Amongst the Asian countries, Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer, where about 1 in every 9 women develops breast cancer at some stage of her life. This means that annually about 40,000 women in Pakistan lose their life to breast cancer.
The leading culprits behind this cancer turn out to be: genetic causes, obesity, lack of knowledge, lack of hygienic practices when breastfeeding and a lack of awareness. Breast cancer has about 90% chance of cure, but the key is prevention. So, what proactive steps can we take to prevent this deadly disease? Read on to find out.
1-Control the weight:
The first step to controlling cancer of any sort is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle will prevent a lot of diseases, including cancer because there will be less damage inside the body, to begin with. The risk of breast cancer increases exponentially with increased weight, especially if this increase comes after menopause.
2-Be physically fit:
Exercising for more than two hours per week can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 10-20%. Allotting a few minutes every day to physical exertion can, therefore, be helpful for general health and even save from breast cancer.
Smoking introduces a whole host of oxidants and damaging free radicals in the body that wreak havoc. With smoking, there is an increased risk of morbid conditions such as heart disease, stroke and about 15 types of cancers.
Smoking cessation will reduce the risk of getting these deadly diseases and also improve your overall wellbeing and life expectancy. Even being a passive smoker puts you at risk, so avoid smoke wherever you are.
If you can, breastfeed your baby. Apart from providing great health benefits to your child, breastfeeding also reduces your risk of getting breast cancer. If you have breastfed one baby or more, for a total of one year, then your risk of breast cancer is reduced. But the longer you feed, the greater the protective effect.
5-Avoid hormone therapy:
Hormone therapy for post-menopausal women should not be taken for an extended period. They may have some protective effect on the heart and bones if taken for a short time, but if taken for a longer period they have increased association with breast and endometrial cancer.
6-Prevent radiation exposure:
From our CT scans to our X-rays, everything contains radiations. Do not go for unnecessary scans because you will be soaking up the extra radiation. All these radiations will increase the risk of cancers, especially breast cancer.
From the onset of menstruation to the age of 40, get into the habit of monthly screening yourself for breast cancer. It may not prevent the disease, but it can help in early detection so that prompt treatment can commence. After the age of 40, annual mammography should be done.
8-Limit the use of contraceptives:
Contraceptives also contain hormones, and unnecessary or extra exposure to hormones can result in disordered growth of cells. This means that there is a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer with contraceptive use, but this risk goes away after cessation of medication. Discuss your options with your doctor and considering your age and medical history, they can advise you for or against this option.
If you have discovered a lump in your breast, or you would like to know more about your risk of getting breast cancer, then you can consult a professional to aid you.
Book an appointment with top breast surgeon in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your health concerns.