Whoever chose the colours of the ribbons for the various cancers would have had a hard job to do; choosing pink for breast cancer was definitely the best decision made on that table. Pink is the colour of universal love of oneself and others. It stands for the friendships, inner peace and affection.
I know the general consensus is that the colour red stands for love, but let’s say pink is the nicer sister with all the good qualities. What else can represent an organ that brings so much joy to the world except pink? So I say, Happy Pink month!
Photo – Jupiter images, AMSUL
Pink reflects happiness, so let’s ensure our breast keeps us happy and spread the word about breast cancer.
My first personal encounter with breast cancer was when my grandmother lost her life to it. I was her look-alike and her favourite granddaughter as I liked to believe. It shook my entirety that I could have missed this
, as her diagnosis came 3 days before she died. She had a painless swelling in her armpit and I never noticed. The thought of doing a breast exam on her was foreign to me. She was old already and no one in my family had ever been diagnosed of cancer, so it didn’t cross my mind. The lump grew bigger and she fell terribly ill, things went downhill from there as she lost her memory and became like a little child once again. I became so invested in reading all I could about dementia and missed out on learning about that little lump, because to me I considered it inconsequential. I learnt the hard way so; I would not want you to.
The breasts are those paired soft and jiggly protrusion on the chest which varies in size and shape. Its main function is for nutrition in a growing child and secondarily for sexual pleasure.
Breast cancer is a disease in which the cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. It remains a worldwide public health dilemma and is currently the most common tumor in Nigeria. It is the primary cause of death due to a cancer in females. It affects both females and males, although it is more common in the former. We can attribute it to the fact that the female breast contains more glandular tissue or has the bigger responsibility to give joy.
The grave impact breast cancer has on our society is the major reason we have the whole month of October to create awareness about it.
Important things that are worthy of note about breast cancer are:
- It is commoner in women above 50years but the risk drops drastically after 70years.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding are protective of breast cancer.
- Early childbirth (before 20 years of age) reduces one’s risk.
- A previous breast lesion increases one’s risk.
- Family history of breast, ovarian and colon cancers increases one’s risk.
- Oral contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy also increase one’s risk.
These are ways to prevent breast cancer
- First, cut down on things that would increase your risk of breast cancer e.g Alcohol, smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Do away with having a sedentary lifestyle.
- Breastfeed as much as you can.
- Limit your exposure to hormone therapy as much as possible.
- Get screened regularly.
- Avoid exposure to radiation, if possible.
Regular Self-Breast examinations to breast exams by specialists can help detect those painless lumps early. If you notice anything strange about your breast, from nipple discharge to changes in to breast colour, shape and size, please see a specialist as soon as possible. You can join our telemedicine platform to book an online video consultation with our specialists or have a free chat consultation with our health professionals. A stitch in time saves nine.
Biennial mammograms are advised for people above 40years. Oncopadi has a health shop where medical tests, cancer screening tests and annual medical check-ups can be booked.
Do you have breast cancer already? don’t let it weigh you down, every cloud has a silver lining, so try to get your hopes up as there are many treatment regimens for people living with breast cancer.
Want to join the pink party this month?
Here are seven things you can do
- Show your support by picking days to wear pink and telling someone about breast cancer.
- You can also change your profile picture to a pink ribbon for the month of October.
- Donate to a breast cancer cause.
- Attend a charity event or concert.
- Walk or run to create awareness in your community.
- Volunteer in any pink organization around you.
- Finally spread the word amongst your friends, family and even enemies by sharing this article with them. You have the ability to save a life, don’t undermine it.
It is crucial to reach out to as many people and keep the conversations going about breast cancer. Try not to be the missing link in this chain.
Fun fact: The pink ribbon became the symbol of the national breast cancer awareness month in 1992.
Until the next episode.…#Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Loads of Love