What you need to know for preventing, detecting and fighting breast cancer

Topics cancer | breast cancer

There’s a common expression that goes — prevention is better than cure. Though clichéd, this wise expression has held true for years, inspiring constructive action to address a problem before it’s too late. The proverb is most commonly used to encourage people to take proactive health measures; by going for regular tests and checkups to identify any potential infections as early as possible.

According to a report released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2018, cancer took more than 700,000 lives in India. This whopping number, excludes the over 2,000,000 Indians who continue to live and suffer from the deadly disease. As per ICMR’s estimate, the death toll is expected to rise to 880,000 by 2020. 

When it comes to cancer amongst women, the number of breast cancer cases are the highest. According to the ministry of health and family welfare, the incidence of breast cancer is 25.8 per 100,000 women and is expected to rise to 35 per 100,000 women in 2026. Despite the innovations in treatment and various awareness campaigns, the risks associated with breast cancer continues to rise. 

Most doctors believe mammography to be the best way for detecting breast cancer at its nascent stage. However, in India, it has still not been widely adopted, unlike other parts of the world. Although it has numerous advantages over other screening methods.

Did you know that a mammogram can detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumor can be felt by you or your doctor? Hence with regular mammography examinations, the chances of a successful treatment and survival rate significantly increases amongst patients. 

Haruto Iwata

We can win half the battle against breast cancer by zero stage detection and proper guidance of the doctors. 

To beat cancer, we cannot forgo the importance of prevention, detection, and treatment, let’s focus on a few reasons why one should consider going for a mammography test.  

If you’re wondering it’s going to be a long procedure, it’s not. The test just takes about 20 minutes, it is extremely safe and the discomfort is minimal for most women. 

Detecting breast cancer early reduces the risk of dying from the disease by 25 to 30 per cent, or more. Women should begin having mammograms yearly at the age of 40, or earlier if they’re at high risk.

Without regular mammograms, tumors can go undetected allowing a breast cancer to grow, and possibly spread to other parts of the body. 

Since not all breast cancers are visible by mammography, it is very important to have annual clinical breast exams by a health care provider and to notify them of any changes detected between exams.

Screening mammography saves lives and it’s one of the easiest steps women can take to be as healthy as possible, and catch a possible breast cancer early. 

It’s time to invest in your well-being and health by setting short-term, self-preservation targets. With a positive mindset and an unwavering will, the battle against cancer is winnable. It’s our job to encourage women around us to get a mammography examination and get a proper diagnosis of this wretched disease in time.

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