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3 Facts To Know About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women…

It’s that time of the year again when that distinctive shade of pink can be found on almost everyone and everything. October has long been the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness around the world, a cause supported through fundraisers, donations, solidarity movements and symbolic gestures. Let’s take a look at a few interesting facts about the deadly disease. 

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1. Killer of Middle Eastern Women

It is said that almost 80 percent of women in the region are diagnosed at an advanced stage by the time they finally visit a doctor, and a lot seems to be due to unawareness and stigma that prevents women from seeking early detection. In addition, there is a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer in Middle Eastern women under 40 than in the Western world. One report places the figure at around 30 percent, compared to five percent in the US.

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2. Check, check, check!

Late-state cancer is more difficult and the chances of cure are very low. So, begin your screenings early and learn how to self-examine yourself. It isn’t advisable to rely on self-check methods alone, but it doesn’t hurt to do a home breast exam in between clinical check. Women in their 20s and 30s must have a clinical breast exam by a health professional at least every three years. By the age of 40 and onwards, women should have a yearly breast exam by a health professional. One way to self-check is in the shower. Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the middle, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check each month feeling for any lump, hard knot, swelling or thickening inside the breast or underarm area. Also be on the lookout for new pain in one spot that doesn’t go away, itchy or scaly rash on the nipple, or nipple discharge that starts suddenly.  

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3. The Origin of The Pink Ribbon

The use of the pink ribbon during breast cancer awareness month (derived from the popular red ribbon for AIDS awareness) started in 1991when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed them out to runners during its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. A year later, it became the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

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