As women we sometimes set our health aside because there is always something more important: getting the kids to school and activities like plays and sports on time, being a mother, a lover and a mistress to our husbands while working fulltime.
Breast Cancer is much more prevalent in our community than we realise. Statistics have shown that 1 in 28 women in South Africa will develop breast cancer in their life. That is 3.6%! That is not all. Did you know that men can develop breast cancer too? Breast Cancer will appear in 1% of men. (leadsa.co.za/articles/288124/breast-cancers-stats-facts)
Everyone knows someone that has been diagnosed with breast cancer or has been that person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to modern medicine, there are numerous breast cancer survivors. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, here are some questions and answers on how to recognise breast cancer.
Cancer doesn’t distinguish between race, age or economic circumstances. This silent killer will choose anyone and start growing indiscriminately. Breast Cancer mostly affects older women, but younger women sometimes also fall victim to it. Do a self-breast exam often, visit your doctor as soon as you feel you felt a lump in any of your breasts or under your arms and never be scared to ask for a second opinion.
Technology today is so advanced that the stories our mothers told us about when they were young sound implausible. Mammogram technology has advanced considerably, low-energy x-rays are used to examine the breasts for any microcalcifications or anything out of the ordinary. Low-energy x-rays mean that there is very little radiation one gets exposed to.
Women, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take care of yourself by diligently doing self-examinations and going for regular mammograms. Teach your daughters how to do the examinations, nurturing their awareness of this illness and how to identify it at an early stage.
Let us, as women, take the time and get tested! – Ané Prinsloo