Changing lifestyle habits, increasing work pressure and stress levels have left modern-day individuals with no time to pay heed to their health. Acute and chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and as well those related to the heart, are on the rise. Each day, an increasing number of people are being diagnosed with such ailments, leaving their families with an imprinted sense of guilt of not having known and not having prioritised health before anything else.
One disease that has affected the lives of millions of women across the world is Breast Cancer — the most common cancer in women.
In 2017, Avon conducted a global survey of 19,000 Avon Representatives in 15 countries on their awareness about the risks and signs of breast cancer. The findings showed that there was a huge lack of awareness among women about how to detect the disease and lower their risk of developing the cancer. The study also revealed that only 2 in 5 women knew the early signs of breast cancer and most were unaware that their lifestyle choices could be increasing the risk of breast cancer.
Avon’s work in this field comes from years of intensive research and study. In 2016, Avon funded $4 million in research on how breast cancer develops, how it progresses and how to stop it.
As is across the world, Indian women too are ill-informed and skeptical about self-examinations for the illness, its diagnosis and also consulting doctors to speak about it. This, in turn, has led to a heightened risk of the disease going unnoticed thereby becoming fatal in most cases.
Physical activity: Don’t be proud of being laid back. It is crucial to keep your body fit at every stage of life continuously using all body parts to sweat out intoxicants that one consumes in this polluted, fast-paced world. You can go for regular walks, cycle casually, jog or do house-hold chores. All these activities can reduce the risk of breast cancer
Breast feeding: The sooner women start breastfeeding, the better. Breastfeeding may reduce breast cancer risk by altering the balance of hormones in the body and by delaying the return of a woman’s periods.
Alcohol and smoking: The downside of relaxing in this modern world. The more glasses of drinks you down on the weekend, or packets of cigarettes you puff up, the more you are at risk of Breast Cancer. Also, for the night owls and Netflix lovers, it is advisable to find the right balance since irregular patterns of work, long hours and late nights are more likely found to be struck by cancer in the later years of life.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and Contraceptive pills: Medical Improvisations you don’t need! Avoid using the viral popular HRT or contraception tablets to abnormally treat menopausal symptoms and unwanted pregnancy.
Pregnancy: Today many women choose to undergo pregnancy in the later years but the earlier you choose to bring a baby into the world, the lower you are at risk of breast cancer.
Overweight: Start eating healthy and avoid eating out. Putting on weight in adulthood (after the age of 18) with those extra munchies and burgers, or being overweight after menopause can also lead to breast cancer.
Genetic and body factors:
Surveys prove that white women are more likely to develop breast cancer as compared to black, Asian, Chinese or mixed-race women. In a small number of cases, breast cancer runs in the family. Of all women who develop breast cancer, up to 15 per cent has a significant family history of the disease. Breast density can also predict breast cancer risk. Women having dense breasts are more prone to developing
breast cancer than women with low breast density. Few other causes that women tend to overlook is the excess use of deodorants and perfumes, underwired bras, bumping or bruising of breasts, breast implants and abortions.
Early detection of breast cancer saves lives
With research and medicine, more people are surviving breast cancer than before, yet too many women still aren’t aware of their risks, and don’t know what signs to look out for, or what to do and where to go if they have concerns. According to studies, 70 per cent of breast cancers are curable if detected early. One of the easiest ways to detect Breast Cancer is by conducting self-examinations.
Breast Self-Examination – Just 4 easy steps and a few minutes in a month when made a ritual, could help in an early detection of this disease and prevent countless lives.