By Sherine Shaker
In our quest to encourage proactive self-care and as part of a series of articles aiming to boost awareness of cancer, Cairo West Magazine met with Clinical Oncology Specialist Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi to learn more about breast cancer.
CWM: To start with, what is breast cancer?
WA: Cancer is the abnormal multiplication of a cell. Approximately, 1 in every 8 women gets breast cancer, which is about 12.5% of all women. However, if a woman is BRCA gene positive, like Angelina Jolie, then her probability of developing breast cancer throughout her lifetime jumps to 87%.
How can breast cancer be detected?
Early breast cancer signs are: a lump, change in skin color, redness or dimpled skin like an orange peel (commonly called peau d’orange), scaling of the nipple (in non-lactating women), and nipple discharge. Every woman should regularly do her own breast self-examination (BSE) monthly 10 days before or after her period. BSE should be done standing up in front of a mirror and while lying down. You should always check under the armpits (axilla) for lumps. Screening for breast cancer should start at 40 years of age by having an annual mammogram. But if a woman has a positive family history of breast cancer, she should start her screening earlier.
Is breast cancer completely treatable?
Early detection is crucial for complete cure. Percentages for curing breast cancer have reached 98% especially for those who detect it earlier. There is a good informative website www.nccn.org (The National Comprehensive Cancer Network) for professionals and patients, which provides valuable information about cancer care and treatment.
Is breast cancer preventable?
There is an approach in cancer care called “the anti-cancer lifestyle” through healthy mind, body and soul. Eat healthy/clean, exercise, stop smoking and have some spiritual bond with your creator or be at peace with your soul by praying or meditating.