Posts made in October, 2013

October is Breast cancer Awareness Month

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

October is Breast cancer Awareness Month

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month, marked in countries across the world every October, helps to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease. There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles. Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed. Are you breast aware? 1 in 8 womenwill be diagnosed withbreast cancer in their lifetime. – See more at: http://www.breastcancercampaign.org/breastquiz/?   Early detection of cancer Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. There are two major components of early detection of cancer: education to promote early diagnosis and screening. Recognizing possible warning signs of cancer and taking prompt action leads to early diagnosis. Increased awareness of possible warning signs of cancer, among physicians, nurses and other health care providers as well as among the general public, can have a great impact on the disease. Some early signs of cancer include lumps, sores that fail to heal, abnormal bleeding, persistent indigestion, and chronic hoarseness. Early diagnosis is particularly relevant for cancers of the breast, cervix, mouth, larynx, colon and rectum, and skin. Screening Screening refers to the use of simple tests across a healthy population in order to identify individuals who have disease, but do not yet have symptoms. Examples include breast cancer screening using mammography and cervical cancer screening using cytology screening methods, including Pap smears. Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting South African women – 1 in 33 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer (NCR 2005). Many breast lumps are harmless, but they should all be checked. It is important to examine your breasts regularly and if you are over 40, to go for a mammogram Partners, family and friends Being the partner, friend or relative of someone with breast cancer can be very difficult. Many people refer to the experience as a ‘rollercoaster ride’. The high and low feelings you may go through, including shock, acceptance, fear, relief, anxiety and relief can have a huge impact, both physically and emotionally. Chemotherapy Is an Individual Experience Every person experiences chemotherapy differently, both physically and emotionally. Each person experiences side effects from chemotherapy differently, and different chemotherapy drugs cause different side effects. Fortunately, as the science of cancer treatment has advanced, so has the science of managing treatment side effects. Whatever you experience, remember there is no relationship between how the chemotherapy makes you feel and whether you derive benefit from it. Many people feel fine for the first few hours following chemotherapy. Usually, some reaction occurs about four to six hours later. However, some people don’t react until 12 or even 24 to 48 hours after treatment. Some people experience almost all of the side effects described below, while others experience almost none. We have many treatments to help you deal with...

Read More