You've probably heard of the alarming stats, but somehow you never quite believe it'll happen to you.
The leading cancer amongst women across the world, breast cancer accounts for about 14% of new cancer cases detected in India. Which is a lot.
Many oncologists believe that half the cases could have been averted if a timely self-examination had been conducted. A self-examination is your easiest bet against the threat breast cancer holds, and a 5-minute monthly ritual can lead to early detection, or even prevention. You wouldn't believe it, but 70% of breast cancer cases ARE curable.
According to Joanna Franks, Consultant Breast and Oncoplastic Surgeon at the Wellington Hospital, there is a disturbingly large percentage of women who are not aware of how to examine their breasts, they are conscious of feeling their breasts or are unsure when is the best time (in tandem with their cycle) to check it. So, to spot an early change in the breast it helps to be comfortable with your own body and have a familiar 'road map' of your own breasts.
In association with ICAN(Indian Cancer Society), Avon wants to educate women and men (yes!) to take out few minutes every month to do a breast self-examination through the #PayAttention Campaign.
Here's what to look out for:
1. If your breast turns bright red and hot
This can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer. This maybe mistaken for an infection, which can delay diagnosis.
2. If the texture of the skin around the breast changes or becomes pitted
Puckering or dimpling of the skin can indicate the presence of cancer before a lump is visible. The tumour inside the breast can cause pulling on the surrounding skin.
3. Itchiness or rashes around the nipple area
This can indicate a rare type of breast cancer called Paget's disease. The symptoms, an itchy red rash, can look similar to eczema.
4. Bleeding or discharge from the nipple
Discharge from the nipple may be a symptom of some forms of breast cancer. The likelihood is greater if your nipple discharge is bloodstained or accompanied by a lump.
5. A pulled-in or inverted nipple
A new change to the nipple including inversion (the nipple turning in) could indicate that a lump is behind the nipple. This may become more obvious with raising your arm.
Early detection is the magic trick that helps cure this deadly illness, an issue that needs to be addressed in our country at the earliest. This is because most cancers in India are diagnosed when the tumours are humongous or have spread in the body (metastasis)—at which point they become either incurable or harder to treat.
This initiative has garnered massive support throughout the nation, and some celebrities have extended their full support on social media towards the cause.
Gift yourself these 5 minutes of life, every month.