We’ve all heard about breast cancer thanks to the Pink Ribbon campaign. However, many people don’t understand why breast cancer awareness is so important. The goal of the Pink Ribbon campaign is to highlight the importance of early screening for breast cancer in order to increase the successful management of this devastating disease.
Studies have shown that early detection and early intervention increases the survival rate of breast cancer patients in all categories. And, while self breast examinations are a great way to screen regularly for breast cancer, the truth is that by the time a lump in the breast is palpable, or can be felt through the skin, it has already grown and possible advanced to invading other tissues. Screening tests such as mammograms can detect much smaller growths and allow doctors to begin treatment while the tumor is still confined to the breast.
In addition, early detection allows patients the opportunity to pursue less aggressive treatment options that carry less devastating side effects. For example, stage III and stage IV breast cancer treatment almost always includes a radical mastectomy on the affected side, which requires the removal of the breast itself as well as any affected lymph nodes. And patients will often undergo either chemotherapy, radiation or both in order to ensure that all of the cancer has been eliminated. These treatments are hard on the patient, who may already been suffering the physical effects of cancer. Chemo devastates the immune system and will leave the patient vulnerable to all kinds of infections. It’s use often causes the loss of hair in patients and will cause nausea, vomiting and muscle weakness both during and after treatment. However, breast cancer that has been caught in an earlier stage can often be treated by simply removing the growth while preserving the breast and other tissues and may not have required the use of chemo or radiation. Outcomes of treatment for early stage breast cancer are also usually more positive, with more patients reaching true remission and living beyond the 10 year mark.
Breast cancer awareness not only helps women get more involved in preventive healthcare in terms of participating in screening for breast cancer, but also helps raise money to advance research into what causes breast cancer to provide better recommendations for avoiding triggers as well as advancing treatment options for all stages of this devastating disease. Campaigns such as the Pink Ribbon and Save the Ta Tas provide the perfect platform for ensuring that women everywhere understands the importance of medical 2nd opinion for breast cancer india as well as offering better options for treatment.
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