GLOSS Issue 3 ( September / October 2017 ) - Page 31

H E A LT H What causes it? No precise cause has been determined yet, however there are factors which can help predict the possibility of contracting this disease: & W E L L N E S S Larger tumours on the other hand, if deemed inoperable, must be treated via hormonal or chemotherapy – both of which come with side effects like hair thinning, rapid weight gain or loss and a severe effect on muscles and bones. • It is two to three times more likely if there is a family Ultimately, the treatment plan is completely dependent history of it. on the patient’s initial diagnosis and is therefore tailor- • Diets high in fat pose a higher risk. made to their respective condition. • Five to 10 per cent of cases can be traced to specific, Prevention inherited gene mutations Be Proactive such as the BRCA1 and Research has shown that one- BRCA2 mutations. Along with going for timely third of breast cancer deaths • Overweight women after can be prevented if the cases mammograms, it is also important menopause hold a 1.5 times are detected and treated to conduct self-exams at home to aid higher chance of developing early. In this context, the in detecting signs early on. This is an breast cancer. World Health Organisation important step you can and should • Younger women who lists two main components take. smoke also have more through which the mortality probability. rate can be battled: • Research has shown that • Education: Ignorance is no women who have a greater defence against this disease. exposure to oestrogen hold a bigger risk. Raising awareness of this is necessary to help people recognise early signs of cancer and then promptly seek Treatment medical attention • Screening programmes: Age plays a factor, therefore Unfortunately, there is no cure for breast cancer. it is suggested to schedule a mammogram every three Treatment options and recommendations, however, years initially and then to attend to annually after depend on a number of factors such as the size and hitting your forties. stage of the tumour as well as the patient’s age and health. Small tumours are often removed through surgery wherein surgeons often get rid of a bit of the healthy tissue surrounding the malignant growth to best ensure a positive prognosis. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, and makes up 25 per cent of all new diagnoses in women globally. 31