Nearly everyone has a story about knowing someone who’s had cancer or has faced cancer themselves.
Statistically, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Singapore where 1,850 women are diagnosed each year. One in 11 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. We were concerned about these stats, and thought it would be good to do research on breast cancer to educate ourselves and see how we can help.
What we found was actually pretty fascinating.
Not all lumps in your breasts are cancerous
The good news: The National Cancer Centre of Singapore has stated on their website that out of every 10 people who find lumps in their breasts during checks and go to the doctor, nine of them are more likely to have a benign disorder from other illnesses. Normal changes associated with the menstrual cycle can make breasts feel lumpy as well.
All in all, it is recommended that if people find lumps in their breasts, they need to consult a doctor for any problems and wait for the doctor’s advice before booking a mammogram.
Men are affected by breast cancer too.
Breast cancer is often thought of as a “feminine issue” and there’s a societal assumption that biological men do not have a role in it. A lot of us tend to emphasize on biological females being the face of fighting breast cancer because they are seen as the only kind of people who would have breasts and thus be affected by breast cancer.
However, when someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, all the people in their life –no matter the gender, get affected. All genders are therefore equally important in the fight against breast cancer.
It’s not even a matter of just supporting biological females who get breast cancer. On average of breast cancer diagnoses, one in every 400 biological males gets diagnosed with breast cancer. To this day not much is known about how this happens.
This can be due to a variety of reasons, including lack of awareness and dismissal of breast cancer as a female disease.
It can also be due to a lack of funding in research, and most of what they have is concentrated on diseases that are likely to affect the different genders more. As a result, those who finally get diagnosed will more likely than not be in the advanced stages of the cancer instead of earlier detection.
We need to understand breast checks better
We are all aware of how breast cancer can affect us and how it is important to get an early diagnosis. However here are some of the things you need to consider before getting a mammogram, especially if you are between the ages of 20-39 and think that having breast self-examinations aren’t enough:
- Are there any increased risk factors in your family, including a history of breast cancer from either side of the family?
- Have you found a lump in your breast or any abnormalities in the general area?
We at RUN Singapore do suggest the following actions: more education on the subject has to be done in order to understand cancer and how to fight it, along with more awareness and understanding of the disease and how it affects everyone involved; and more funds have to be donated by not only members of the public but also from governmental organisations and other groups so that we can pump more money into breast cancer research and find better ways of diagnosis and treatment, while also helping to support families whose lives have been changed by the illness.
To stand in solidarity with those affected by breast cancer, and to spread the message that early detection can save lives and breasts, sign up and join the Pink Ribbon Walk today! It’s happening on the 7th October, 2017, from 4pm- 8pm, at the Event Square @Waterfront Promenade. Every participation is a significant form of support towards raising breast cancer awareness, showing support to survivors and raising funds to further enhance Breast Cancer Foundation’s support group programmes and awareness outreach. To sign up, click here.