Be Breast Cancer Aware
One in 26 women are at risk of developing breast cancer, this is according to the CANSA organisation. Breast cancer is caused by mutations or damage to the DNA in breast cells. What triggers this change is unknown, but many people will spend countless hours trying to figure it out. Studies have shown that screening can reduce the breast cancer mortality rate by 30% – 40%, that is why it is so essential to present yourself to your health practitioner and get checked out sooner than later. This can lead to an early-stage diagnosis that results in better breast cancer treatment and a much greater survival outlook.
It is also essential to do those monthly breast self examinations, annual medical check-ups and cancer screening for early detection as symptoms don’t always present until the cancer has spread.
The recommended age for women to start having their annual screenings is 40 – 54, this is according to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and biennial mammography for women 55 years and older. Your family history is also an important factor as it may mean that, for you, starting screenings at an earlier age is beneficial.
Being diagnosed with cancer is more than just a diagnosis, it can also affect your emotions. About 1 in 4 people with any type of cancer may develop depression, anxiety, uncertainty, fear, loneliness, and body image issues among others after diagnosis. Therefore, if you are able try to surround yourself with loved ones while you’re going through your period of treatment.
Remember #changestartswhen: you take treatment.