Globally, close to 460,000 deaths from Breast Cancer and a further 1.4 million new cases reported annually. It is the most common cancer detected in women worldwide and incidences continue to rise due to increased life expectancy, urbanization and a shift towards western lifestyles.
The month of October is universally acknowledged as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is aimed at increasing attention and support for the early detection, treatment, palliative care and awareness of the disease.
While we still do not know the exact causes of breast cancer, early detection remains the pillar of its control. With early detection, correct diagnosis and treatment, there is every likelihood of beating the disease. Sadly, curative treatment is not possible with late detections. In such cases, palliative care to ease the suffering of patients and their families is required.
In the spirit of creating Breast Cancer Awareness, we have shared a few symptoms that can be vital in determining a diagnosis and eventual management of the disease.
How do you cope with a diagnosis?
Getting to know that you have cancer is a traumatizing experience. You will feel worried, anxious, stressed and even overwhelmed by the diagnosis. It is however important to remember that having the right attitude can help cope with the treatment and care that follows.
Here are some tips that could help;
· Be open and don’t be afraid to seek moral support from friends, family and loved ones.
· Join a support group. This enables you feel connected to others in a positive way as a person who is living beyond breast cancer.
· Maintain open lines of communication with your doctor.
· Acceptance of the diagnosis and maintaining a positive outlook to life.
· Be ready for changes that could happen because of the treatment
· Research on the type and stage of cancer you have and get to know how to better manage the sickness.