One thing that the cancer community across the world has taken up and has gone far on is awareness and screening methods development for various cancer conditions; the rationale being as simple as to make people know about their risks given their family stories, various risk factors related to their lifestyle and so on.
Many cancers out there, breast cancer included, have a family pattern. And as we all know that breasts get to bud at some point in puberty accounting to the hormones part of our systems, an irregularity in the hormones also has a hand in the development of breast cancer.
Studies that have been done elsewhere about age at breast cancer diagnosis reveal at least one cancer out of five seen before the age of 45 in women. This is a scary situation as long as it is known that this type of cancer when known earlier can heal.
Simple gestures have been shown to be helpful into getting to know the status about breast cancer. Some of those known to the general public is getting a breast self-palpation, at least once a month, together with axillae palpation – as most would show up as an already made mass – and getting regular screening at a hospital facility every year as soon as a lady turns 20 for an imaging test on one’s breasts.
Another way would be the simple act of asking about a family member’s death, mainly on the female side as breast cancer tends to be trans-generational.
This would save up the world from much drama, while waiting for a bigger popular move on matters of health awareness.
Elsewhere, deeper biologic techniques are used to establish the risk of breast cancer before some age, even though there are no deformities on one’s breast. Further decisions as to remove totally the breasts before the worst happens can be made depending on the patient.
But we are not there yet; there a lot more needed in terms of capacity and infrastructure building and yet, at the same time, deaths around are happening.
Breast cancer happens to be the number one global cancer in women, second in Africa after cervical cancer.
The common things that happen in the beginning are that a mass develops, grows and spreads. And this, when seen earlier as highlighted before, can be taken away for tests and possible treatment.
Oh, lest we forget that in its rampant ways of growing that it gets to the brain in the far north, liver, bones and lungs. And that is death, truth to be told.
It gets far when it is not addressed. It gets its time to be big and to have a getaway and cause harm. In the process, the patient has more and more risks
As a recall, younger women have a propensity of developing a rather benign (cool as the name, does not grow or cause harm) condition to the breast. It is not proven to cause, in the long term, cancer.
If the country was to start a screening programme anytime soon, this would be now! As a beginning, and for a focus matter, women between the ages of 50-70 years (higher risk) should be targeted, and later on, enlarge the scope to younger women.