October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Join in the cause to help women in need today.
Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in South Africa, with 1 in 27 at risk of being diagnosed with it at some point in their lifetime. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Research shows that up to 90% of patients survive for many years after diagnosis when the cancer is detected in early stages. That is why it is so important that we increase awareness around breast cancer, its symptoms and its risk factors. Awareness of the symptoms, and early detection through screening, can help lead to earlier diagnosis, resulting in improved treatment outcomes. Awareness of risk factors, can help women reduce their personal cancer risk.
Look Out For Your Neighbours
As neighbours, it is important to look out for one another, especially individuals struggling with breast cancer, and their families and friends. Reach out and offer a helping hand where you can. Create a support group on OurHood (if this is not too invasive for the individual) or offer to make meals for the person and their family. Breast cancer is both physically and emotionally draining, to the individual and their loved ones, so it is important that they know they have your support when they need it.
Help Women in Need Today!
With OurHood, it is easy to gather your neighbours and help raise awareness of breast cancer. Use the platform to create a fund-raising event in your neighbourhood. The money you raise can then be donated to your chosen breast cancer charity. Alternatively, it can go towards the treatment of someone from your neighbourhood. From simple backyard braais, to pink-themed tea parties to raffles, competitions and second-hand sales, you can be as imaginative as you like. And don’t forget to tag @OurHood so we can share your hard work and encourage others to make a difference too.
Reducing your Risk
(adapted from CANSA’s website)
Regular Breast Self-Examinations (BSE):
Regular BSE plays an important role in detecting breast cancer. While not all breast lumps indicate cancer, it is always safe to have them investigated, especially if accompanied by other changes in breasts or the under arm area, such as lumps, texture changes, thickening, dimpling, changes in shape or size of nipples or breasts, tenderness, discharge, rash or swelling, or one breast suddenly being slightly larger than the other.
A BSE should be done once a month, preferably at the same time of day, following a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Clinical Breast Examination (CBE):
A CBE is a visual and manual examination of the entire breast, from the collarbone to the bra line, and from the armpit to the breast bone. It is advisable to have a CBE as part of your annual medical check up. Should any abormalities be detected you will be referred for further testing by a medical professional.
Mammograms (a special x-ray to detect lumps in the breast), do not prevent breast cancer, but they can save lives by finding breast cancer as early as possible. Women from the age of 40 should go for an annual mammogram, for purposes of non-symptomatic breast screening. Women 55 years and older, should have a mammogram every two years – or if they choose, continue with an annual mammogram. Women, who have other risk factors such as mutated BRCA1 /2 gene, should be referred for an annual mammogram. See CANSA Breast Cancer Position Statement (NCR 2014) regarding this.
MammaPrint (Genomic Testing):
The MammaPrint test, made by Agendia, is a genomic test that analyses the activity of certain genes in early-stage breast cancer.
Research suggests the MammaPrint Test may eventually be widely used to help make treatment decisions based on the cancer’s risk of coming back (recurrence) within 10 years after diagnosis. MammaPrint Testing can help some breast cancer patients avoid chemotherapy treatment
Start spreading awareness today and help to save lives.
The OurHood Team 🙂
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