Since 1985, October was decided to be the breast cancer awareness month, dedicated to educating people about the disease as well as directing women’s attention to early detection and treatment. Here are some uncommon facts about breast cancer:
Women Who Have Never Got Pregnant Are Slightly More Vulnerable
The risk of developing the disease increases according to the number of menstrual cycles that a woman experiences (the more cycles, the higher the risk) because they get more of estrogen and progesterone hormones. That was the reason behind the high number of nuns suffering from breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
Men Can Get Breast Cancer
Surprisingly men can be diagnosed and die due to breast cancer as they actually have breast tissue, however, it’s very rare. The risk for a man to get breast cancer is 1 in 1000. Men need to go through self-examination as well as women and check out if there are any changes in size or shape.
Girls and Young Women Can Get It Too
Although only 5% of breast cancer cases are below the age of 40, the disease is the main cause of death among women aged between 15 and 34. That’s why –and since puberty- girls need to be educated on how to self-test, explore their breasts, and report any unusual changes that may occur, especially if their families have a history with the disease.
The Left Breast Is More Prone
Up to 10%. That’s how likely the left breast is more common to carry cancer than the right breast. Some scientists believe that the reason is the asymmetrical nature of our bodies, mentioning that the left breast is averagely larger in size which means more tissue and higher risk. Something you may need to keep in mind through the self-checking process.
What Can Women Do?
Let’s agree that age and being a woman are the main causes of breast cancer, it’s just like that, but fortunately, we are not handcuffed. The other risk factors are controllable. Monitoring your weight, doing daily exercises, avoiding smoking, reducing red and manufactured meats consumption, and being away from anxiety and stress would play a great role in keeping you safe.
Nevertheless, the most crucial of all is the self-exam. Many women have discovered the disease this way, and it has been proved that early detection through this way or any other, leads to higher chances for better treatment. So don’t be ashamed to thoroughly look at your breasts in front of the mirror, you need to be more familiar with how they look, their size, color, and shape so it would be easier to detect if there is anything abnormal.
The Lebanese Breast Cancer foundation posted a very helpful creative video showing how the self-examination process should be done using dough as for representation.
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Also, Nour Emam, whose account on Instagram is getting more and more popular among females for the sexual health education she’s practicing there. She posted a video explaining on her own body how women can check themselves up.
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Although breast self examinations cannot necessarily detect cancer, but it is a great way to get to know what’s normal looking for your breasts, skin and nipples- and what’s not normal. Small changes can help you decide to get screened for breast cancer. #breastcancerawareness رغم إن الكشف الذاتي على صدرك لا يمنع الإصابة بسرطان الثدي، و قد لا يساعد على إكتشافه. و لكنه طريقة ممتازة للتعرف على شكل صدرك و حلماتك الطبيعية لكي تعرفي عندما تلاحظي حاجة شكلها مش طبيعي بالنسبة إليك.
On a side note, Baheya Foundation, which was established in 2015, is specialized in treating breast cancer, not only that, they have their own programs for raising awareness, early detection, and patients’ psychological support. Consider donating to them as they have different donation programs starting from 250 L.E, or simply send a message to 9602 that costs 5 L.E. You can visit their website for more information or call them at 16602.