October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which aim is to make sure that every woman is aware of this disease and promotes regular clinical breast exams and other steps to fight against breast cancer. Although, these pink ribbons well-meaning campaigns encourage people on donating funds to support breast cancer research and provide free services to breast cancer patients I didn’t, as a matter of fact, actively participated not until one of my friends was diagnosed with the disease.
She underwent a surgery a couple of months ago to remove a lump in her breast and waited several weeks for the result. Her doctor phoned in after 2 weeks requiring her to stay in the hospital for several tests. Not until early September, we were informed she‘s positive with the disease and that she needed to go through chemo therapy. I was saddened by the news and I’m praying hard for her speedy recovery.
I know I still have a long way to go through this support but I want to at least equip myself with a better understanding of the basic “what” and “how” to fight against breast cancer.
What is breast cancer?
“Breast cancer usually begins with the formation of a small, confined tumor (lump), or as calcium deposits and then spreads through channels within the breast to the lymph nodes or through the blood stream to other organs. The tumor may grow and invade tissue around the breast, such as the skin or chest wall.” (For more information visit www.breastcancer.org)
I remember my friend used to complain about a very tiny lump she felt on the lower part of her breast, but didn’t take it seriously because she taught it was only caused by her under-wire brassiere which we irresponsibly agreed on, until the lump grew bigger and bigger that she went for surgery and this -diagnosis of the disease.
(This made me extra cautious with the type of brassiere I’m buying or wearing. I know it doesn’t make sense or it does (lol) but I’m paranoid)
Early detection Plan
Doctors highly recommend scheduling a Mammogram or clinical breast exam as it is the best way to detect the disease in its early stage. But while trying to figure out what to actually ask my doctor on my next 15-minute appointment, I opted to perform routine breast self exam. Here’s a basic guidelines on how to do self-breast exams. Click here!
There are a lot of articles about breast cancer on the internet that will give you simple tips or basic guidelines on how to prevent breast cancer. Some suggestions are to be physically active (oh my God I’m guilty of not doing this) like a 30-minute walk five days a week, drink little or no alcohol, stop smoking and as long as possible avoid birth controls (poorly associated with the disease but still considered to be threatening). And very importantly, get regular breast cancer screenings.
Be a fundraiser or supporter!
I know there are lots of better ways to support women living with breast cancer or families of those who have died from this disease like donating to breast cancer charities or volunteering services for cancer patients but we can start small by supporting some companies on spreading awareness. I ‘m aware that wearing a pink ribbon won’t cure the disease but if this will at least comforts or reminds cancer survivors and their families that they are not alone in this battle, then why not wear pink and paint the town pink, literally and figuratively speaking.
You can join in with Zalora’s Pink Movement by posting pink photo on Instagram using the hashtag #SeeItPink . And for every 100 #SeeItPink hashtag, ZALORA will donate 1000THB to the Queen Sirikit Foundation. One small step one big leap, as the saying goes on which I definitely agreed on.