To combat breast cancer, October had been declared as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ since 1985. The main objective of dedicating an entire month to breast cancer was, and still is, to make ordinary people as aware as possible and to educate people about the early signs of breast cancer, how it can be detected at home, and what should be done to reduce the chances of acquiring this disease.
Many organisations arrange for events, and the money they receive from these are given as funds to help patients, and also to research institutions to encourage further research into breast cancer, to find out better solutions to it, and if possible, a cure.
Breast tumour can be easily detected in its early stage, and can be prevented from turning into cancer.
All we need is to know and understand the early signs and symptoms.
· Swelling of all, or part of the breast
· Skin irritation or dimpling
· Breast pain
· Nipple pain, or the nipple turning inward
· Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
· Nipple discharge other than breast milk
· Lump in the underarm area
If you spot any of the above symptoms, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
As we know, prevention is always better than cure. There are some food items that help to reduce the chances of getting breast cancer.
Add these to your regular diet, and you are less likely to be affected by breast cancer.
· Fruits and vegetables: The flavonoids and carotenoids in fruits and vegetables are strongly associated in preventing breast cancer. Scientists speculate that this may be because they interfere with the growth process of cancer cells. Dark, green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale, and fruits like berries and peaches are your strongest weapons against cancer.
· Foods rich in fibre: The hormone estrogen is often associated with leading to breast cancer. Eating a high-fibre diet eliminates excess estrogen from the body. Adding food such as whole grains, beans, and legumes into the diet is therefore, extremely beneficial.
· Omega-3 fat: Salmon, mackerel, trout, flaxseeds, soybean oil, cod liver oil, are all rich in omega-3. The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include their ability to reduce inflammation, which may be a contributing factor for breast cancer.
· Spices: Adding spices to your diet is a good idea, as they have anti-inflammatory properties.
· Vitamin D: Vitamin D from food in your diet, and exposure to sunlight could help against breast cancer. Include food items such as cheese, egg yolk, salmon, mackerel, beef liver, dairy products, which are extremely rich in Vitamin D
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in general, with a good BMI, lots of physical exercise, with no smoking and drinking, can help in preventing breast cancer.
It is a good idea to go for a regular check-up of your breasts to a gynaecologist every three months, especially if you have reached your 40s.