Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer in any Asian population with 40,000 deaths per year, which is alarming. Approximately one out of nine Pakistani women is likely to suffer from breast cancer at some point of life.
Breast Cancer in Pakistan
Unfortunately, very little information on breast cancer is available in Pakistan and only cases at very advanced stage are reported. Breast cancer is a dreadful disease but it can be cured if it is detected at an early stage. The chances of such patients of survival are more than 90 percent, which is possible only when women are made aware of symptoms and other infirmities of this fatal disease. Change in bowel and bladder habit, a scar that does not heal, unusual bleeding or discharge, thickening or lump in breast are alarming signs that needs a proper check up. Two minutes self examination could protect from this horrifying nightmare and national media can play a vital role in spreading knowledge about the disease.
The Role of Pink Ribbon:
Pink Ribbon is a charity organization working for the awareness and prevention of breast cancer. Its main functions include:
Provide information, resources, support and guidance for patients, caregivers, providers, and all persons whose lives have been affected directly or indirectly by breast cancer;
Promote and focus research into the causes, prevention, treatment, cure and other medical aspects of breast cancer;
Assist, directly or indirectly, any third-party charitable organizations involved in any aspect of breast cancer awareness and research;
Conduct any and all lawful activities which may be useful in accomplishing the foregoing purposes.
Objectives with the 5 A's
Awareness – public awareness and acceptance of breast cancer related issues (examining, education, research)
Alignment – global alignment of local, national and international breast cancer initiatives
Advocacy – advocating for funding Public, Government, Health Care Institutions and Industry
Accreditation – procedure for using the official ribbon, preventing hoaxes and abuse
Alliances – partnering with Public, Government, Health Care Institutions and Industry without losing independence.
Detection of breast cancer at early stage is very important. The earlier a breast cancer is detected, the better the chance of survival. The following methods of detecting breast cancer are:
Breast Examination by your Physician (Clinical Breast Exams)
All women should have regular breast examinations by a doctor or a nurse annually, more frequently for women who have a high risk status. A skilled examiner can detect subtle changes in the breasts that the women herself might not notice.
Breast Self Examination (B.S.E)
B.S.E is one of the best tools available for discovering breast cancer in the early, most treat able stages. Make a monthly self- exam part of your regular routine. B.S.E should be performed once a month after your menstrual period, when Breast are not tender or swollen, if you are not always regular, do it on the same day every month. Don’t get upset if you feel some lumps or hardness, that’s normal, it is also normal if your breast are not exactly the same size.
Before going to perform the actual process of B.S.E, let us describe, what you look for?
A lump in the breast, which is usually single, firm, and most often painless or local thickened area.
A portion of the skin on the breast or underarm swells and has an unusual appearance.
Veins on the skin surface become more prominent on one breast.
An unusual increase in size of one breast.
The breast nipple becomes inverted, changes in skin texture, or has a discharge other than breast milk.
A depression is found in an area of the breast surface.
Swelling of the upper arm.
A rash or eczema on the nipple or around it.
Treatment of Breast Cancer:
Getting a Second Opinion
Reasons for getting a second opinion about your treatment plan, how to go about getting one, and what to do once you’ve got it.
Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), mastectomy, and lymph node dissection, and what to expect from each. Also included: Prophylactic surgery and breast reconstruction.
The treatment by Anti-Cancer medicines that kill the cancer or make it non-reactive.
Treatment of Cancer by Laser and other types of radiations.
Hormonal therapy medicines are whole-body (systemic) treatment for hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers. Hormone receptors are like ears on breast cells that listen to signals from hormones. These signals "turn on" growth in cells that have receptors. Complementary & Holistic Medicine
Alternative and Holistic Approach can also be helpful in the treatment of Breast cancer. The best alternative is Homoeopathy and Herbal Medicines.
Please find below the useful links below to get information or medical advice for Pakistan.
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