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October 24, 2020

Early detection makes breast cancer easily treatable: experts

Peshawar

October 24, 2020

PESHAWAR: Awareness and early detection through timely screening for breast cancer can catch the disease when it is easily treatable, say experts.

They point out that most of the women having breast cancer are benefiting from early detection and advances in treatment who survive often longer and enjoying satisfied and happy lives. Globally, about two million women each year suffer breast cancer, the most frequent cancer among women, and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women.

About 627,000 women died from breast cancer during 2018, 15 per cent of all cancer deaths among women. Estimated, one out of nine women acquire breast cancer in the world. The ratio of breast cancer cases in Pakistan is said to be the highest among the Asian countries. Every year about 40,000 women in Pakistan die of breast cancer. Early diagnosis and access to cancer treatment need to minimize the barriers to care by easy access to effective and timely diagnosis services in reducing the risks of death from breast cancer.

Common symptoms of breast cancer include; A lump in breast or underarm that remains persistent, is often the first symptom of breast cancer, even before being felt by the woman but could be detected by seeing a lump on a mammogram long before one feels it manually. Common symptoms of breast cancer include A lump in the breast or underarm that doesn’t go away. This is often the first symptom of breast cancer. The doctor can usually see a lump on a mammogram long before you can see or feel it. Breast cancer has even been diagnosed even in the eight and ten-year-old girls. Breast cancers are found mostly in women of 50 years or older.

Seven warning signs of breast cancer; are breast or chest pain, Itchy breasts. Upper back, shoulder and neck pain; changes in breast shape, size or appearance, change in nipple appearance or sensitivity, swelling or lump in the armpit and red, swollen breasts. Breast cancer is more common in the left breast and is 5-10 per cent more likely to develop cancer than the right breast. Invasive breast cancer (Stage I) has an excellent survival rate. The chance of dying of Stage I breast cancer within five years of diagnosis is 1 to 5 per cent subject to pursuing the recommended remedy.

Stage II breast cancer is also considered an early stage of breast cancer. Stage 3 breast cancer has spread outside the breast, it’s harder to treat than early-stage breast cancer. With aggressive treatment, stage 3 breast cancer is curable, but the risk that cancer will grow back after treatment is high. But the last stage, Metastatic breast cancer or most advanced stage (Stage IV) spreads beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs of the body, may no longer be curable because it has spread beyond the breast and may be affecting vital organs, like the lungs, liver or brain.

Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer, overweight or obese after menopause, who are taking hormones, have reproductive history and alcohol intake are some risk factors leading to breast cancer. In contrast, healthy living, manual work at home and office with other, take stairs instead of the elevator, consider having healthy food options when catering and avoid smoking and alcohol. Not every one of these factors applies to every woman, but together they can have a big impact. So better keep weight in check, be physically active, more fruits & vegetables, avoid too much alcohol, don’t smoke, continuous breastfeed, avoid birth control pills, particularly after 35 years of age and avoid Post-Menopausal Hormones. As an attempt to convince women on lowering breast cancer risk are; Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, fatty fish, berries, fermented foods, allium vegetables, peaches, apples, and pears. Studies have found that breast cancer survivors who eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, chicken, and fish rich diet face less risk as compared to refined sugars, fats, red and processed meats. The breast cancer left untreated, becomes a fatal disease. It can happen over long periods of time, but if it is not timely removed (through surgery) and if it doesn’t have other treatments, it doesn’t go away on its own.

That’s why it is recommended that the women should regularly do self-breast examination/ palpation, timely screening, seek adequate advice and get appropriate medical treatment.