Breast Cancer Awareness: Early Detection is your Best Protection!
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, however early detection and treatment can greatly improve the chances of a successful outcome. I am passionate about spreading awareness about breast cancer and encouraging women to take control of their breast health.
Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know
A cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These cells can form a tumour and potentially spread to other parts of the body.
The exact cause of breast cancer is not yet known, but certain factors can increase a person's risk, some of which are Non modifiable such as gender, ethnicity, age, family history, genetic factors, menstrual history and some of them are Modifiable lifestyle factors, such as Obesity, Alcohol intake OC pills, HRT to name a few. Despite the risk factors, it is important to remember that the vast majority of women with these risk factors will never develop breast cancer. And, even if breast cancer is detected, there are many treatment options available to help manage the disease.
Screening: Your First Line of Defence.
Screening is testing to find cancer or other diseases early in people who have no symptoms. It can help find cancers when they are small and have not spread.
Screening is crucial in detecting breast cancer early, as an early detection gives women the best chance for successful treatment and a positive outcome.
Mammogram is the Gold standard for screening for Breast Cancer, however in some cases Breast MRI or a combination of both may be required.
A clinical breast examination (CBE) is an examination of the breast by a health care professional, sometimes a breast cancer may be felt but not show up on mammograms.
The thought of having a breast cancer screening can be intimidating, but it is a quick and simple process that can be lifesaving. At Aster Hospital, we offer the complete range of diagnostic services, including Mammograms, Ultrasound, MRI breasts and biopsies, to help detect breast cancer in its early stages.
Early Breast Cancer Detection Plan.
- Beginning at age 20: Monthly Breast Self-examinations. (BSE)
- By the age of 40: BSE and Annual screening mammogram and clinical breast exams (CBE).
- Age 45 – 54: should have a screening mammogram every year
- Ages 55+: should have biennial screening or continue annual screening.
a) Maintaining a healthy weight, following a low-fat diet, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption.
b) Recording personal exams, mammograms and doctors’ appointments on a calendar or in a detailed file.
It a simple examination to be performed by the woman herself once a month at the end of her menstrual cycles. In women who don’t have cycles due to pregnancy or menopause or hormonal contraceptives it should be performed once a month at a date which is easy for them to remember.
It is to Look and Feel.
a) Change in skin colour or texture like redness, scaling
b) Change in size or shape of the Breast
c) Change in the shape or appearance of the nipple or Nipple discharge
a) A lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area
b) With regular examination it is possible to known about the change in the breasts
If you find something in the breast Don’t Panic.
a) Most (90%) of breast lumps are benign.
b) Do see your doctor or other qualified health care provider right away
If breast cancer is detected, there are many treatment options available, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy.
The treatment plan depends on the individual case, type and the stage of the cancer, and is tailored accordingly. At Aster Hospital we offer all surgical procedures: Hook Wire localization,Lumpectomy, Breast Conserving Surgery, Mastectomy, Sentinel Lymph node Biopsy and Axillary Lymph node Dissection.
Few tips for Staying Healthy.
To protect your overall health and reduce your risk of certain cancers, the American Cancer Society recommends:
- Eating a healthy diet that includes 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruits each day, choosing whole grains over processed (refined) grains, and limiting the amount of processed and red meats.
- Exercising for 45 to 60 minutes 5 or more days a week.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Limiting alcohol intake.
- a) Knowing your risk factors
- b) Be aware of the Breast changes
- c) Appropriate Screening by Mammogram or MRI
- d) Limiting the use of Oral Contraceptive pills and HRT (Post-menopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy) if you are at the higher risk
- e) Feel less fearful and more hopeful about breast cancer
- f) Incorporate breast health habits into a total wellness program
- g) Perform a breast self-exams competently and with confidence
- h) Be assertive about reporting a breast change to health care provider, promoting early detection
Emotional and Psychological Support: You are Not Alone.
Breast cancer can have an emotional and psychological impact, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Our team of experts is here to provide you with the resources you need to cope with this difficult time.
It's important to seek help and support when needed, whether it's through friends and family, support groups, or individual therapy. Talking about your feelings and experiences can help you manage the stress and anxiety that come with a breast cancer diagnosis. Additionally, it can help you connect with others who are going through similar experiences, and provide a sense of community and support.
“At Aster Hospital, we believe in a holistic approach.
Let's beat breast cancer together!
One of Muscat's most highly skilled and experienced Female General Surgeons, Dr. Abha Singhvi has more than 25 years' experience in the field. As a Specialist General Surgeon at Aster DM Healthcare Care since 2011, she excels in managing the General Surgery Clinic and acute surgical emergencies with compassion and care. In addition to her medical expertise, Dr. Abha is also an active campaigner for Breast Cancer Awareness, making a positive impact in the lives of her patients and community.