October is breast cancer awareness month, which means it’s time for us all to contribute however we can to understanding the second leading cause of death in women. Does that mean donating to a charity for breast cancer? Running a marathon or participating in an event for it? Sure. But what it also means is to familiarize yourself with what the disease is, know what risk you might be at, and how you can help yourself and others at risk for breast cancer.
We’ve answered five basic questions about breast cancer so you can understand it better:
1. What are some of the symptoms?
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of breast cancer. It’s not always a lump and may not always be detectable unless you get screened. Significant changes in the breast or unusual growths might be huge identifiers. But before you self-diagnose, visit a doctor.
2. Am I at risk of getting breast cancer?
Your risk is higher if a direct relative such as a mother, daughter, or sister suffered from breast cancer at some point. Even without the presence of symptoms, if you’re between 45 and 69 years of age, you should probably consider getting screened.
3. How can I lower my risk of getting breast cancer?
You can lower your risk by leading a healthy lifestyle, but as with most types of cancer, there’s no sure shot way of making sure you never get it. You can, however, prevent the risk of it advancing by getting screened so if present, it can be detected in the early stages.
4. How can I get screened?
There is a way that women can and are recommended to use to self-screen or self-examine for symptoms of breast cancer. If you’re waiting to get screened or have any reason to believe you might have the disease, you could check yourself before your professional medical screening. Part of this is just being aware and alerting your doctor of any noticeable changes that occur. Here are some guidelines on how to go about it. However, the advisable thing would be to make an appointment for a breast exam and allow professionals to screen you medically. The screening is a lot more accurate and reliable than self-checking, although it is recommended to conduct self-exams between your screenings as well. There are a number of facilities in Qatar that provide breast cancer screenings under the National Cancer Program by Hamad Medical Corporation. Visit their website to find out more about what the screenings will be like, how you can make an appointment and what you need to know. You can also call this number: 8001112to book your screening right now! A mobile screening unit has also been spotted outside Doha Festival City! So what are you waiting for?
5. How can I help the cause?
If you’re in Qatar this month, there are several initiatives around the country to raise awareness about breast cancer. Some of these include the Awareness Campaign by Pink Lady Charters, or the Pink Walk, organized by Aspire Zone, happening at the end of the month! Check these events out if you would like to help raise awareness about this extremely significant issue!
The survival rate from breast cancer detected at an early stage is nearly 100 percent. Make an appointment to get yourself screened today. If you know anyone who might be at risk, share this with them and make sure they get themselves screened. Let’s aim to live healthier lives and increase the chances of early detection. Your health comes first.
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