According to the World Health Organization, the year 2020 saw 2.3 million women across the globe diagnosed with breast cancer. In Malaysia, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer with about one in 19 women affected.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in which caring communities from around the world show their support by educating the public, raising funds for cancer charities and assisting those affected by the disease. Let’s take a closer look at this issue:
There are more than a hundred types of cancer. Breast cancer is one type that starts in the breast when the cells there begin to grow out of control. These cells then form tumours that can be cancerous.
It remains uncertain as to what exactly causes cancer but there are many risk factors that can lead to a higher chance of developing cancer. These include varying hormone levels and lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and unbalanced diets that are high in fat and sugar.
Therefore, it is important to live each day healthily to reduce your risk of developing cancer:
On the subject of chemicals, several studies have shown that parabens can affect the mechanisms of normal breast cells and potentially influence their abnormal growth, leading to increased risk for breast cancer (increased cell growth).
Apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, women of every age should regularly check their breasts for abnormalities. Breast self-exams are easy to do – ask your doctor if you are unsure of how to perform it properly. The chances of survival are significantly higher if the cancer is detected in its early stages.
At least once every three years, go for a mammogram to screen for breast cancer. Women over 40 should go for a mammogram annually. Women over 55 should switch to screening every 2 years.
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