October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month across the globe to raise awareness about it. Here is everything you need to know.
As a society, we talk about various issues but fail to talk about issues as important as Breast Cancer.
The month of October is celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness about the disease. It is an annual campaign held to make women aware of its early detection, treatment options, and preventive methods.
While, we do know cancer exists, we still lack enough information about it.
Cancer is a disease wherein genes that regulate cell multiplication undergo mutations. These mutations compel the cells to divide and multiply in an uncontrolled manner at a rapid rate.
Today we would be talking about breast cancer caused by mutations in the breast cells. It can be caused in the lobules (they are responsible for producing milk) or ducts of the breasts (pathways responsible for bringing milk from the glands to the nipples)
Researchers also say that cancer can happen in the fatty or fibrous connective tissues of the breasts too. If not detected at an early stage, uncontrolled cancer cells can travel to lymph nodes under the arms and invade healthier tissues of the body.
Breast cancer is commonly seen in women, however, it may also affect men.
Everything you need to know about breast cancer
There are two types of breast cancer – invasive (invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma) and non-invasive (Ductal-carcinoma in situ, Lobular carcinoma in situ)
What are the causes of Breast cancer?
While the exact cause of Breast-cancer isn’t known, researchers say, the following factors might come into play with regards to Breast cancer.
What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?
If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to see a doctor as a lump or pain in your breast could be due to a benign cyst as well.
Breast cancer is highly prevalent in our country among women. It is estimated that about 25-32 percent Indian women suffer from breast cancer.
According to reports, in India every four minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and every 13 minutes, a woman dies due to it. The high mortality rate is due to a lack of awareness about breast cancer and the delay in screening a diagnosis.
Here are a few tests and examinations that a doctor might ask you to do if he suspects that you are suffering from Breast cancer.
The diet would vary from person to person and on the severity of the treatment. So consult a dietitian for a diet that suits you and your current body. The diet advice given below is based on nutritional guidelines developed for breast cancer patients, but as we know one size does not fit all.
A healthy diet during the treatment of breast cancer can aid in better recovery, boost immunity, and help in overall health and well-being. Breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and hormone therapy may have side-effects that ultimately, impact your eating patterns and appetite.
Chemotherapy can decrease the white cell count predisposing you to infections. Hence, hygiene, storage, cooking, and preparing meals should take care of.
If your appetite has decreased due to chemotherapy, eat 5-6 small meals, stay active as much as possible. Your meals could be soups, smoothies, and fresh juices. If your appetite has increased due to chemotherapy, add fresh fruits and vegetables to the diet. Avoid sugary drinks, drink enough water, and keep your sugar intake to a minimum.
If you have nausea and a feel like vomiting often, sip on liquids such as herbal teas, home-made flavoured water. Eat little at a time and opt for cold foods as these are known to help. If you feel that your mouth is sore, add smoothies, soups, stews, home-made ice-lollies, and fruit cubes to the diet.
Try a variety of foods and experiment with herbs and spices as your taste may change during the treatment. If you suffer from constipation, add foods high in fibre such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, bulghur/buckwheat to the diet. Drink 8-10 glasses of water and stay active.
Hormone therapy drugs can elevate your cholesterol levels, so a high fibre, moderate protein, and low-fat diet work best.
Picture credits: Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels
A Nutritionist, Clinical Dietitian, Speaker, health/fitness blogger, online show host, menu planner, menstrual health,
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