Muscat: As the color pink is considered a global symbol of breast cancer awareness, the world’s most famous cities wear pink in October of each year. Breast cancer affects approximately two million women worldwide each year. It is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women.
The idea of devoting the month of October to raising awareness among women in particular and the community in general about breast cancer originated over 25 years ago in the United States. It is a joint project between a group of US medical organizations, organizations and government agencies.
The aim is to raise awareness about the disease and to share information about it. In addition, it aims to provide related detection and screening services. Globally, the World Health Organization has promoted the idea and its application in countries because of the role it plays in raising awareness of breast cancer.
Studies have confirmed, especially those reported in the American Journal of Oncology, that the rate of death from breast cancer is declining. It is believed that this is due to the high percentage of women who undergo periodic examinations. This highlights the importance of early detection as it is one of the most important ways to help with a better prognosis.
Based on the importance of early detection, the Mayo Clinic, in conjunction with the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society, released a report recommending that women over 40 have a mammogram every year.
In addition, according to the “European Journal of Radiology”, 3D mammography is preferred because it allows professionals to see breast tissue more clearly, thus detecting breast cancer more accurately with minimal risk of misdiagnosis. .
Several factors play a role in breast cancer, such as heredity, genes, obesity and others.
However, scientists have so far not been able to specifically understand the mechanism of the disease. Therefore, the World Health Organization recommends that in addition to focusing on disease prevention, it is important to educate people on methods of early detection of breast cancer.
As “prevention is better than cure” states, studies indicate that diet is responsible for 40% of cancer cases. A diet high in fat increases the risk of breast cancer. According to an American study, overweight women have a 35% greater chance of developing breast cancer because fat cells secrete estrogen. This in turn fuels breast cancer. Thus, experts from the American University of Washington emphasize that the prevention of breast cancer must begin at an early age, with a diet low in fat, and the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Additionally, we cannot stress enough the importance of monthly breast self-exams to make sure there are no tumors or lumps. It is important to regularly assess the breasts to look for any changes. This practice is believed to help empower women and give them control over the management of their health. Therefore, it is recommended to encourage women to practice breast self-examination to make women aware of this disease instead of adopting it as one of the screening methods.
In addition, detection of breast cancer in its later stages is often associated with a poor prognosis and a higher risk of death. This explains the high mortality rate of breast cancer-related deaths in developing countries, as detection of the disease is delayed compared to other more developed countries which detect cases of the disease in its early stages.
In Oman in October, different institutions, including governmental, non-governmental and all sectors, are working to organize awareness campaigns on the disease, including its causes and methods of prevention, with particular emphasis on the diseases. early detection and screening methods, eg breast self-examination. , clinical breast examination and mammogram.
The Oman Cancer Association serves the community in all these areas and welcomes women for mammography through the mobile mammography unit which travels through the various governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate.