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Breast cancer awareness: Importance of early detection

Health - By Esther Muchene | October 22nd 2020 at 01:10:00 GMT +0300
Irrespective of your lifestyle, it is very important to do regular screenings (Shutterstock)

The big ‘C’ as most people call it, is one of the most dreaded diseases in the whole world. The moment your medical practitioner requests you to undergo cancer screening your heart sinks.

Waiting for your cancer screening results is such a scary time with little to help the situation other than hoping the results are negative for any cancer cells.

Irrespective of your lifestyle, it is very important to do regular screenings or observe cancer prevention tips as advised by your doctor.

Remember, prevention is always better so do not ignore any of the symptoms. World Health Organization (WHO) advices on screening at least once a year for women above 40 years.

For cases like breast cancer you can carry out a self-diagnosis every month. For this, it’s advisable to do the self-diagnosis once you are done with your menstruation.

The procedure is quite simple. All you have to do is raise one hand straight above your head and gently massage the breast on the side of the raised hand and do the same to the other side.

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What should you be looking out for is any lumps in the breasts, skin redness on the breast and armpits, swollen lymph nodes which are located in the armpits close to the breast, nipple discharge and unexplainable spots on the breast. In case of any of these symptoms it’s important to notify your doctor.

And that is why the sooner you do it, if it is cancer, the sooner it can be arrested.

  • You have time to establish the right available treatment options

Breast cancer has a wide range of treatment but this is dependent on the stage of the cancer.

The closer it gets to the fourth stage, which is the last stage of cancer, the less the available treatment options.

These options vary from mastectomy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy and biological radiation. With early detection your doctor is able to advice on the best treatment plan with the least side effects.

  • You have the best chance of effective treatment

Cases of cancer recurrence are very common. But with early detection, the chances of breast cancer recurring are minimal. The treatment will also take a shorter duration and it will be more effective when it comes to reducing chances of the cancer advancing to the next lethal stages.

With early detection, the chances of breast cancer recurring are minimal (Shutterstock)
  • There is time to treat

Early detection equals to immediate treatment which will prevent the cancerous cells from increasing in number and spreading. With this, the cancer might not develop into other more dangerous and complex stages.

  • Improved quality of life

The sooner the detection, the sooner treatment takes place. When cancer is detected in its early stages, the treatment duration is shorter and recovery from the side effects of the treatment is quick.

This means that you will be able to bounce back to your normal life with much ease considering the side effects of the treatment will be quite minimal and manageable.

  • Increased chances of survival

With the advancement of the stages, there is a reduced chance of survival, sadly. According to medical experts, early detection increases ones chances of survival.

Most of us have heard of breast cancer cases where the doctor gives the patient a timeline of how long they probably have to live. Well, with early detection those are the last words your doctor will ever utter because your chances of survival are quite high.

  • You have the opportunity to boost your immunity

Since the cancer cells in early stages will not have affected the patient’s immunity, early detection gives one a high chance of recovery and having enough strength to undergo treatment. This is mostly because some of the treatment options end up weakening the patient. With a healthy immune system, it’s easy to have a speedy recover.

As you undergo treatment, your doctor will advise you on the proper foods to take, supplements and lifestyle changes you need to boost your immune system and help your body fight the cancer.

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