Skip to main content

Self Breast Exam-How it Could Save Your Life

Women Above 40 years Should have a Breast Cancer Mammogram Every Year

Breast cancer is common, with a chance of a woman getting it at 12 %, meaning that 1 in 8 women will develop it if they live to age 80. Breast cancer mainly affects women, usually after age 40, and especially those with a family history of cancer of the breast. For example, those who have a close family member who has ever had cancer, such as aunt, sister or mother. Other causes of breast cancer are:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Women with a long uninterrupted exposure to their hormones are at higher risk, such as those who started to have monthly periods early, and had a late menopause. A prolonged uninterrupted use of female hormones contraceptive pills , and those who have had hormone replacement therapy, such as, after menopause.
  • Overweight women tend to have more female hormones
  • Lack of exercise
  • Race: white people are at a higher risk than Africans
  • People who have had some sort of breast diagnostic test, even if initially, it was not cancer
Remember, pregnancy and breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer. This is especially so if one gets pregnant before age 30.

Symptoms

As in many other cancers, people with early breast cancer often have no symptoms. However, as the disease advances, one may experience the following:
  • A lump in the breast
  • Skin changes over the breast. It may have a 'marking' and look like an orange peel
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Reduced movement of the breast
  • Malformation
  • Inverted nipples
Other symptoms depend on the spread, and will depend on where the cancer has spread to. If it has spread to the armpits, there will be a swelling in that area.

Breast Self Examination

Early in the disease, cancer of the breast may not be obvious. It is however useful for every woman to do a breast self exam each month, to check for any lumps or other changes through touch. In addition, women above 40 years should get screened by mammogram each year. Younger women at high risk, such as, those who have had breast cancer before or whose relatives had it, may have an ultrasound.

If breast cancer is suspected, a sample of the abnormal tissues is taken for analysis, to confirm the cancer. Other tests such as chest x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound maybe carried out to see how far it has spread.

Treatment

It depends on size of the growth, how far it has spread and type of cancer, because some respond to hormone treatment. Treatment may include surgery to remove a lump, the tumor or even the whole breast depending on size; hormonal treatment for those with tumors that respond to hormones, this may involve the use of hormonal medicines or removal of ovaries. Others are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In some cases more than one treatment option will be used. The doctor should recommend you on the best treatment option.

Since breast cancer may occur again, the doctor will check your response to treatment using various tests, such as blood tests, X-rays or ultrasounds.

How to Avoid Breast Cancer


Though not all cases of breast cancer maybe prevented, some of the risk factors can be avoided or minimized. Some of these precautions are:
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Do not delay pregnancy unnecessarily
  • Prolonged breastfeeding where possible
  • Avoid being overweight through exercise and healthy eating
  • Reduce female hormone exposure: luckily, there are contraceptive pills with low levels of hormones.
  • Routine screening by breast self-examination and mammograms

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Verify Your Land Title Deed is Genuine

Cases of forged title deeds are on the increase. Therefore, people are losing money to con men as they are taken advantage of due to their ignorance regarding land transaction matters. While thinking of owning land, it is vital to be aware of how you can verify a title deed before investing your hard earned cash.

As you plan to commit your money to buy and construct your dream home, verify that, the seller is the genuine owner, the land exists and is free from restrictions. Also be sure that you are not buying land on a road or railway reserve and above all, that the title deed is genuine.

How farmers can double their bean yield production

"As Jack slept, the beans germinated in the soil, and by morning a big beanstalk grew in their place. When Jack saw the great beanstalk, he immediately decided to climb..." This is a classic scenario of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' fairy tale. The same is true for Kenya's bean variety that climbs and spreads on sticks producing double the yield of local varieties.

Due to subdivision of land in Kenya, farmers are not able to produce enough beans to feed the 38.6 million people living in Kenya.This is mainly due to shrinking land sizes. This is the reason why high yielding varieties of beans that only need a small area to grow has been developed. These new varieties of beans require support with stakes (sticks) to climb on when they are growing.


The beans can grow up to a height of 3.5 meters. The long stems of this variety of beans enable it to produce more pods as compared to the normal bean varieties (bush bean).   With good management climbing beans can produce u…

Herbal Plants used for Alternative Medicine with no side effect

In a sad note, most indigenous informants keep herbal knowledge, especially the actual preparation methods, strictly secret. Luckily, an aged medicine man from Gatundu in Central Kenya, whose great knowledge of medicinal plants facilitated the write-up of this article.
In part one of this article, plants are grouped according to their medicinal use. According to the aged medicine man, simply boil the leaves, roots or the bark; add honey or milk or soup to sweeten the concoction. He recommends taking a glass in the morning and in the evening for preventive measures. 
He cautions on their medicinal uses which should be considered as neither preparation methods nor dosage prescription are provided. This is a topic that would require much more time and I have decided to leave it for part two of this article.
Best Herbal Plants for alternative Medicine with no side effects

I have grouped their medicinal uses in three parts which are,       Alternative medicine for preventive measuresHerbal …