Oh no! Not the “C” word again!

Wake up. Work out. Breakfast. Off to work. Tackle meetings, answer phones, respond to emails, meet targets. Back home. Prepare dinner. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Routine sounds familiar? In a world where keeping commitments can make or break you, that much-needed “me time” is simply out of question. Adding anything extra to your to-do list can send your entire schedule for a toss. But is that what’s keeping you from doing the breast cancer self examination? Or is it that you simply think that it wont happen to you? “No way, it can’t happen to me!” is what you must be saying to yourself right now.

You might argue that taking 0.02% of the time you have in a month is an impossible task. But have you not spent time in front of a mirror intently looking at that bothersome pimple which surfaced just before an important event? Or did you not smile and frown repeatedly, checking for fine lines? And my, my, if it’s a night out, you’d probably spend more time in front of the mirror than on the outing itself. Now if you can find a way to devote time to all that ruins your look, you can certainly find a way to make time for something that can change your life. But first, you need to get over your fear of finding out. Breast cancer, detected early, is curable, and it can spare you and your loved ones the pain and tears.

The thing with breast cancer is that it has more visibility than other tumours which are embedded so deep within the body that they’re not detected till the damage has already been done. Changes in the way your breasts look or feel are signs. And that’s something which can be discovered first only by you. Provided you’re looking for those changes in the first place by doing regular self checks. Breast cancer begins with an abnormal cell growth in the breast tissue. However not all such cell growths are cancerous. So in the unfortunate event that you do find a lump, do not panic. It could be benign. But that doesn’t mean you can lay back and leave it unchecked. In fact, when you discover a lump, paying your doctor a visit should be a priority on your list.

Watch out for these signs…

 A lump in the breast is probably the first thing you’ll notice. But you should also keep an eye out for other signs such as constant pain in the armpits, breasts or nipples. Changes in the size and shape of the breasts and nipples, and rashes or redness on the skin of your breast are also indicators of abnormal internal activity. And bloody nipple discharges, too. They all point towards one thing – visit your doctor right away.

While the definitive causes of breast cancer haven’t been established, there are certain risk factors that could impact your likelihood of developing breast cancer. Age is certainly one of them. It has been scientifically established that the older a woman gets, the higher her chances of developing breast cancer are. Women above the age of 40 especially need to be a little more careful as they are more vulnerable. Genetics also play a part. Women who have had a history of breast cancer in their family are also more susceptible to the disease.

Ultimately, breast cancer is unavoidable, but there are things you could do to reduce your risk of developing the disease. And there are also things you can do to ensure early detection.

Step 1 – Make the other “C” word part of your monthly routine.

Check yourself. Monthly self checks can help you get familiar with your breasts. So if you notice any changes while examining them, you could alert your doctor and schedule a screening. If you’re performing one for the first time, click here (link to kaya breast cancer 2014 self check video) to follow the instructions. They’ll help!

 Step 2 – Risk factors? Eliminate them!

 Excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, obesity and lack of physical exercise could put you at risk. So you do what needs to be to done. Reduce alcohol consumption and smoking, or simply quit. And if you aren’t already doing so, put those running shoes on and hit the treadmill. It might seem like too much to do all at once, but in the long run, it will save you from a life-threatening disease.

 Step 3 – Mark your calendars pink to schedule screenings.

 If you’re 40 years of age or older, an annual mammogram should be part of your healthcare routine. If you’re below 40 years of age, a Breast Clinical Examination (BCE) every three years by a physician is important. And to whichever side of the fence you may belong, monthly self checks are a must for all.

Three pink fingernails are more than a style statement.

 Seeing a little too much of pink lately? Wonderful, isn’t it? To see the world come together and join the fight against breast cancer. We at kaya skin clinic are all geared up with our initiative – #powerofthree. We weren’t just going to sit around and let the fear of breast cancer stop us. We knew we had to do something about it, something to show the world we’ve got the power to fight it. And so we’re ready to join hands (or should we say fingernails) to stand against breast cancer. And we’d be really glad if you’d come on board and do your bit to nail breast cancer. Aren’t you wondering why #powerofthree, why fingernails? Well, here’s why.

Breast cancer has a 100% survival rate ONLY IF it’s detected early. And the power to detect it early lies in your three fingers. Because you use those very three fingers when you do a self check for breast cancer. So if you’ve done a self check, you’ve done your bit to protect yourself and save your life. Now imagine passing on this power to three of your friends by asking them to do a self check. You’ve helped protect them too. And when they pass this power on to three more, you will have reached thousands and saved so many lives. Amazing, isn’t it?

So what you’ve got to do is fairly simple. Do a self check for breast cancer and paint the first three fingernails on either hand pink. Take a picture with your three painted fingernails and upload it to your Facebook or Instagram profile. Tag three friends with your upload and ask them to do the same as you’ve done, from a self check to tagging three more friends. That’ll keep the chain going!

Get ready to nail breast cancer with #powerofthree.

 It may take a while and a little more before the “c” word stops turning all of us into a bunch of nerves. So we’ve got to put those nails forward and help raise awareness. Start with your very own self check. After all, you can help save lives only when you’ve protected yourself first. So get on board and spread awareness the #powerofthree this October with kaya skin clinic. Together we can make a difference!

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