Every year, October is observed as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month by the global community. As the world breaks into the 10th month of the year, countries across the world start spreading awareness about breast cancer.
Since Breast Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women, it is important to work towards preventing this disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer claims around 1.38 crore new victims every year and causes more than 4.58 lakh deaths each year. Although, the disease is common in developed as well as developing countries, it has started finding its feet in low and middle income countries as well, due to rapid urbanization and the sweeping changes in traditional lifestyles.
While we are talking about spreading awareness to know about and detect breast cancer, it would be irrelevant without a discussion about the disease. The disease that develops from breast tissues is curable if detected early. Breast lumping, change in its shape, nipple releasing fluid, skin dimpling, inverted nipple, etc. are among the early signs of breast cancer. If a woman sees any of these symptoms developing, she is advised to consult a doctor at the earliest. In case of Metastatic Breast Cancer (advanced stage), yellowish skin, breath shortness, bone pain, etc. can be experienced. Healthcare in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, and other major cities of India are becoming highly conscious about the concern over increasing cases of breast cancer around the country.
One’s way of living has the biggest impact on Breast Cancer. Doctors have found that alcohol consumption and intake of fats are the most common risk factors. Even couple of drinks a day increase the relative risk of Breast cancer by 1.5 times. Obesity and lack of physical exercise are also associated with the increased risk of breast cancer. In the modern world, scientific advancements have hardly left any scope for people to engage in any physical activity. This is not only making people obese but also increasing the risk of breast cancer. Smoking is yet another risk factor associated with breast cancer. The risk is 40-45% more for smokers than non-smokers.
Doctors at AMRI Hospitals have found that genetic vulnerability is also responsible for breast cancer, albeit less. The risk of this medical condition also increases with age.
A majority of breast cancer cases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol consumption, and engaging in physical activities. Cases of breast cancer are lesser in women who breast-feed their children. Intake of citrus fruits is a good way to reduce its risk. Reproductive history is also related to the risk of breast cancer. Pregnancy latest by the age of 30 reduces the risk of breast cancer’s development (Please check fact; seems like a sweeping statement).