Cancer occurs as a result of abnormal growth and multiplication of cancer causing cells in any part of the body. There are various types of cancers that affect women. The most common among Nigerian women is breast cancer.
There are different methods to prevent breast cancer in women. Any woman who loves her health will try to know about some of these ways in order to reduce her risk of coming up with breast cancer.
The knowledge about a disease is the first key to unlocking its cure. It gives someone an edge in being informed about how the disease occurs.
Currently, breast cancer is on the rise in Nigeria. There are various reasons for this. Some include heritable reasons, while others are diet-related. If a women sticks to her doctor’s medical advice, she can save herself either from a carcinoma or a sarcoma. Highlighted below are some methods to prevent breast cancer:
1. Breast self-examination (BSE)
Breast self-examination should be learned by every woman. Medical experts even do say it is necessary every woman does it. It is the cheapest and simplest way of reducing the risk of having breast cancer.
Every woman should personally check her breast everyday if possible or regularly.
BSE involves a woman standing in front of a standing mirror. Thereafter she raises her hand one after the other and then uses the upraised hand to feel and check if there is anything like lump in the breast of the hand she raised. If she feels her breast and finds nothing, then she is safe from breast cancer at that time. However, if she discovers and feels something, then it is important she immediately meets an oncologist, who is a medical doctor that specialises in treating cancer to know if there is a possibility of her coming up with cancer or not.
2. Cutting down on foods with high cholesterol
Women who love eating foods with high fat contents should have a second thought. Generally, high-cholesterol foods are not healthy. Apart from the fact that they predispose someone to other diet related diseases, they are high risk to having breast cancer. Cholesterol helps to trigger carcinogenic cells, thereby leading to cancerous growth. Carcinogenic cells cause cancer to from in the body. Knowledge of avoiding high cholesterol foods will prevent breast cancer in women.
3. Staying safe from carcinogenic environmental pollutants (CEPs)
Carcinogenic environmental pollutants are found in industries and factories. They are compounds that trigger up cancer in people. For instance in asbestos factories, a person that works there could come up with a cancer known as asbestosis. This occurs due to the continuous and constant inhaling of asbestos dusts. Likewise, a woman who works in a company that uses materials that has carcinogenic substances may come up with breast cancer.
4. Avoiding exposure to radiation
There are different media someone could get harmful irradiating substances. One natural way is from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. The UV light if intense can lead to skin cancer. However, there are more harmful radiations that could lead to breast cancer in women. Radiations from nuclear station plants are the most risky radiation types. Even after leading to cancer, they can lead to instant death of multitudes of people.
5. Exclusive breastfeeding
Medical professionals all agree that exclusive breastfeeding is not just important to the baby, but also has a lot of health benefits to the nursing mother. Exclusive breastfeeding is feeding the baby from the day of its birth to when it is six months old with nothing except breast milk.
One of the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding is that it reduces the risk of having breast cancer in which a woman might be exposed. Thus, it is advisable for nursing mothers to practise exclusive breastfeeding in order to prevent unforeseeable breast cancer. It is also better for the breast to sag as a result of exclusive breastfeeding than it is cut off or leads to death as a result of breast cancer.
6. Routine physical activities
The advent of technology has made a good number of women to be less physical active. Some women do not engage in activities that will help burn away fats and cholesterol from their system. Some women find it very difficult to trek a little distance. They are always moving from one vehicle to the other. Some always stay inside air-conditioned homes, offices and cars. While some sit for long hours daily without stretching their body parts after a few hours of sitting down. All these are not good for their health. In addition, some women do not engage in work outs or simple jogging exercises.
7. Maintaining a normal body mass index (BMI)
The value of a person’s body mass index is gotten by dividing his or her weight by the square of his or her height in metres. BMI has various ranges. It ranges from underweight to normal weight, then to overweight and obese. A normal BMI is between 20.0 and 24.9. If the BMI of a woman is close to 30.0 or above this value, then she is at a risk of having not just breast cancer but diabetes or even high blood pressure and hypertension or any other heart-related diseases.
8. Doing away totally with smoking
Tobacco manufacturing companies all give out warning to smokers. The warning is, “smokers are liable to young.” The truth about smoking is that it is the easiest way to signing someone’s death warrant.
However, smokers are still adamant with this life threatening habit. There is hardly a medical doctor who will not dissuade his patient from smoking. Apart from a woman having a risk of coming up with breast cancer, smoking is a risk factor to lung cancer and some respiratory diseases.
During the administration of the former governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Lagos state anti-smoking law was passed. The law ban smoking in public, with a punishment. However, the law has not been effective since it was implemented. The law should be enforced. Likewise, the steadily ban of smoking should be encouraged.
9. Reducing the duration of hormone therapy
There are various types of hormonal therapies some women receive. Some women could receive hormone therapy that will make them look younger. Others could take therapy just because they want to change the way they look or to change something about their body parts. All these should be taken with caution, as they have side effects in the name of breast cancer.
10. Knowledge of a woman’s genetic history
A woman can help herself prevent the growth of breast cancer if she has knowledge of cancer history in her family. This is because some daughters later come up with breast cancer because their mothers had breast cancer. The gene responsible for breast cancer can be transmitted from mothers to their female children. If a woman knows this, then she can consult an oncologist where mammography would be used to detect if she has cancer cells in her or not. In turn she is advised on the best thing to do.