Breast cancer awareness
December 12, 2019 | Farah Jassawalla

Breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer is a growing disease that is commonly found in women all over the world. Tumors formed in the breast are indicative of breast cancer. Like any other cancer, breast cancer has its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment procedures. To raise awareness about breast cancer, the month of October is designated to carry out activities and hold campaigns for promoting the awareness of this disease. Pink ribbons are commonly found on the outfits of people who are associated with breast cancer awareness or are campaigning for it.

Breast cancer awareness month

October is recognized as the breast cancer awareness month in nearly all countries worldwide. It is the month where special efforts are made to direct widespread attention towards the cause and to garner support for its awareness.
As per the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Globocan (2008), there are approximately 1.38 million new breast cancer cases annually, while approximately 458,000 deaths from this disease are recorded on a yearly basis.
Known to be the most common type of cancer diagnosed in women, it is recommended that females under the age of 40 should conduct self-breast examinations at home, on a monthly basis. In contrast, women above the age of 40 should get mammography screening every year. Although prevention is not in your control, early detection is undoubtedly something that can be done.

11 facts about breast cancer

1. 1 out of 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
2. Approximately 95% of all breast cancers diagnosed are for women who are more than 40 years of age
3. Having regular screening for breast cancer reduces your risk of dying from breast cancer by 47% as compared to those women who do not get screened
4. Increased awareness, early detection, new treatment opportunities, and better screening options have led to a decline in the cases of breast cancer over time
5. In the United States, every year, about 220,000 women get diagnosed with breast cancer out of which about 40,000 of those women will die
6. Breast cancer is known to be the second leading cause of deaths by cancer in women in the United States 
7. In the United States, there are about 3.7 million cases of women who have survived breast cancer – which is the largest surviving group of cancer patients
8. In the United States, every two minutes a woman gets diagnosed with breast cancer
9. More than about 1400 women die because of breast cancer every day - that is one death per minute, somewhere in the world
10. Males have a risk of breast cancer that is equivalent to 1 in 1000
11. It is expected that approximately 2670 men in the world will be diagnosed with breast cancer in a particular year out of which about 500 will die

Symptoms of breast cancer

Every health condition is diagnosed after tests have been conducted or after symptoms have been experienced by the patient. Similarly, breast cancer also has its symptoms that help in early detection of the disease. These include:
- Change in the size, shape, or color of the breast
- Pain experienced in any area of the breast
- Any discharge from the nipples which includes blood (other than breast milk)
- A visible lump or lump felt after touching any part of the breast or the armpit area

Steps to take if symptoms of breast cancer are experienced

If you think you have experienced any of the symptoms associated with breast cancer, you should not jump to any conclusion and schedule an appointment with the doctor and let him do the rest. Not every tumor is cancerous, and the doctor will rightly guide you to what steps need to be taken and what should be avoided.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.