Breast Cancer Awareness Reduces Fatalities

Breast Cancer is a disease that many women fear. There is a constant dread of developing cancer and not realizing they are affected before it is too late. Individuals who are aware of their bodies and the myths surrounding breast cancer increase their chances of controlling the spread of the disease or even its occurrence in the first place.

But first, let us get clarity on what is breast cancer?

Breast Cancer develops when the breast tissue goes through change and uncontrolled division. This division leads to formation of a lump in the breasts. The lobules (milk glands) or the ducts that connect these glands to the nipples become the host of the development of cancer.

Breast cancer in men is also possible but is rare – they account for less than 1% of people developing breast cancer. Many cancer patients now look for alternative treatments like immunotherapy instead of opting for the invasive chemotherapy. Please consult your doctor and get details of all the available options when starting your treatment plan.

October has been allocated as the breast cancer awareness month worldwide. Health organizations of the world create and share breast cancer awareness and prevention measures for your benefit of girls and women across the world. So, in the same nerve, we bring you all the facts related to breast cancer, tips on how to prevent it, and what to do if you are in pain or notice inexplainable changes.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Busted Myths

It is important to know the facts and not engage in the myths surrounding breast cancer. So, here are some breast cancer awareness facts and debunked myths so that you are well-informed:

Myth: Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy are my only options
Fact: No, you have less intrusive options like Immunotherapy

It is necessary to be aware of treatment options like Immunotherapy besides the intrusive and painful radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Immunotherapy provides high-quality holistic treatment that can help treat cancer even in the last stages without the side effects of loss of bone density, loss of hair, and loss of taste. The pathbreaking therapy does not rely on harmful radiation, instead it uses the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells while ensuring no harm comes to the healthy cells. (Source:

Get more information on how immunotherapy works for breast cancer treatment.

Myth: I won’t have Breast Cancer if I don’t have a family history of Breast Cancer

Fact: It is not so.

This is one of the most widespread myths surrounding breast cancer. Most women think that they will not get breast cancer if their mothers or grandmothers haven’t been diagnosed. The fact is that only 5%-10% of women get breast cancer because of the hereditary factor. Hereditary cancer means that the mutated gene (cancer gene) has been passed from the parent to the child. The fact is that the vast majority of females who get breast cancer do not have a history of this disease. The environment, lifestyle, and hormonal imbalance are the major contributors to this disease.

Myth: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will prevent breast cancer
Fact: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk of you getting breast cancer, but it does not eliminate it. 

Most people think that if they eat healthily, exercise regularly, and limit their alcohol, they can remain cancer-free. The truth is that maintaining this lifestyle cannot prevent the risk of cancer by 100%. It does lower your chances of getting cancer. So, living a healthy lifestyle is important. What is also required is getting regular breast screenings, performing self-exams, and paying attention to any unusual growth or sensation in your breasts. The key is to avoid it as much as possible and nip it early in the bud if it appears.

Myth: Breast Cancer appears as a lump that you can feel.
Fact: Breast Cancer does not always develop as a lump which is sensible, especially in its early stages.

Performing a regular breast exam is important. Through this, you can find any unusual activity or lumps. If you feel a lump or pain, you should immediately visit your doctor and get yourself examined. A further investigation on the lump would give you a clarity on the nature of the disease. But there can be times when you might develop the mutated gene without any sign on your breasts. This means that there might be a presence of the mutated gene even when you can’t feel it when carrying out your self-exam. Therefore, it cannot act as a substitute for regular mammography and screenings.

Myth: Breast Cancer is only a threat to middle-age to older women.
Fact: Breast Cancer can happen to younger women as well as men.

Middle-aged to older women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than younger women, but younger women and men are also susceptible to the disease. Women of all ages should consider breast cancer as a threat. If there is a concern in your breast, you must ensure that breast cancer is ruled out. You should begin regular screenings at an early age especially if you have a family history of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Awareness Facts

Here are some more breast cancer awareness facts in 2020:

  1. There is no proof supporting the claim that bras or antiperspirants cause breast cancer as yet.
  2. There is no proof supporting the claim that keeping mobile phones in bras causes breast cancer. Although studies are being done on this matter.
  3. There is no proof that sugar can cause breast cancer. But refined sugar is linked with slow metabolism and obesity.
  4. Early-stage or Stage-0 breast cancer also has a chance of recurring, although low.
  5. The World Health Organisation states that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that claims the lives of women worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of women each year do not survive this disease. It affects countries at all levels of modernization.
  6. Women who get regularly screened for breast cancer have a 47% lower risk of dying from the disease compared to those who don’t

Breast Cancer Awareness in India

Breast cancer awareness may not provide prevention but can improve the survival rate if it is diagnosed early, and treatment starts immediately.

Here are some breast cancer facts in India:

  • This is the most common type of cancer affecting the women of India.
  • In 2012, 70218 women died because of breast cancer in India. This was the highest in the world in that year.
  • Only 60% of women in India survive for at least 5 years after getting breast cancer treatment in India as opposed to 89% in the USA.
  • The mortality rate of breast cancer patients in India is high due to delay in screening and diagnosis simply because of the lack of breast cancer awareness and prevention.
  • Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the cities and the second-most common type of cancer in the rural areas of India.
  • The highest breast cancer spurt in Indian women is between 30-50 years. However, experts suggest that this range is likely to increase.
  • More than 50% of women who have breast cancer get diagnosed in advanced stages. During this stage, the disease usually spreads to the nearby tissues and organs, reducing the chance of recovery and survival.
  • In India, one out of every four women is likely to get diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer survivors often develop osteoporosis. The high estrogen level forms a protective layer on the bones. Reduced estrogen breaks this covering, making the bones weak and brittle.

Tips To Avoid Breast Cancer

The way to avoid breast cancer, if not prevent it, is to be aware and spread awareness. Hence, here are some tips that can reduce the risk of getting cancer and increase the chances of your survival:

  1. Maintain a healthy Lifestyle: Studies prove that living a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your chances of getting breast cancer. There is nothing that can guarantee a full proof prevention, but living and eating healthy can lower your risk. You need to eat a healthy diet, maintain a sleep schedule, and exercise regularly. This will not only reduce the chances of cancer but also of diabetes and heart diseases.
  2. Limit Your Alcohol: Avoid substance and alcohol use. If you are a regular drinker, you must limit it to one drink in a day. And if possible, stop. A small amount can also add to the risk of getting breast cancer.
  3. Do not Smoke: There is strong evidence linking smoking and increased risk of breast cancer, particularly in premenopausal women. Research links smoking to breast cancer. You must quit smoking especially if you are a premenopausal woman.
  4. Control Your Weight: Watch your weight and ensure that you are not obese. Being overweight or obese increases your odds of getting breast cancer.
  5. Regular Exercise: This one is important. Maintaining a regular regime for physical activity will avoid you tipping the scale. The ideal activity to keep breast cancer at bay is atleast 150 minutes/week of moderate aerobic activity. If possible, you can add strength training to this regimen too. Activities like walking, jogging, yoga, and cycling are also recommended.
  6. Breast-Feeding: Breastfeeding often interrupts periods, which leads to fewer menstrual cycles and less estrogen exposure. It leads to about a 4.3 percent reduction in the overall risk of breast cancer for every 12 months of breast feeding. New research also suggests that the compound Hamlet, found in breastmilk, can effectively target and kill cancer cells. Read more about the link between breastmilk and cancer treatment in the future.
  7. Avoid exposure to radiation and pollution: While you may not be around large radioactive substances, you should avoid frequent interaction with smaller doses of radiation too. For example, many treatments and body screening methods make use of radiation. So, reduce your tests until necessary.
  8. Hormone Therapy: Undergoing hormone therapy for three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer significantly. If you are taking hormone therapy for menopause or other gynaecological problems, speak to your doctor for alternatives like immunotherapy. If you still require hormone therapy, limit your doses to the lowest possible, and have the doctor ensure that the duration is short.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Do Oral Contraceptives contribute to Breast Cancer?

Taking birth control pills for more than five years increases your chances of getting breast cancer. These pills cause hormonal changes, so the risk of developing breast cancer is present. However, there is a low dosage of hormones in such pills, so the risk is low. There is a common practice, although not backed by research, to take a break from birth control pills every five years. However, a doctor’s consultation is advised for all cases.
FAQ: What is a breast self-exam?

You must know the geography of your breasts. You should know the existing lumps, bumps, and grooves so that there is instant awareness when and if there are any changes. You can even draw a diagram if you have trouble remembering it. When conducting an exam, look for any changes in the breast tissue. Such as:

  • changes in size,
  • any change in texture or rash on the breast skin
  • dimpling or puckering of the breast,
  • feeling a palpable lump,
  • any change in the texture or rash in the areola region
  • inversion of the nipple,
  • unusual secretions or discharge from the nipples.

If you notice one or more of the above signs, get yourself checked out by a medical professional immediately. And even if you don’t, you must get regular mammography and screening done regularly since the changes might not appear on the surface.

FAQ: How often should I conduct a breast self-exam?

You must perform a detailed breast exam 7-10 days from the beginning of your menstrual cycle. This is the time when your breasts are least tender and lumpy. If you are menopausal, then conduct a self-exam on the same day of every month. Write down the minute details and compare the notes from the previous month.

FAQ: How often should I get a professional check-up?

It would help if you got a complete physical check-up of your breasts and your pelvic area at least once a year. If you see any changes in your breasts before your yearly check-up, visit your doctor immediately.

Also read: Seven Signs That It Is Time to Get A Breast Cancer Check-up link to

FAQ: What is a Mammogram?

This is a type of image screening process which uses a low-dose x-ray system that safely examines the breasts. The system can spot changes in the breast tissues up to two years before any physical signs. Hence, it is extremely important to get regular mammograms and screenings.

FAQ: Are Mammograms painful?

During a mammogram, the pressure will be applied to the soft tissues until the firmness of the breast is reached. This is necessary to obtain a good quality film. This pressure can cause several seconds of discomfort. If you feel any pain, you are free to ask the technician to pause and make necessary adjustments. However, the pressure applied is vital for clear imaging and it will not last for more than 30 seconds

FAQ: Can stress be a contributor to breast cancer?

Traumatic events, losses, and stress can alter your immune system, as suggested by research. When your immune system is not at its best, and alter the normal physiological processes of the body. Thus, it is important that cultivate happiness and positivity even during major life events and keep your stress levels in check. While keeping stress at bay can help, you should also be aware of the natural ways that can help you with the prevention of breast cancer.

FAQ: How does Menstrual and Reproductive history affect breast cancer?

Studies indicate that women who are over 30 and are at the prime of their menstrual age, or are menopausal, or have had periods before the age of 12, get affected by breast cancer. One can derive that number of menstrual cycles a woman has over time influences the risk.

Also, breastfeeding has been known to lower the risk of breast cancer significantly. There can be a 4.3% reduction in the risk for 12 months of breastfeeding.

FAQ: At what age should I begin conducting exams for breast cancer?

You should begin conducting:

  • Age 40 – Optional Mammograms
  • Age 45-54 – Annual Mammograms
  • Age 55 and older – Mammograms to be conducted once in two years, or yearly screenings.
  • Regular mammograms and MRIs for women with a family history of breast cancer.

However, if you see any noticeable changes in your breasts, visit your doctor right away. 8 out of 10 lumps found in the breasts are benign but they still need to be checked out.

FAQ: How is Breast Cancer diagnosed?

The first signs of breast cancer are often visible only with a mammogram. Suppose the radiologist notices a suspicious area on the mammogram. In that case, he or she may refer the patient for additional testing such as diagnostic mammography, special mammography views, breast ultrasound, MR scan, T-scan, or sestamibi scan. After further breast imaging, patients with suspicious lesions may be referred for a breast biopsy to determine whether breast cancer is present.


If caught early, the chances of surviving breast cancer increase exponentially. It would be best if you carried out monthly self-exams after you turn 30, go for regular check-ups and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid breast cancer. Do not ignore if you see any changes in your breast tissue. 

The low survival rate in India is due to a lack of awareness and knowledge about the disease. Breast cancer awareness in 2020 is an ideal way to get men and women talking about the disease and raising awareness.

Important to Read: Things You Should Not Say To A Woman Who is Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

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