Breast cancer prevention: at what age should we start checkups?

Most of the people have seen or know the pink ribbon and the role that it plays in the face of the movement against breast cancer. However, even today, despite the fact that much more is said about this disease, a percentage of women do not carry out or adequately comply with its controls.

What is the importance of the spread of this disease? What role does the pink ribbon? Why is it necessary for women to get annual checkups? Know all the information in the following article.

The pink ribbon: origin of a symbol

As said, the pink ribbon is the hallmark in the world of fighting breast cancer. On In 1992, a group of women defined that the ribbon of this color would be the symbol of the campaign that was being carried out against this disease. The color had to do with the fact that at that time it represented the woman and counteracted with the disease: it gave a feeling of well-being and health.

From there, the Pink ribbon became the international symbol for the fight against breast cancer. The objective was to create awareness about the prevention, diagnosis, cure and care for this disease.

Even beyond pink ribbon, The World Health Organization (WHO) promoted World Breast Cancer Day, which is celebrated every October 19, and aims, year after year, that more and more women have access to controls, diagnoses and treatments. Hence, it is said that October is the month against breast cancer.

However, despite the years that have passed, even to this day, there is much ignorance about this disease and even many women do not carry out the corresponding controls, or not in the indicated way, as well as breast self-examination, or they believe that one study replaces the other. Let’s know a little more about this.

What is breast cancer and current figures

Although there was already talk about the importance of diffusion and why the pink ribbonBefore detailing why it is necessary to carry out annual checkups and controls, let’s see a small definition about this disease. According to the Argentine Ministry of Health, breast cancer is a disease caused by the abnormal multiplication of breast cells that form a malignant tumor.

In turn, this can occur as consequence of different risk factors such as being over 40 years old, sedentary lifestyles, having a poor diet, drinking alcohol, as well as a genetic load, although this is not always the case. In fact, less than 5% of all breast cancers are related to genetic factors that are often highly determinant.

However, the importance of access to information about this disease, its dissemination, global campaigns and the pink bow as a distinctive of it have a why.

And it is that, although more and more people have knowledge about this disease, According to data from the World Health Organization, within cancer cases, 16% of these correspond to breast cancer, one case every 12 women.

Even, according to the Pan American Health Organization, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women in America: each year there are 462,000 new cases and around 100,000 deaths.

In the case of women in Latin America and the Caribbean, there are 27% of new cases, 16% of deaths, while in the United States and Canada there are 24% and 14% respectively.

To this can be added the data of the Ministry of Health of the Argentine Nation that details that the breast cancer is the leading cause of death by tumors in women, causing 5,400 deaths per year. And these cups are given in higher level in women between 45 and 50 years old, although 1% of this disease can also occur in men.

Breast self-exam and check-ups

For the same reasons outlined above, it is key that all women can have access to information about this disease, as well as the corresponding controls.

Although the Breast cancer is difficult to prevent, early detection of it is essential, since tumors smaller than 1 centimeter have up to 90% chance of cure. In addition, there are a series of measures that can be taken that reduce the risk factors and the probability of the appearance of the disease.

Although each case is particular and each person should consult with their doctor so that together they determine the age at which to start or the pertinent controls according to the medical history, as mentioned above, the The risk of contracting breast cancer increases in women from 45-50 years of age, so annual mammograms from that age are key.

This study, based on the use of X-rays, allows an early diagnosis of the breast cancer and it gives a greater margin to be able to apply an adequate treatment and even, in some cases, a cure.

Likewise, women should Annual gynecological check-ups that include Pap tests, breast and transvaginal ultrasounds. These are recommended since the person is actively sexual depending, once again, on each particular case. All these studies are necessary, one does not exclude the other since with each one particular things are determined.

In addition, there is the well-known Breast self-examination that can and should be performed month by month each woman, regardless of medical check-ups, since with the touch, each one can detect irregularities. It basically consists of palpating the opposite breast with each hand with the fingertips, around and on the nipples, as well as in the armpits.

While palpating, note if any lumps are felt, grain, or lump, as well as looking in a mirror while and checking that both size and color are appropriate. In case of any anomaly or doubt, consult a specialist.

He himself must be done between 3 to 5 days from the beginning of the menstrual cycle, according to information provided by the National Library of Medicine of the United Statesas the breasts are not as tender or lumpy at that time in the cycle. In case of being in the menopause, it must be done on the same date, every 30 days.

However, at this point it is necessary to clarify a question. Some people believe that to carry out the self-examination it is not necessary to go to a specialist for the fulfillment of the rest of the studies. This, logically, is not so. The self-examination is not exclusive of the rest of the controls.

Now you know the importance of spreading and making visible everything that has to do with this disease, why does the pink ribbon exist, what it refers to and why it is the international symbol when it comes to talking about this type of cancer.

That the majority of the population have access to all clear and accurate information about this disease, the types of studies needed, and the possibilities of treatment would contribute to the prevention of deaths from breast cancer that, diagnosed early, in a large percentage can be cured.

So now you know, if you have not yet had the controls corresponding to this year, it is time that you consult with your gynecologist or family doctor to indicate the corresponding studies according to your age and medical history.

Also, in the month of the international fight against breast cancer, It is a good time for you to ask your relatives, friends and acquaintances if they were aware of all this information, that it is a disease that, detected in time, can be curable, and that it is important that they also have the controls corresponding.

You already know about the importance of communication about breast cancer and the role of the pink ribbon. Did you do your checkups this year?

Source: WHO, Medline Plus and Ministry of Health of Argentina.