction: Tissues from your own body (autologous tissue) are taken and used to reconstruct the breast. Usually the tissues are taken from the belly (abdomen). thigh or back.
(ii) Implant reconstruction: In this procedure saline or silicone implants are used to recreate breast tissue.
Although breast cancer is the leading cancer related to death, with the advancements in cancer medicine, it is now treatable even at advanced stages. However, it is suggested to you to undergo regular screening if you realize that you are at greater risk of breast cancer and spot the minor abnormalities in breast instantly to start off the suitable treatment.
This Breast cancer awareness month 2022, spread the word among your kith and kin about the importance of watching out the signs and symptoms of breast cancer to get it detected and treated early.