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Simple Steps to Breast Cancer Awareness

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016 - Last Updated on June 14, 2016
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The rise of breast cancer in the Philippines has been alarming. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the Philippines. It is estimated that 3 out of 100 Filipino women will get the disease before age 75. These scary statistics should serve as a wake-up call for us to acknowledge how serious this disease is, and that we should take active steps to prevent it. Here are simple steps to increasing our awareness about this dreaded disease, and how we can encourage others to be more aware as well.

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Read up on the symptoms and prevention of breast cancer. Equip yourself with information to know what you can be up against. Breast cancer has different symptoms, and some do not have symptoms at all. Symptoms may include a usually painless lump or thickening in the breast., nipple discharge, a noticeable change in the size, contour or shape of the breast, nipple retraction or scaliness. Late signs of breast cancer may include pain, swelling of the breast, ulceration and orange peel-like spots on the skin of the breast.

Learn about your personal risk. Family history makes up for 7% of all breast cancers, becoming a two-fold risk for women with relatives who have had the disease. The National Cancer Institute offers a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool designed to estimate a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

Perform a breast self-exam at least once a month. Breast self-exams are important because they help you become familiar with your breasts feel and look. If you spot any changes, you can seek the help of your doctor as a next step. There are three ways you can perform a breast self-exam: in the shower, in front of a mirror, and while lying down.

When in the shower, use the pads of your fingers and move around your breast in a circular motion. Movement should be from outside to the center. Do this on both breasts every month. Make sure to feel for any thickening or lump. If you spot any changes to your breasts, seek the help of your doctor.

When in front of a mirror, assess how your breasts look. Raise your arms high over your head, and look for any unusual contours, swelling, dimpling of the skin or changes in your nipples.

When lying down, place a pillow under your right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head. With your left hand, move your finger tips around your right breast in small circular movements, covering the entire breast and the armpit. Squeeze your nipple to check for lumps and discharge. Repeat the exam on your left breast.

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Take a clinical breast exam. A breast self-exam should be performed by every woman at home once a month. A clinical breast exam is performed by a professional trained to recognize any abnormalities that the patient may have missed. This could be your gynecologist or family physician. Clinical exams are a very important part of early detection.

Schedule a mammogram. A mammogram is an x-ray to examine the breast tissue for any abnormalities or suspicious areas. Some breast lumps cannot be felt, and so a mammogram can show a breast lump if it can’t be felt. Lumps can appear as microcalcifications, or tiny groups of calcium. If abnormal cells are spotted, more tests may be recommended by the doctor. Mammograms are recommended for women 40 years and above, to be taken every 1 or 2 years. For women under 40 who have higher risk factors for breast cancer, they can ask their doctor if mammograms are advised and how soon they should get them.

Encourage friends and family to be more aware as well. Support each other with following through on your early detection plans. The sooner we start becoming actively conscious about breast cancer, the better we prevent ourselves against it.

Toni Tiu (148 Posts)

Toni Tiu is a training director, brand strategist, and features writer. She is the author of Wifely Steps, a blog that started out to help newlyweds adjust to married life. It has since evolved into a home and parenting blog where she writes about things close to her heart – good eats, good reads, and the little things that make everyday happy.


About Toni Tiu

Toni Tiu is a training director, brand strategist, and features writer. She is the author of Wifely Steps, a blog that started out to help newlyweds adjust to married life. It has since evolved into a home and parenting blog where she writes about things close to her heart – good eats, good reads, and the little things that make everyday happy.

One thought on “Simple Steps to Breast Cancer Awareness

  1. Myriam

    Tiu simply repeats in blind fashion the marketing hype of the medical business. Because if she actually investigated the matter of breast cancer she wouldn’t put her article in such light as if it’s about breast cancer prevention when all she lists is about diagnostic modalities.

    Also, if she had a clue what she’s talking about she wouldn’t recommend mammography because contrary to the official narrative (which is based on medical business-fabricated pro-mammogram “scientific” data), there is marginal, if any, reliable evidence that mammography reduces mortality from breast cancer in a significant way in any age bracket but a lot of solid evidence shows the procedure does provide more serious harm than serious benefit (read: “Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy” by Peter Gotzsche and “The Mammogram Myth” by Rolf Hefti).

    These two extensive investigations reveal to anyone that…

    IF…….. women (and men) at large were to examine the mammogram data above and beyond the information of the mammogram business cartel (eg American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Komen), they’d also find that it is almost exclusively the big profiteers of the test, ie. the “experts,” (eg radiologists, oncologists, medical trade associations, breast cancer “charities” etc) who promote the mass use of the test and that most pro-mammogram “research” is conducted by people with massive vested interests tied to the mammogram industry.

    Most women are fooled by the misleading medical mantra that early detection by mammography saves lives simply because the public has been fed (“educated” or rather brainwashed) with a very one-sided biased pro-mammogram set of information circulated by the big business of mainstream medicine.

    Because of this one-sided promotion and marketing of the test by the medical business, women have been obstructed from making an “informed choice” about its benefits and risks which have been inaccurately depicted by the medical industry, favoring their business interests.

    Operating and reasoning based on this false body of information is the reason why very few women understand, for example, that a lot of breast cancer survivors are victims of harm instead of receivers of benefit. Therefore, almost all breast cancer “survivors” blindly repeat the official medical hype and nonsense. Tiu does a great job spreading the propaganda nonsense of corporate medicine…..

    Reply

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