Know the early symptoms

Don''t panic — 80 to 85 percent of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous) and most people don''t need to worry about getting cancer because the body has multiple mechanisms to protect us against that disease.
Representational pic
Representational pic

Do I have breast cancer? Many women frequently share this common fear. This is not an unfounded fear when considering that, breast cancer ranks as the number one cancer among Indian females with rate as high as 25.8 per 100,000 women and mortality of 12.7 per 100,000 women. Breast cancer projection for India during time periods 2020 suggests the number to go high. People living with fear of breast cancer need up-to-date information and peer support every day of the year, not just on Breast Cancer awareness day or Breast Cancer awareness month of October. Better health awareness and availability of breast cancer screening programmes and treatment facilities would cause a favorable and positive clinical picture in the country. 

Is Breast Cancer Curable? Detecting and treating the disease at an early stage can significantly improve a person's outlook. The 5-year relative survival rate for stage 0 and 1 breast cancer is 99–100 percent. Therefore, people with this stage and type of cancer are almost 100 percent as likely to survive for at least 5 years as people without the condition. The key point here is the early detection. Earlier breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat and increase chances of extended survival. Women know their breast well and may discover early a breast problem on their own, but hearing about breast cancer frightens them most. I have found that the mere presence of a lump in the breast usually concentrates upon it the thoughts and attention of the patient, impairs her happiness, and renders her apprehensive, nervous and often gloomy. First, don't panic — 80 to 85 percent of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous) and most people don't need to worry about getting cancer because the body has multiple mechanisms to protect us against that disease. Although , Breast cancer survival rates and prognosis are determined by so many different factors that it is always difficult to make generalizations,

thanks to decades of research progress, better treatment options safely we can say more women (approx. 90%)are surviving breast cancer than ever before if detected in time.

Should I Hide or talk to a Doctor? Struggling to choose between two options, sadly most of our women are really on the horns of a dilemma can it be cancer  live with  certain phobias, unfounded fear and misconceptions about the breast cancer don't  seek early consultations and present late. If hearing about breast cancer frighten you, it is time to replace fear with what we know is true about breast cancer here are some health tips from a breast surgeon. Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of breast health,  finding breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance of successful treatment  of not losing whole breast or life .Firstly, and most importantly, you need to understand that every change and every swelling found in your breasts does not mean you are harboring Breast cancer. The changes in your breast  on which one should seek early medical advice, which in no way are replacement for  recommended frequent self-breast examination or annual special x-ray(Mammography)of breasts especially after the age 40, for early detection of Breast cancer.

 When do  I need to see a doctor?

On the first noticeable change ,feeling of a lump or area of thickened breast tissue  which  does not necessarily mean you have cancer as most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, it is always best to have them checked by your doctor with emergence of any such breast Symptom-/sign like alteration  in breast size or shape, breast skin may become thick, red, and may look pitted — like an orange peel, nipple changes or discharge especially bloody see your doctor.Family history of cancer breast or ovary in family especially first siblings should drive you to any breast clinic, or local Physician for screening.Sophisticated tests for screening inherited breast cancer genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2, where BRCA stands for breast cancer genes are not accessible or affordable to majority of women all over the world but clinical examination with  simple ultrasound plus Mammograms or  MRI of   the breast often can detect tumors before they are large enough to feel. 

There's no doubt that cancer is a life-changing experience. The treatments can wear you out assuredly, now-a-days results are not that gloomy. When you're told that you have breast cancer, it's natural to be worried Doctors may not have all the answers yet, but that doesn't mean we are helpless. With growing research there are many practical actions and concrete steps in management we can take now to help reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality of extensive surgery of exploring armpit and losing whole breast or life from breast cancer. Promising Life Awaits You – We encourage you to take precautions that put your health and the health of others first by joining the awareness campaign on breast cancer. The benefits of the earlier diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer far outweigh the risk of the small dose of radiation received during a mammogram. .

Dr. Fiaz Fazili is a Breast Surgeon and works as Director Healthcare policy planning for Quality improvement

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