October is known as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’. Breast Cancer is one of the common cancers in women. What is Breast Cancer? How it is caused? It’s important to know the answers to these questions.
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Most women have a general idea of Breast Cancer but they lack a detailed understanding of it. Hesitation is a key factor towards lack of knowledge. Women experience fear and uneasiness in consulting or debating about the disease. Therefore, it’s essential to turn over the leaf and make everyone aware of it.
What is Breast Cancer?
The human body is made up of trillions of cells. The cells grow and die naturally when they become old. This natural process is sometimes disturbed by one of the cells that keeps on making new cells in a large amount. The abnormal cells do not die but rather accumulate in the body. These cells then complicate the process and make it difficult for normal cells to work properly. This can happen in any part of the body. The anomalous growth of cells in mammary glands is known as Breast Cancer.
Our Defense System against the development of Cancer:
When the mutation of cells occurs in the breast, our defense system takes action against it. The defense system makes a layer around the abnormal cells which then takes the shape of a lump. The purpose is to stop the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. The lumps can be:
- Benign (Not Harmful)
- Malignant (Harmful)
Causes of Breast Cancer in Women:
There are many causes of Breast Cancer in Women. Some are known while others are still unknown. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get the disease. These are the recommendations to help you in understanding the possible reasons. Some common risk factors are:
1. Obese and Overweight Women:
In general, Obesity and health issues are related to one another. Women who are overweight before and after menopause are at risk of developing Breast Carcinoma. This is still an uncertain risk factor but modifiable. A healthy diet and lifestyle lower the risk of developing cancer.
2. Lack of Physical Activity in Women:
Being physically active not only saves us from Mammary Cancer but from many other diseases. Women are generally busy with their household tasks. Doing household tasks is also good however, it is essential to spare some time for physical work. Physical activity is not just doing exercise but it’s more than that. Any kind of body movement that uses energy is part of physical activity. Different kinds of physical activities are:
- Running and Jogging
- Bicycle Riding
- Playing Tennis, Badminton or any kind of sport
3. Family History and Cancer:
Family History plays a vital role in causing Breast Cancer in women. A woman is more likely to be affected by it, if her mother, sister or immediate Aunt has gone through this disease. A famous example of this is Angelina Jolie. Her grandmother and mother suffered from Breast Cancer. As a result, Jolie had 87% risk of developing this disease. However, she had Mastectomy in 2013 to avoid her risk of falling prey to it.
4. Age Factor:
Girls who experience early menarche have a possibility of getting the disease. Similarly, women that have late menopause are more vulnerable. Childbearing age is also a key factor. A woman having a first child in her late 30s is more inclined towards developing the disease than a woman getting pregnant in her early 20s.
How to Avoid Mammary Cancer through Common Practices?
Self-Examination of Your Breast:
Breast Cancer in women can be diagnosed at an early stage by self-examination. Self-examine yourself because it is the initial step in protection against this Cancer.
- Stand in front of a mirror.
- Look at your breast carefully. If you see redness or any change in the appearance of breast; consult a doctor.
- Uplift your one arm and with the help of three fingers examine your breast.
- Move your fingers around your breast. If you feel pain or find a lump, immediately seek help.
A breastfeeding mother has less chance of developing cancer. Duration of Breastfeeding also has an effect. The longer a mother feeds, the lesser the risk.
Let’s wrap up the discussion on this note that never feel shy in expressing your problem. The early concern will lead to early diagnosis. Breast Cancer is curable; Do not lose hope!