Breast cancer awareness is an effort to raise
awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer
through education on symptoms and treatment.
The goal of this campaign is to raise the public's “brand
awareness" for breast cancer, its detection, its treatment, and the
need for a reliable, permanent cure.
In many countries the month of October is National Breast Cancer
Awareness Month (NBCAM) and was begun in 1985 by the
American cancer society and pharmaceutical company.
As a result of awareness, breast cancers are being detected at an
earlier, more treatable stage.
The PINK RIBBON is the most prominent
symbol of breast cancer awareness.
It is associated with individual generosity, faith in scientific progress,
and an optimistic "can-do" attitude.
It encourages individuals to focus on the emotionally appealing
ultimate vision of a cure for breast cancer, rather than the reality that
there is no certain cure for breast cancer.
The practice of blindly wearing or displaying a pink ribbon without
making efforts to cure breast cancer has been described as a kind of
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in
Pakistan. Approximately one in every nine Pakistani
women is likely to suffer from breast cancer. This is
one of the highest incidence rates in Asia.
According to World Health Organization, breast cancer rates are
getting worse and it is not sparing even younger age group.
“Women in the developing countries, like Pakistan tend to die at
greater rates than in more developed countries because the
disease is generally detected when it is in its advance stages”.
SCREENING FOR BREAST
A GOOD BREAST HEALTH
Breast Self Examination
Clinical Breast Examination
BREAST SELF EXAMINATION
It is an opportunity for woman to
become familiar with her
BSE is a useful and essential
About 20% of the time, breast
cancers are found by physical
examination rather than by
It aids in early detection of
changes in breast tissue.
WHEN TO DO BSE
First BSE is recommended after
you have had your first menstrual
Monthly examination of the
breasts and underarm area one
week after the periods.
In postmenopausal women same
date of each month.
In pregnant women same date
WHY DON’T MORE WOMEN
Lack of knowledge
Too busy, forgetfulness
Performed by doctor or trained
Annually for women over 40 yrs.
At least every 3 years for women
between 20 and 40 years.
More frequent examination for
high risk patients.
It is a low-energy X-rays technique to
examine the human breast, which is
used as a diagnostic and screening
The goal is early detection of breast
cancer, typically through detection of
masses and/or microcalcifications.
Normal mammogram does not rule out
possibility of cancer completely.
The BRCA gene test is a blood test that uses DNA analysis to
identify mutations in either one of the two breast cancer
susceptibility genes — BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Women who have inherited mutations in these genes are at
an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian
cancer compared with the general population.
The BRCA gene test is offered only to people who are likely
to have an inherited mutation based on personal or family
history, or who have a specific type of breast cancer.
The BRCA gene test isn't routinely performed on women
at average risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
A BRCA gene test determines whether you carry an
inherited BRCA mutation.
If you do, your result is positive and your doctor can help
you understand your cancer risk.
If you don't have a mutation, this is considered a
However, you may learn you have a gene variant that
doctors aren't sure about. It may or may not be
associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian
cancer. This result is known as a variant of uncertain
Angelina Jolie is an American
actress, filmmaker, humanitarian
and mother of six children.
In The New York Times she
shared her personal experience.
Her mother had breast cancer
and she died of ovarian cancer at
She said my children will never
have the chance to know their
grandmother and to experience
how loving and gracious she was.
Her grandmother and aunt also
died of cancers.
Since she had strong maternal family history of cancers, she had her
own genetic testing and discovered that she carries a mutation of
She said my doctor estimated that I had 87% risk of breast cancer and
50% risk of ovarian cancer.
So she made a decision to be proactive and to minimize the risk to
develop cancer for sake of six children.
On Feb 2013, at age 37 she underwent preventive
double mastectomy followed by reconstruction surgery
and two years later she had bilateral oophorectomy.
She said I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear that
they will lose their mother of breast cancer.
It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them
uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it.
Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was.
On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel
empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way
diminishes my femininity.
In a piece she wrote for New York Times, Jolie said:
“I went through what I imagine thousands of other women
have felt”. She added that I am writing this because I choose
not to keep my story private as there are many women who
do not know that they might be living under the shadow of
cancer. It is my hope that other women can benefit from my
experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into
people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness.
But today it is possible to find out through a blood test
whether you are at highly risk to develop breast and ovarian
cancer, and then you will know that you have strong options."
“I CHOOSE TO LIVE DIFFERENTLY”