Origin of the word
Do you know how cancer got its name? Well, the Greek physician or 'The Father of Medicine' Hippocrates (460-370 BC) determined that a tumor – and the swollen blood vessels around it – reminded him of a crab (karkinos, the Greek word for crab) in the sand with its legs spread in a circle. Later, some doctors would propose that Hippocrates chose the name because the hardness of a tumor reminded him of the outer shell of a crab. (http://cancerfilms.org)
On October the 19th at Beijing United Family Hospital, Dr. Michelle Savu greeted us with her kind smile and patiently explained to us the signs and symptoms, risks, consequences and a lot more about Breast Cancer based on her 20 years of clinical experience. As Dr. Michelle Savu strongly emphasised “not every lump in your breasts is cancer”, and she was not only addressing women, but men too, as they are not exempted from this disease.
Is the presence of lump(s) in the breast an indicator of Breast Cancer? Thankfully, it is not. Bumps, skin erosion, fluid secretion from nipples, dimpling of the skin etc should not be overlooked. The lemons below paint a descriptive picture.
- If you find a lump in your breasts consult a specialised doctor to determine what it is.
- If you are younger than 40 years old, a mammography usually is not recommended, but after 40 years old you should do a mammography periodically.
- In case one of your first degree relatives has or had breast cancer, you should be more careful. Genetics are believed to be the primary cause of 5–10% of all cases.
As simple as it sounds, though a tad difficult to put in to practice, the following are recommend ways of keeping cancer at bay; Keeping a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol intake, breastfeeding your babies and last but not least, reducing your stress or cortisol levels. Discovering cancer in its early stages is a key factor, the higher the stage of diagnosis, the poorer the prognosis. Therefore, a five minutes check might save many years of your life!
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