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Welcome back to our #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth series!
Today’s article will be the final in our series, where we are going to talk about what you can do if you or your loved ones around you are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Make sure you’ve read our previous articles to get a better understanding of breast cancer!
|Breast Cancer Awareness Month
|Breast Cancer Awareness Month Series:
Risk Factors and Symptoms
Treatment of Breast Cancer
In Malaysia, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. 1 Women over the age of 40 are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, but the disease occasionally strikes younger women as well. Therefore, no woman is completely free of the risk of breast cancer. 2
However, there is still good news. According to the WHO, treatment for breast cancer can be highly effective, with survival rates of 90% or more especially when detected in the early stages. 3 Different treatment options are available for breast cancer and they are determined by the type, stage, grade, size, and sensitivity of the cancer cells to hormones by your doctor. 4
Image Source: BWCA
Some treatment options include:
Breast cancer surgery. There are several types of surgery that can be performed to remove cancer tissues depending on different situations. 5
Lumpectomy. The majority of breast cancers can now be treated by this procedure. It is performed to remove smaller tumours. A small margin of healthy breast tissues surrounding the tumour might be removed in the process as well. 3,4
Mastectomy. This is a surgery that is performed to remove the entire breast. It was used to treat all breast cancers in the past and is still sometimes the best option to treat breast cancer when tumours are big. 3,4,6
Several or a small number of lymph nodes may be removed to prevent cancer spread or to remove tumours that have spread to the lymph nodes. 3,4
Chemotherapy. This is done to shrink or kill cancer cells using specific drugs. The medications used may be oral pills or medicines that are injected into your veins, or sometimes a combination of both. 5
Hormonal therapy. This prevents cancer cells from receiving the hormones they need to grow. 5
Biological therapy. This is a therapy method that works with our body’s immune system. It helps our body in fighting cancer cells or to control the side effects that emerge from other cancer therapies. 5
Radiation therapy. By using high-energy rays (similar to X-rays), radiation therapy kills cancer cells and helps to reduce the chances of breast cancer occurring again.3,5
Supporting a loved one with breast cancer
GIF Source: Tenor
It is never easy to accept the news of a breast cancer diagnosis. This is why support from friends and family is always important throughout their fight against it. 2 Some of the things we can do include:
1. Provide emotional support
A lot of different emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, and depression, may arise among patients upon the diagnosis of breast cancer. Being upset and anxious about the cancer, their feelings may also change frequently, which is why it’s important that we be by their side in the fight. Allow them to express what they are feeling and be a good listener. Physical touch such as holding hands or a hug can also be a good way to show support.
2. Offer practical support
Patients often experience side effects that make it a challenge to continue with their daily lives during treatment, and asking for help can be difficult. Offering help on specific tasks can mean a lot to them. Rather than asking, “What can I do for you? “, try to be more specific when offering help, so both parties understand what you are offering. Another important thing is to think about what you're capable of doing and how much time you have available before offering help.
That is all for our #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth series. We hoped you’ve learnt more about breast cancer through our series! See you guys next month.
A word from DOC2US
If you have any questions related to breast cancer, you can consult our professional doctors and healthcare professionals on DOC2US. DOC2US is a mobile application that allows you to talk to a doctor or any healthcare professionals via text chat at any time and from anywhere. For better communication, you can even send our online doctor images or voice messages related to your medical inquiry.
Download DOC2US app on Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei App Gallery; or use our webchat at https://web.doc2us.com/
Note: DOC2US is not for medical emergencies. In the event of urgent medical conditions, please call 999.
Disclaimer: As a service to our users and general public, DOC2US provides health education contents. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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