October is internationally recognised as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want to use the platform to empower women to take action by learning more and doing more.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. The number of cases has increased significantly over the past decade spanning women of all ages. It is safe to generalise and say that one in every ten women will be affected by breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. The increase in deaths as a result of cancer and more specifically breast cancer is increasing annually. To that end, we do believe every woman should be proactive in knowing about it and doing whatever they can to be on the alert and responsive.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams starred a campaign geared towards increasing awareness of breast cancer entitled “I touch myself topless”. This reinforces the calls from the medical fraternity and cancer societies globally who mission it is to encourage and help women through this phenomenon. Today, we join that cause and ask all women to inspect themselves for early signs of lumps that can help in early detection and helpful for early treatment if diagnosed. Whilst not all cases of breast cancer can be detected by this methodology, we believe the awareness and continuos routine is critical for a woman to know how her breast feels normally and is a good way to help identify very early, any variation or deviation in her breast.
With that said, I believe it is critical that every woman should be aware of the signs of breast cancer and know them like the lyrics of their favourite song. So let’s go, recite them with me:
- Lump in the underarm area
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Pain in the breast or nipple
- Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- Swelling of all or part of the breast
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
I am sure, like myself, you may have or had a family member or close friend that has been diagnosed with breast cancer. For some treatments and surgeries have been successful in ridding them of the cancer but for others, it ended tragically. Today, I implore you to tell you mother, sisters, daughters and friends to do their self examinations and/or get their annual mammograms done; it can save a life as early detection of cancer is when its most likely to be treatable.
Let’s be more aware and keep the hope alive!