The female breast is affectionately called and described in diverse names and manner. It spans from the serious, to the mundane and to the comical. A comedian with an over blown sense of mischief once remarked that at any stage of a man’s life, there is always a breast he is sucking . It moves from his mother to his girlfriend and then to that of his wife. No wonder could boldly holla that ‘All human males were as fascinated with cars as they were with breasts.” Truth be told, the female breasts provide hours of sucking pleasure in addition to providing wholesome and adequate nutrition for babies.
The female breasts are awesome parts of the anatomy but when it becomes diseased, it is usually a fire on the mountain scenario. Breast cancer is the commonest female malignancy globally and in Nigeria, breast cancer has overtaken cervical cancer as the leading type of cancer in females. In Nigeria, as in most developing countries, late presentation which often makes death inevitable is the rule rather than the norm.
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The No Bra Day commonly observed yearly on October 13 has come and gone with all the social media brouhaha but importantly, it brought issues of breast cancer to the fore again. The month of October is commonly marked as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is marked in countries across the world to help increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care for females with breast cancer.
Currently, the causes of breast cancer are not fully known, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of its management. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that cure can be achieved..
The WHO promotes comprehensive breast cancer control programmes as part of national cancer control plans. The recommended early detection strategies for low and middle class countries – are awareness of early signs and symptoms and screening by clinical breast examination. Mammography screening is important but sadly, it is very expensive, cost intensive and not generally available.
Suggestions for reducing the risk of breast cancer include dietary modification.
Early detection and treatment is still the best strategy for a better cancer outcome. The ways for early detection include regular breast examination for lumps. With increasing availability of facilities for mammography, regular mammogram becomes essential. This is even more important for females with a family history of breast cancer.
On a lighter note though, bros when next you are at work on the breast , don’t just seek pleasure ……subconsciously look out for lumps. The owner of that breast that gives you pleasure could remain alive and well by that singular action.