October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations, to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. The aim to get as many people as possible involved in raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. http://www.cancerzimbabwe.org
The Cancer Association of Zimbabwe realised the importance of cancer research and is hereby seeking collaborations with institutions of higher learning, research funding institutions, Medical practitioners, Research institutions, Pharmacists, epidemiologist and many other individuals and institutions interested in Cancer research to jointly venture in cancer research.
According to http://www.theindependent.co.zw/2014/10/10/cancer-treatment-remains-reach/… Statistics from the Ministry of Health show that on average, 1 800 women are affected annually by either breast or cervical cancer.
The breast is made up of glands called lobules that can make milk and thin tubes called ducts that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple. Breast tissue also contains fat and connective tissue, lymph nodes, and blood vessels.
The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Breast cancer can also begin in the cells of the lobules and in other tissues in the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the ducts or lobules to surrounding tissue.
What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
In its early stages, breast cancer usually has no symptoms. As a tumour develops, you may note the following signs:
• A lump in the breast or underarm that persists after your menstrual cycle. This is often the first apparent symptom of breast cancer. Lumps associated with breast cancer are usually painless, although some may cause a prickly sensation. Lumps are usually visible on a mammogram long before they can be seen or felt.
• Swelling in the armpit.
• Pain or tenderness in the breast. Although lumps are usually painless, pain or tenderness can be a sign of breast cancer.
• A noticeable flattening or indentation on the breast, which may indicate a tumour that cannot be seen or felt.
• Any change in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of the breast. A reddish, pitted surface like the skin of an orange could be a sign of advanced breast cancer.
• A change in the nipple, such as a nipple retraction, dimpling, itching, a burning sensation, or ulceration. A scaly rash of the nipple is symptomatic of Paget’s disease, which may be associated with an underlying breast cancer.
• Unusual discharge from the nipple that may be clear, bloody, or another colour. It’s usually caused by benign conditions but could be due to cancer in some cases.
• A marble-like area under the skin.
How to beat breast cancer;
• Conduct the breast self-exam is done about three to five days after one’s period when breasts are less likely to be tender and swollen.
• Also make sure you eat a varied and healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity.
• It is encouraged to eat a diet containing whole foods that a naturally grown and high in fibre.
• Avoid refined foods and highly processed foods as they are high in fats, sugars and salts. Instead concentrate on whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish.
• Also avoid being overweight or obese by exercising regularly at least 5 times a week for more than 30 minutes.
• Alcohol intake must be reduced, whilst tobacco smoking, sniffing or chewing are to be avoided at all cost. Also avoid chemical exposure such as pesticides. Managing stress effectively
Xoxo Imelda the Fashionista