October is celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month across the world. The motive of this event is to spread awareness for the prevention, early detection and treatment of Breast Cancer.

As per WHO, breast cancer is one of the most common cancer among women worldwide. Global Cancer Statistics, 2018 says that the prevalence of breast cancer is 11.6% and it is the leading cause of death among women. It usually affects women, who are over 50 years of age but approximately 10% of cases have also been reported in the US of women less than 45 years of age.

When it comes to the treatment of breast cancer, there are chances of curing the same in case of early detection. Curative treatment is not possible in case of late detection. Therefore, breast cancer screening or checking for the symptoms might help in lowering the risk or in early detection.

Here are certain symptoms of breast cancer. It should be noted that some people might not experience any symptom at all.

  1. Change in size or shape of the breast.
  2. Pain in the breast.
  3. Fluid or blood discharge from the nipples.
  4. Lump in breast or underarm.
  5. Any unusual changes in the breast.
  6. Women more than 40 years of age should consult their doctor for Mammograms.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thousands of people wear pink on October 18, conduct campaigns and raise charity.

Even though breast cancer can happen to anyone, there are some associated risk factors.

  1. If there has been a family history of breast or ovarian cancer then the chances increase.
  2. Any history of radiation treatment or therapy of breast or chest.
  3. History of breast cancer.
  4. As age increases, the risk of developing breast cancer also increases.
  5. Obesity.
  6. Alcohol consumption.
  7. Postmenopausal hormone therapy. 

 Some for the ways to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer are:

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay active.
  2. Limit or avoid post-menopausal hormonal therapy.
  3. Examine them regularly and go for regular mammograms after 40 years of age.
  4. Consult your doctor regarding breast cancer screening clinical exams and tests.
  5. Avoid alcohol consumption or drink in moderation.
  6. Consume a healthy diet. Include plenty of whole grains, legumes, pulses, nuts, fruit and vegetables in your diet.
  7. In case of family history of breast cancer, consult a genetic counsellor.
  8. Avoid smoking.
  9. Avoid exposure to radiation.

 Practice these ways to reduce the risk and spread awareness about breast cancer around you.


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