|Tips for early detection & prevention of breast cancer
Dear Ate Anna,
Last Sunday, I participated in the Run for the Cure. I ran for my mother. She is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with cancer when she was fifty-two years old. The whole family was devastated when we got this news. My mother was lucky that the cancer was caught early, during her yearly check-up. Now, after going through some treatments, she is healthy. My dream is that no more families will go through the pain of seeing their loved ones die from breast cancer. Ate Anna, can you tell readers how women can prevent breast cancer?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Francisco, it is true that finding breast cancer early can save a woman’s life. As a woman gets older, her chances of getting breast cancer increase. Even though age is a factor that a woman can’t control, there are some steps she can take toward prevention and early detection of breast cancer.
Tips for early detection
Know what is normal for your breasts.
Look for anything unusual in each breast, for example:
• a lump in the breast; a lump or swelling in the armpit
• unusual increase in the size of one breast; change in shape or colour of the breast
• discharge from the nipple (clear or bloody)
• thickened hard skin
• skin changes, including any changes to the nipple
These signs do not necessarily mean a woman has cancer, but it is important to see a doctor and check it out.
Have a Mammogram
If you are 50 years old or over, go for a breast X-ray (mammogram) every 2 years.
Get a regular clinical breast examination by a trained health professional
If you are over 40 years old, have a clinical breast examination at least every 2 years. Women who have a family history of breast cancer or other risks of developing breast cancer should consult their doctors about when and how often to be examined and screened.
Tips for breast cancer prevention:
Francisco, Ate Anna also hopes that one day your dream will come true – that no family will suffer the loss of a family member to breast cancer. For the time being, you can be a big help by spreading the word to the community, especially to women, about the importance of breast cancer prevention and early detection.
Ate Anna Ate Anna welcomes your questions and comments. Please write to: Ate Anna, Suite 200 – 226 Osborne St. N., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1V4 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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