CANCER - a terrifyingly frightening word that scares the wits out of us, which we comprehend but cannot fully solve. What separates this from other ghastly historical diseases like Black Plague or Small Pox is its slow nature. The cancer cells could be growing in your body for years and you might not have a clue. After you do find out, if it is late for a recovery, you have nothing but to wait for your death, and if it is early, the recent advances in Oncology treatment ensure that you get through it, but if it is in the middle, a most dangerous component in human emotion arises - HOPE.
Hope, that there are indeed chances of survival could turn out to be crushing when they don't get realized, not only to the patients but to the people around them as well.
Moving away from these pessimistic views on cancer, let us focus on what we CAN do to fight Cancer. On the occasion of Pink October 2018, this blog talks about the most common type of cancer in women: Breast Cancer.
The first and foremost step towards a cure of any disease, would probably recognizing that our body is suffering from it. Unfortunately for many breast cancer, this pivotal step is the end as there is no knowledge or awareness regarding the condition. Most of the time, a cancerous lump on breasts are misconstrued as a simple cyst that would go away on its own. Women in rural areas with lower literacy rates than the urban are most likely to go unnoticed, which not only deteriorates their condition but also hinders research as it misses a lot of cases, analysis from which, there could have been further breakthroughs in the cure for breast cancer.
There are three types of tests in different stages to determine the status of the condition. Screening tests like mammogram are done to a healthy individual as a precautionary measure, usually on an annual basis. Diagnostic tests, including a biopsy is done if something is revealed in a screening test or a lump on a breast is found. They are useful in guiding the doctors on the right course of treatment. Another type called monitoring tests are done after the diagnosis of the cancer, which will help in collecting information regarding the progress of the cancer cells and to evaluate the treatment process.
A concept that is rampantly in practice in the western world, but yet to see light in India is Support Groups. Every week, people suffering from the same disease come together and discuss their grievances and experiences a resulted from their diagnosis. They have been found to help the patients psychologically by giving them a support system.
Some of you might be thinking that we are posting this blog almost at the end of Pink October, but I simply refuse to acknowledge this October as a Breast Cancer Awareness month. The people with this condition don't suffer just in this month, but yearlong or in some cases, till their death. To limit something to a certain time may not be the most prudent thing to do, in these kind of cases. We should strive to increase the awareness of Cancer all year round, irrespective of the month or season.
Early detection of Cancer could highly influence the survival rate. Annual mammograms are a great way of preventing the onset of cancer into further stages.
- Open Face Team
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