Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is, when it comes to breast cancer, every woman is at risk.
–Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Every year, millions of new breast cancer cases are discovered worldwide. Whether you’re a mother, a father, a husband, a son, a niece, a nephew or an uncle, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. However, the trend shows that breast cancer primarily affects women. In reality, this is one of the most common types of cancer among women. While the month of October has been designated to raise awareness about breast cancer, this is an opportunity for the world to recognize those incredible people who fight cancer every day, whether as a patient or as healthcare professionals. Breast cancer is a complicated disease to fight or to witness a loved one go through. Breast cancer kills over 500,000 women worldwide each year. The majority of women with breast cancer in resource-limited settings are diagnosed at an advanced stage of disease, resulting in low survival rates. The importance of early detection cannot be overstated.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 90% of early-stage breast cancers are curable.
To accomplish this, women should self-examine their breasts once a month for any early signs of cancer. They must also see their doctor on a regular basis and undergo mammography on a regular basis. The earlier it is detected, the better the prognosis. There is a significant lack of awareness and stigma surrounding cancer, which can eventually be barriers to detection and care. The month of October, also known as the pink month in the cancer community, is filled with cancer-related events organized by governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and businesses to raise awareness about breast cancer and promote early detection of the disease.
What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a disease in which the cells in the breast proliferate uncontrollably. There are various types of breast cancer. The type of breast cancer is determined by which cells in the breast develop into cancer.
The most common types of breast cancer are:
- Ductal invasive carcinoma – The cancer cells start in the ducts and then spread to other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis.
- Lobular carcinoma with invasion – Cancer cells begin in the lobules and then spread to nearby breast tissues. These invasive cancer cells have the potential to spread to other parts of the body as well.
How to support the breast cancer cause
- Practice self-examination of your breast regularly
- Have regular check up at the doctor and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
- Make yourself aware of breast cancer disease through educational content to learn about it’s risk factors, symptoms and how it affects people’s lives.
- If you have questions related to breast cancer, seek for support from NGOS or any healthcare experts.
- Engage yourself in volunteering activities with an NGO to help the cancer community
- Consider donating to breast cancer NGOs like FMCI who will use your funds to sponsor the treatment of a patient.
Who is more likely to develop breast cancer?
Unfortunately, simply being a woman is a significant risk factor. Furthermore, when diagnosed with breast cancer, age plays a significant role. However, there are some additional risk factors that can be monitored in the future. Women who smoke, drink alcohol on a regular basis, have poor eating habits, and do not exercise regularly increase their chances of developing breast cancer. The presence of a risk factor does not guarantee the presence of the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Every woman is unique, and her body does not always react in the same way.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
How Can Breast Cancer treated?
Depending on the cancer stage and based on the condition of the patient, the treatment that the patient needs will first be reviewed by healthcare experts.
They are essentially:
Surgery: An operation in which doctors remove cancerous tissue.
Chemotherapy: Special medications are used to shrink or kill cancer cells. The drugs can be pills that you take or medicines that are injected into your veins, or both.
Hormone replacement therapy: Prevents cancer cells from receiving the hormones they require to grow.
Biological treatment: Helps your body’s immune system fight cancer cells or control side effects from other cancer treatments.
Radiation treatment: To kill cancer cells, high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) are used.
Each month be sure to check your breasts.
To ensure there aren’t any unwanted guests.
Cancer’s next victim I will not be.
Checking yourself is the key.
Lumps and bumps I hope not to find.
Terrible tricks cancer plays on the mind.
A doctor’s visit once a year.
Will help to be sure you’re in the clear.
The battle with cancer many have lost.
Not checking monthly isn’t worth the cost.
October we celebrate those who fought and won,
And searching for a cure is never done.
You could be next if you don’t stop and think.
October…breast cancer awareness…yes…I will think pink!
FMCI DONATION TO BREAST CANCER CARE MAURITIUS
The FMCI has pledged to improve Mauritius’ cancer situation through a series of initiatives aimed at cancer patients, the general public, and the Mauritius health system. We must not underestimate the value of cancer education as a preventive measure. As a result, the FMCI will continue to pursue its various goals, which include cancer education, cancer treatment funding in Mauritius and abroad, and cancer research and related activities. We believe that providing proper care to cancer patients of all types is critical in order to improve their lifestyle and help them win this battle.
On the 15th of October 2022, Falcon Memorial Cancer Institute attended the MISA (Minimally Invasive Surgery Association) gala night at the Hilton Hotel.
The event being organised on the same day as the International Breast Cancer Day, FMCI invited Breast Cancer Care Mauritius to attend and donated to them, thanking them for their amazing job and showing support towards this cause affecting millions of women around the world.