October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. With being the most common type of cancer in women, breast cancer accounts for 14% of cancers in Indian women. Though it cannot be prevented as if it has to happen, it will happen, the deaths due to breast cancer can definitely be reduced. This can be only done through early deduction and reaching out to your doctor on time!
Symptoms of breast cancer
Since no breasts are typical, each woman tends to experience a different symptom. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. Touching yourself and realising any irregular or unusual feeling is the first step of deduction. But don’t worry as women’s breasts change, look and feel different during your period, having children, losing or gaining weight or even if you're under certain medications. But it is advised to check with your doctor if you experience any of the below-mentioned concerns.
● New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
● Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
● Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
● Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
● Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
● Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
● Pain in any area of the breast.
Reduce the risk
Several factors like getting older or your family history are not in your hands to control but taking care of your health well and adapting to a disciplined lifestyle will lower your risk of breast cancer. It all starts with maintaining a proper diet that balances your weight. Managing your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. Exercise regularly and also don't forget to massage your breast and pump up the blood circulation there. If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.
Though most breast cancers are diagnosed in women who are 50 years old or older, breast cancer also affects younger women. Early diagnosis of breast cancer can lead to a better outcome as most people have a 99% chance of living for at least 5 years after the initial diagnosis. Massages help prevent cancer and also to keep your breasts healthy. Massage may also help improve the flow of milk for breastfeeding mothers.
● Massage in a circular pattern by placing four fingers of one hand on the top of the breast and four fingers of the other hand on the bottom.
● Move your fingers to the area under your armpit, and continue with small circles as you walk your fingers along.
● Massage a single breast at one point in time and avoid applying too much pressure. Be gentle.
● Finish your massage by squeezing each nipple to look for any discharge or pain. If you experience either one of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Love, Team She