Go PINK this October...

Pink - Not merely a fragile girly colour anymore!
It screams loud, the power of Breast Cancer Awareness too.
October is being celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Oh yeah! It is going to be an over dose of pink for a while. But are we really paying much heed to all the promotion and commotion happening all around us in the pretext of breast cancer awareness? Simply sporting a pink ribbon on your dress or reading and watching all the ‘gyan’ in media is not just enough.
Ladies....Slip into little privacy and do a self breast exam’ NOW!
No excuses please. If you don’t know how to do it, read here. Stand in front of a mirror and start feeling from about an inch below the breast till the collarbone. There are six major steps in a breast self examination:
  • Step 1 – Stand straight and visually check for any abnormalities with the arms hanging by the side
  • Step 2 – Raise both hands and puts them behind the head
  • Step 3 – Place the arms on waist and try to flex the breast muscles to check for any changes in the breast tissue
  • Step 4 – Feel breasts for any unusual lumps, dimpling, puckering, rashes or change in colour of skin
  • Step 5 – Examine the nipples. Check for any discharge, hardness or difference in colour from before
  • Step 6 – Lie down and pat the breast. Feel for lumps till armpit.
Once these six steps are done, feel and check the armpits and neck for any swollen lymph nodes.
Three cheers for you to have done it! Make it a practice to do it every month.
Smaller the Better - A self exam will detect a breast cancer when it reaches the size of a cherry but a mammogram will pick it when it is still as tiny as a pea.
And if at all you come across any little abnormality while doing a BSE, please DO NOT panic! Even if you have felt a little hardening here and there, do not jump into any conclusions. Not all lumps are CANCERS. But yes, not any lump should be ignored as well.
Do you know, one in every 22 urban women and 1 in every 60 rural women are at risk of getting breast cancer in their lifetime? The high risk category is women of 43-46 years of age group.
Know your risks...
  • First child birth after 30s
  • Less or no breast feeding
  • Early onset and late finishing (menopause) of periods
  • Hereditary (only in up to 10% cases)
  • Dense breast tissue
  • Poor lifestyle habits (stress, high fat diet, obesity & alcohol)
See RED if you notice any of these...
  • A hard lump or mass in the breast or armpits, which feels fixed and does not move inside
  • Any unilateral abnormal discharge from nipple
  • Puckering or dimpling of breast skin at one particular area (orange peel like appearance)
  • Inversion of nipple
  • Do a Self Breast Exam once a month
  • Get a clinical breast exam done by a physician once in 3 years
  • After 40, a mammogram once in three years
  • After 50, a mammogram once every year
But remember, your physician is the best person to chalk out your individual periodic screening schedules, considering yours and your family’s medical history, age and other risk factors.
Be you own BREAST friend and remain in the PINK of your health!

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