According to the Philippines Cancer Control Center, “Cancer is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines. Leading cancer sites/types are lung, breast, cervix, liver, colon and rectum, prostate, stomach, oral cavity, ovary and leukemia.”
The top three mortality cancer sites among females were breast, lung and cervix uteri.
How can women prevent Breast Cancer?
- Since older Filipino women are more likely to be afflicted by this disease, they should undertake some preventive measures to avoid breast cancer. (NSCB.gov.ph)
- Thomas A. Sellers, PHD says, “As many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable and related to lifestyle,” this means having health diet, getting excessive and avoiding tobacco. Avoid extra oily foods, sugars and switch to fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy whole grains, lean meat and sea fish, to maintain healthy and fit body.
- Avoid the habits of drinking alcohol and smoking, as these habits enhance the risk of breast cancer.
- Research shows that breast-feeding for one year may lower the risk of the disease (cancer.org).
- Women should undergo yearly mammograms.
How to detect breast cancer symptoms
Every woman over the age of 40 has and elevated risk of getting breast cancer. So it is best to get into the habit of checking regularly for any sign of breast cancer.
- It is best to check the breasts during baths or showers, for any kind of abnormalities or pain that can be an early symptom of breast cancer. The breasts should be caressed lightly with fingers to note down any form of a lump or any type of change in the breasts.
- If you spot of any sudden deformity of the breasts, it should be immediately reported to a doctor. The doctor may want to perform a clinical diagnosis to be sure about the formation of a lump within the breast tissues. Then the doctor may prescribe for a mammogram or MRI or even a biopsy, to be certain if the lump is cancerous or non-cancerous in nature.
- Again, it is generally advisable to undergo screening mammogram at least once every year, to detect any presence of breast cancer at the earliest stage.
Treatment for breast cancer
The breast cancer is usually treated with the combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Sometimes hormone therapy is also involved, as per the intensity of the growth of cancerous cells within the affected breast. In case of advanced stage of breast cancer, the doctors may opt for the removal of the breasts through surgery, that is medically termed as Mastectomy, to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.