Monday, December 6, 2021

    Breast lump: What every woman must know cancer

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    Bisola Akinlabi
    Akinlabi Bisola is a health and meds journalist with a deep background in Public Health Education and with a B.Sc in Health Education and Masters in Public Health Educator. You can catch up on her articles on her website

    To commemorate the World Cancer Day which was on the 4th of February, one of they type of cancer with a high mortality rate in Nigeria is still breast cancer despite NGO’s organizing free breast cancer check up and other awareness programme the problem still lingers and I do not agree with the opinion of some people that narrow it down to Illetracy as have seen a lot of educated people die as a result of breast cancer just because they didn’t want orthodox form of treatment despite them seeing their state of health deteriorating day by day.
    The presence of lump in the breast have been known to cause fear, anxiety and depression in women though men can also find lump in their breast but it’s mostly common among women, what most people do when they feel the presence of lump in their breast is one of the reasons Nigeria still have one of the highest mortality rate as a result of breast cancer some women just immediately say the word ” I reject it, it’s not my portion” as if they prayed for it to be there, they start praying against the lump and massaging it different kinds of oil as these go on if the lump is cancerous it’s keep getting worse and believe me have seen and heard a lot of women die as a result. The presence of lump in the breast doesn’t immediately translate’s breast cancer but this cannot be confirmed until a mammogram or ultrasound is carried and a doctor confirms it to be cancerous and even at that, I have seen people survive breast cancer just that they noticed early enough and also started treatment early as experts have noted that late presentation is the major concern of breast cancer in Nigeria.
    Let’s dicuss a little about breast lump,
    Breast lump is a localised swelling, bulge or bump in the breast that feels different from the breast tissue around it or the breast tissue in the same area of the other breast. There are different reasons breast lumps develop, most lumps are not cancerous and do not pose any risk. Breast lump develop in both males and females but it’s more common in females.
    1. Infection
    2. Cyst
    3. Adenoma or Fibroadenoma
    4. Fat necrosis and lipoma
    5. Breast cancer
    The type of lump depend on the cause of the lump and whether it is cancerous or not.
    1. Infection: infection sometimes develop in the breast, they can be painful. They are non- cancerous and are usually cause by bacteria, nearby breast skin can become red and it can feel hot or solid. Women who are breast feeding are more likely to develop it.
    2. Breast cyst: it is a benign or non-cancerous, fluid-filled sac in the breast. It usually feels smooth and rubbery under the skin. Some breast cyst’s may be painless, while others are painful. What causes breath cyst is not clear but it may develop in response to hormones related to menstruation. Cyst can vary in sizes.
    3. Adenoma: this is an abnormal growth of the glandular tissue in the breast. Fibroadenoma are the most common types of adenoma in the breast. It tends to affect mostly teenagers and women below 30 years, they do not usually become cancerous.
    4. Fat necrosis and lipoma: if fatty tissues in the breathtaking become damaged or broken down, fat necrosis may occur. They may be painful, there may be a nipper discharge and a dimple of the skin over the lump.
    5.Lipoma: a lipoma is soft, non cancerous lump that is movable and painless. It is a benign, fatty tumor.
    6. Cancerous breast lump: a breast cancer lump or tumor usually feels hard and firm. It typically has an irregular shape, and it may feel as if it is stuck to the skin or deep tissue within the breast. Breast cancer is not usually painful, especially in early stages. It can develop in any part of the breast or nipper, but it is most common in the upper part of the breast.
    For women still menstruating, it should be done few days after menstruation while post menopause women and men can do theirs’s a step by step process which involves;
    1. Look in the mirror with your breath bare to check for the size shape and colour and look for visible swelling or lump.
    2. Raise the arms and repeat step 1
    3. Squeeze the nipple and check for any discharge that may be watery, yellow or with blood.
    4. Feel the breast while lying down with a firm finger in a smooth motion, including under the arm and down to the rib cage.
    5. Repeat step 5 while standing or sitting.
    Even though most break lump are benign, it should still be check out by a doctor.
    The doctor may carry out a physical examination and they may recommend a mammogram or ultrasound scan to check what type of lump is present. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be taken, if cancer is found, treatment usually involves surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy depending on the stage of the cancer. If it is non-cancerous, the lump may be removed through surgery.
    These are things that predisposes an individual to getting a disease. For breast cancer the risk factors are;
    1. Being are woman
    2. Getting older
    Having read all these, there are some key points I will like to bring out;
    1. Every woman is at the risk of having a lump in the breast and even men too.
    2. Be very observant of your body it’s your “if you are not observant of it who will”?
    3. If you notice any changes in your breast kindly go see the doctor and your area nurse or friend or chemist please.
    4. Surround your self with people that are proactive when it comes to health matters, that will encourage you to seek immediate treatment and give good moral support during the whole process.
    5. You have to be ready to religiously adhere to whatever the doctor advice as this with good people around will work magic in your healing process.
    5. Do not think about they cost of treatment though it is expensive but the consequencies of not treating whether cancerous or not is far more grievious.
    6. Always take advantage of free medical tests and if you can afford to visit the clinic for monthly chck up good for you.
    7. Pass the message to other people.

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