The Power of Awareness in Breast Cancer Prevention

The Power Of Awareness In Breast Cancer Prevention.


Breast cancer is a disease that affects the breast, an organ made up of many tiny cells. Just like other parts of the body, these cells normally divide in a controlled manner. However, sometimes these cells lose control and start dividing uncontrollably, forming a lump or tumor in the breast. There are two types of tumors: benign, which is not harmful, and malignant, known as cancer. Breast cancer usually starts inside the breast duct and can spread to the fatty part of the breast. If not detected early, it can also spread to nearby glands and other organs through the bloodstream.

Breast cancer and Bangladesh context:

Breast cancer is the leading cancer problem among women in Bangladesh. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, 14 thousand 822 people are newly diagnosed with breast cancer in Bangladesh every year and 7 thousand 135 people die. Which is 23.9% 3 16.9% in female cancer patients and death rate respectively.

Causes or Risks of Breast Cancer:

  • If there is a family history of breast cancer.
  • Age above 40.
  • If menstruation starts at a young age or stops late.
  • Having a first child at an older age or being childless.
  • Do not let the child drink breast milk.
  • If you use birth control pills for a long time.
  • High fat diet or obesity.
  • Addiction to smoking, alcohol or tobacco products.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

  • Any kind of change in breast structure, shape and size.
  • A lump or lump is observed in the breast.
  • Sensation of excessive heat, pressure or pain in the breast.
  • Wrinkling of breast skin or inverted nipples.
  • If there is pus or bloody discharge from the nipple.
  • Feeling of a cyst or lump in the armpit.

Primary prevention of breast cancer:

  • Marriage or childbearing should be completed before 30 years.
  • The child should be breastfed regularly.
  • Healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise habits should be developed.
  • Smoking, drinking, or other tobacco products should be completely avoided.
  • Practice breast self-examination.

What and when to do breast cancer screening???

Cancer screening is the process of detecting breast cancer at an early stage through a very simple test in a person who has no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. This screening may vary depending on age and other risk factors. There are three types of methods for this screening, namely-

1) Breast self examination (BSE):

once every month must be tested. From the age of 20, a woman can self-examine throughout her life. This test is best done within 1 week of the end of the menstrual period. Those who have stopped regular periods or are irregular due to any reason, can do this test on a specific date every month.

2) Clinical breast examination (CBE):

Women between the ages of 30 and 40 should have a clinical breast examination by a doctor every 3 years, and those over 40 should have it annually. If any abnormal changes are noticed, medical attention should be sought immediately.

3) Mammogram:

This is a special type of X-ray of the breast, through which a very small wheel or abnormal change is detected in the breast. However, this test is not applicable for people under 40 years of age. Women aged 45 to 55 years can undergo this test once every year as per the advice of a specialist doctor.

Remember that if breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of a complete cure increase many times.

Methods of breast cancer diagnosis:

If something suspicious is detected in self breast examination, clinical breast examination or mammography, the doctor can give different types of tests to be more sure. These include FNAC, biopsy, core needle biopsy and immunohistochemistry. And if breast cancer is diagnosed, the doctor can perform various tests to determine the cancer staging as needed by the patient.

Breast cancer treatment:

Breast cancer is usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, etc. But a specialist doctor can only give that advice in case of any patient who needs any treatment at any time.

Dr. Mohammad Masumul Haque
Founder, Cancer Awareness Foundation of Bangladesh.

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