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- Symptoms of breast cancer
Many women have stared death in the face with hearing they have breast cancer. They have lost one or even two breasts because of it. It is why Breast Cancer Awareness is so important.
Symptoms of breast cancer
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. Breast pain and tenderness are not common symptoms of breast cancer. It usually has completely normal hormonal causes.
Other symptoms of breast cancer can be:
- Lump in the armpit
- Enlarged and hard breasts
- Reddening of the skin and “orange peel”
- Retractions in the skin
- Blood or fluid from the nipple
Most lumps are not cancerous. Harmless lumps can be swollen mammary glands or nodules formed by normal breast tissue.
Many breast cancer tumors are detected by mammography before they give symptoms.
Different forms of breast cancer
There are several different forms of breast cancer. In most cases, cancer begins in the cells of the milk ducts, called ductal cancer, but cancer can also occur in the mammary glands and is called lobular cancer.
In some cases, cancer originates in the connective tissue that exists between the mammary glands. The cancer cells can be more or less fast-growing in different women. There is breast cancer that grows very slowly and breast cancer that grows very fast, and all the variants in between.
With a puncture from the tumor, one can obtain important information about its biological properties such as hormone sensitivity, ER and PR, HER2 status (positive or negative), and information about how fast the tumor cells divide (Mib or Ki67).
Breast cancer is mainly treated with surgery. However, it is becoming increasingly common to pre-treat the breast tumor with chemotherapy with or without antibodies before surgery.
Cytostatics is one of several treatment options for breast cancer. Other common treatments are radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy that are given to reduce the risk of the disease coming back.
The Pink Campaign and the pink ribbon do a sterling job to raise funds for those who don’t have the financial means to afford breast cancer treatment, breast prostheses, or breast reconstruction. Breast cancer awareness month is in October, and by helping those affected by this devastating disease, this month has been set aside so that the entire world becomes an ally in their fight against breast cancer.
Pink is indicative of breast cancer awareness month
The pink ribbon is, therefore, an international symbol of breast cancer awareness and when you see someone wearing this during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it identifies the person as someone who wants to give their moral support to those with breast cancer
The very word ‘cancer’ strikes fear in many people. Besides non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women from all walks of life.
Breast cancer warriors bring about real change
True, buying a pink ribbon during Breast Awareness Month isn’t going to really help much – it requires much more. It is thanks to the efforts of warriors who we need to support, that bring about real changes as opposed to just buying a pink ribbon and encouraging women to get themselves checked.
These warriors are looking at all the different actionable things they can do during this breast cancer awareness month. A few ideas that warriors against breast cancer come up with are –
Emphasis on patient support
When checking out charities, look at those whose focus is on patient support as opposed to awareness. Patient support comes in different forms such as wigs, exercise classes, and full payment for treatment.
These sorts of things can help a patient and their family during troublesome times. People all over the world show their support for breast cancer awareness month, and if your finances allow it, then try and make a small donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation. Each donation will go towards helping women get the treatment they need while also contributing towards education for women and helping some who want to, be able to join breast cancer support group meetings.
Helping someone with cancer
The longer a person is on cancer treatment the more they need help. The family of the cancer patient is too busy putting all their energy and efforts into seeing to the wellbeing of the cancer patient.
They simply don’t have time for- or they don’t think about the hundred-and-one other things that need doing such as getting the dog to the vet, getting a child to a dentist appointment, shopping for groceries, and so on. What a joy it can be to have someone genuinely mean what they say when they offer a ‘can’t I do anything for you?’. It is time to accept that help, even if it was only offered during the month of October.
There are several ways that regular people can gift a person who is in cancer treatment. Make up a gift pack with soft slippers, a soft blanket, and a water bottle that ensures the person can re-hydrate themselves after chemotherapy.
Other ideas are a seatbelt cushion, belt bag with surgical drains, a nice emollient lip balm, a gentle skin moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin which is a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and perhaps a ‘dry mouth’ product to rinse the mouth out after chemotherapy which dries the mouth out and gives the patient a metallic taste in their mouth.
Moral support is crucial
Studies have been done to show that those women who had limited support from family and friends with a breast cancer diagnosis, saw their breast cancer returning. Support and assistance from anyone, but particularly family, can reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back.
Knowledge is always power and family and friends can do well to be aware that the cancer patient’s needs will be constantly changing after diagnosis, during treatment, and after treatment. Family and friends need to be aware that breast cancer isn’t static, and it comes with lots of physical and emotional changes.
Make a concerted effort during breast cancer awareness month to discover how you can make a difference in someone’s life with the support you give them when they are at their most vulnerable.
Breast cancer awareness – Make a difference in october
Women all over the world have a high chance of getting breast cancer, and as with any other cancer, early detection is crucial in ensuring effective treatment and survival. Show your thankfulness for not having breast cancer by becoming a warrior during breast cancer awareness month and making a positive change in someone’s life – much like what you’d want to see if you were in that person’s shoes.