Friday, November 12, 2010

BEAT Breast Cancer

This post is a week long overdue and I feel a little guilty about it as this deserve more importance than any other blog that I posted.

We recently participated a walk for a cause. It actually a yearly event but this is the first time that I was able to join in the Burjuman Pink Walkathon '10. Nearly 4000 people of different race and nationalities took time to support to beat breast cancer.

It was such an amazing experience that at least once in your life you do something for other people. The event original schedule was last 29th October, it was move to 5th November. We were lucky that our flat was only a walking distance from the event location (Burjuman area). Registration is Dhs 50 for adults and Dhs 30 for children aged 8-12 years. Children below 8 years of age do not require registration and walk for free. The walk started at 8:00 AM.

I have not experience, how do I put it, such unlucky event in our family yet, at least nothing that I know of, of someone with a breast cancer in our family and I hope and pray that we would not experience that in the future. But who would want that to happen to anyone? No one would wish someone to suffer. If detected early, breast cancer can be treated succesfully. Regular checks are important for every woman. Be aware.

What is breast cancer?  Very simply, when cells in the breast tissue divide and grow out of control they form a lump or mass called a tumour. Not all turmours are cancerous, but a cancerous tumour in the breast is called breast cancer. Breast cancer is currently the most common cancer affecting women across the world.

Men too can get breast cancer but the percentage is much lower than women. Currently it's 1% of all breast cancer related cases worldwide.

Top risk factors for breast cancer
  • Being a woman
  • Getting older
  • Family or previous history of breast cancer
  • Being overweight
  • Not breast feeding
  • No children or first child after 35
  • Use of birth control pills
  • Consuming more than one drink of alcohol per day
  • Having your period before the age of 12
  • Dense breast or high bone density
Know what is normal for you. See a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes:
  • Lump, hard knot or thickening (breast or underarm)
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in size or shape of breast
  • Dimpling or puckering
  • Itch or rash especially in nipple area
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that is spontaneous and bloody
  • A sore on the breast that does not heal
Three steps you can take to beat breast cancer
  1. Annual mammography (breast X-ray) from the age of 40 onwards
  2. Clinical breast exam by your doctor every three years starting from age 20, and every year from age 40
  3. Monthly breast self-examination
Stay alert. Stay well.

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