Cancer is a serious illness that can affect many parts of the body. Cancer starts when some cells begin to grow very quickly in an abnormal way, causing growth (tumor) in the body. Sometimes, tumors go away without treatment but many tumors get larger or spread, causing health problems in several parts of the body. What causes cancer? One cause of cancer throughout the world could be increasing amount of industrial pollution and toxic chemicals in our environment and in our bodies too. The increasing number of people living with cancer is a concerned that should lead our Government to act quickly to protect people’s health and saves lives. But this is not coming very soon. Several types of cancer are known to be caused specifically by toxic chemicals and include – cancer of the lungs, bladder, liver, breast, brain, blood (leukemia), multiple myeloma and non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. People exposed to toxic chemicals over a long time have greater risk of getting these cancers than people with or no toxic exposures. But in our today’s world, it is evenly exposable and knowing about it may help and help in many more ways for early detection and treatment.
Finding and treating cancer early Finding and detecting cancer early often saves life, because the person can get treatment before cancer spreads. Getting young people to know about it, is still a challenge in Africa and I don’t know if it is the same in other continents? Treating cancer is far more expensive and still seems as death sentence to many as victims. Some early warning signals of cancer are tiredness, chronic weight loss, lumps, and pains in the body parts. Although these can be signs of other illness as well, yet it is good people know and act on time.
Poverty of preventive information materials is the greatest vulnerability to cancer patients across Africa especially young adults. One way to find out if a person has cancer is to have a test that takes a few cells from the affected part, and for early treatment. I tell you cancer is not death sentence. People can actually live and overcome it. But early detection remains the key.
Breast is very important to all as human and recognizing that every human was infant, and infant’s first six months from births relies on it, if not wholly on breastfeeding. Breast feeding of infants as you may know, is the way forward for resilience to six babies’s killer disease especially in Africa. Therefore, we must do all we can to protect and respect breast too; from where almost all of us are nurtured from.
But I have come to realize that breasts are receiving alarming threat from cancer the more I look. And I had wondered why? Why some superstition had that breast feeding causes cancer. Why young girls are left to grow with wrong notion or had to believe such to deny their babies opportunity to be breast fed at motherhood. Why children die before aged 6? While some are disfigured by illness at childhood for life. Why those unfounded misconceptions are left and or treated with levity. I have come, come to know just one thing from it all. People can perish for lack of information.
There are many causes of breast cancer from exposure of chemical toxic to pesticides, oil, cleaning products and air pollution amongst others. If a woman, mother or a sister has had breast cancer, one may have a greater chance of getting it too. Breast cancer is most common in women above 50 years. But do not wait to learn or know about it till then that may be late. So learning ways to prevent it as you graced healthfully in age is commonsense that should be made common to all. Breast cancer usually grows slowly and is sometimes cured if found early. Hiding it is the silliest thing to do as I see. Women can watch for signs of breast cancer by examining their breast themselves. Look for lumps or unusual discharge from the nipples. If a woman can do this once a month, she will be familiar with how her breast looks and feel, and will notice any changes easily and on good time.
Surprisingly it is the vast number of women that grows up without knowing how to check their breast or identify changes in them and prevent breast cancer. As cheap as prevention of breast cancer is, or as low in cost as per early detection of this is, this is not given adequate attention any where I go to. But this article has came to do so. To close gaps of ignorance and misconception, gaps of information.
It came to simply tell you and me that, we have a role to play in raising awareness about breast cancer to young girls and not excluding young boys too. It came to take breast cancer awareness through simulation campaign to secondary schools in Nigeria by an NGO – Children and Young People Living for Peace- www.cyplp.net.ng It came on time so lives can be saved. To inform, persuade and remind young girls how to check up themselves alike-
1. Look at your breast in a mirror. Raise your arms over your head. Look for any changes in the shape of your breast, or any swelling or changes in skin or nipple. Then put your arms at your sides and check your breast again. 2. Lie down. Keeping your finger flat, press your breast and feel for any lumps. 3. Be sure to touch every part of your breast. It helps to use the same pattern everytime. Such as spiral or rows of straight lines. What to do if found a lump 1. If the lump is smooth or rubbery, and moves under the skin when you push it with your fingers, do not worry about it. But if is hard, has an uneven shape and is painless, keep watching it especially if the lump is in only one side of the breast, and does not move even when you push it 2. See a qualified doctor if the lump s still there after your next monthly bleeding. This may be a sign of cancer. 3. Also if there is discharge from the nipples that looks like blood or pus. See a doctor immediately. And I hope this did help you. Please share this information to others too. Help us prevent breast cancer, as breast is important too.