1st OCT – 31st OCT
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women, in developed and developing,
low & middle-income countries. It has been seen from the past few years, the
incidence of breast cancer is rising due to an increase in life expectancy, increased
urbanization (development) and adoption of the western lifestyle.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is marked or organized every October in different
countries across the world. This campaign helps to increase attention & support for
awareness, early detection treatment & prevention of this disease.
If breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, there are chances that it can be
cured with proper treatment. But, If it is detected later in life, the chances to cure
becomes less. In such cases, patients need their families for support and palliative
treatment. It has been seen that the majority of deaths by breast cancer occur in
low and middle-income countries due to the lack of awareness in women, they have
been detected with breast cancer in late stages.
Why this Month is Important?
● It promotes self-care
● It focuses on treatment
Prevention is the most effective long-term strategy to control cancer. To reduce the
risk of cancer, people should avoid or be aware of these-
● Tobacco use– Tobacco and smoking are related to cause a wide variety of
cancer, which includes cancer of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box),
mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix.
● Inaccurate lifestyle– Overweight and Obesity are two main culprits of various
chronic (long term) diseases, which may include cancers which can be cancer of the
colorectum, breast, kidney. Foods rich in antioxidants like fruits and
vegetables may help in protecting against cancers. Along with diet, regular
physical activity and a maintained or healthy body weight reduces the
chances of cancer effectively.
● Alcohol use– There is a high risk of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx,
larynx, esophagus, liver, and breast, for those who are regular drinkers. The
amount of alcohol consumed is directly related to the risk of cancer.
● Infections– Infectious agents like helicobacter pylori, human papillomavirus
(HPV), hepatitis B and C are the co-factors which attribute to cancers.
● Increased Pollution- Outdoor air pollution contains a wide variety of
carcinogenic, or cancer-causing compounds, for humans. Pollution of air,
water, and soil with chemicals contributes to cancer as they contain a high
amount of carcinogenic compounds.
● UV Radiation- Exposure to ionizing radiation, whether from natural or
man-made sources, increases the risk of various types of cancers including
leukemia and tumors. These can be prevented by the use of sunscreen and
protective clothing as effective measures while going outside.