Stay in the Pink of Health

Happy October! It’s that time of the year when the world wide web and most tangible objects around you go pink.

Out of reverence for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in an attempt to move beyond the pink ribbon swag, we folks at DocDoc want to help you make a simple, intelligent resolution: Watch out for signs. Every month.

Excuse our lack of craft for creative messaging when we say this: “Early detection is the best prevention”. Sound old-hat? So be it. But there’s no escaping this fact.

Lucky for you and us, it’s not the Palaeolithic era. So, ignorance is no excuse.(If useful information on health was entitled to the same amount of interest garnered by celebrity loonville, the world, to a considerable degree, would have been a healthier place alright).

In today’s post we want to stress on an often-overlooked prevention technique: monthly breast self-examination. When it comes to breast cancer prevention, it’s important to be familiar with the normal consistency of your breasts and the underlying tissue and inspect your breasts for new changes that may signal potential breast problems that need immediate medical attention.

To summarise in mainstream parlance: Feel your boobies! From time to time. It’s good for you.

And now, here’s a “Signs You Need to Look Out For” roundup for you:

a) New Lump: The first symptom of breast cancer for many women is a lump in or around your breast or armpit. But many women have breast lumps and 9 out of 10 (90%) are benign. That means they are not cancers. Your doctor can order tests to determine whether a lump could be cancerous.

b) Changes in Breast Size and Shape: Breast cancer can change the way your breasts look and feel, but so can age, your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes and some medications. Your doctor can tell you whether any changes you notice could be cancerous and order tests to follow up.

c) Skin Inflammations: Not all breast cancers cause lumps. Inflammatory breast cancer can look more like an infection. Although it’s very rare, inflammatory breast cancer is aggressive and can also cause changes in the skin of the breast, sometimes making it look like an orange peel. The swelling stems from blocked lymphatic vessels in the skin, though the cancer usually starts in the lining of the milk ducts. Your doctor can determine whether changes to your skin may signal cancer.

d) Nipple Inversion or Discharge: Breast cancer can also cause changes to the nipple. Talk to your doctor if your nipple turns inward or if you notice a discharge other than milk. In most cases, nipple changes do not signal cancer. But simple tests can help determine the cause.It is also important to note that a milky discharge that is present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, although it is not linked with breast cancer.

If you’re looking for more information and/or have in fact experienced one of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your nearest GP immediately.

If you lack the motivation to follow through on the resolution, here are  two  three good reasons for picking up symptoms earlier on:

a) It would be easier to treat the disease and the likelihood of treatment success would be higher.

b) It would allow for breast-conserving options.

c) Go ahead, do yourself a favour and read this story.

So ladies, a little proactivity goes a long way. Starting this month, listen to your body when it is trying to talk to you.

From all us of at DocDoc, here’s hoping you stay in the “pink” of health for years to come.

Material on this page is courtesy of two useful websites :

National Breast Cancer

Cancer Research UK

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Stay in the Pink of Health

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