Breast cancer awareness month.

Know your status so please get tested regularly

Introduction                       

The month of October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month.   According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide resulting in the death of nearly 10 million persons. Of the 10 million deaths, 2.26 million were breast cancer cases.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, there were 157 cases of breast cancer between 2015 and 2022 including 18 diagnosis this year.

While breast cancer is common among women, men can also get breast cancer. I encourage all of us to get tested for cancer. The earlier your diagnosis, the better for you to deal with it and the greater your chance of survival. Sometimes when people get diagnosed, they may be in the late stages and their chances of survival may be slim. However, there are people who were at late stages and still survived cancer. The important thing is to know your status so you know what you dealing with and how to deal with it.

Why do people get cancer?

There are several risk factors that cause people to get cancer. One of the risk factors is smoking.  Smoking causes 1 in 4 cancer and those types of cancer are lung cancer, mouth cancer and throat cancer. Of course, there are some people that smoke and don’t get cancer and likewise there are some people that don’t smoke and still get cancer.  However, the more you smoke, you are increasing your chance of getting cancer.

Another risk factor is age. The older you get; the possibility is that you may have damaged your cells which result in getting cancer.

Your diet also plays an important part as to determine whether you will get cancer or not. Eating fruit and vegetables reduce your chance of getting cancer. However, eating a lot of red meat and processed food can increase your chance of getting cancer.  Therefore, your diet is very important not just to prevent cancer but to prevent other diseases as well.

It is also believed that cancer can be genetic. In other words, it can be passed from one generation to the next. If you are aware of family members that have cancer, you should get tested to see if you have the gene that carries the cancer. There will be people that argued that no disease is genetic, and it is totally related to your diet.

Another risk factor is your body weight.  If you are overweight, you increase your chances of getting cancer.

Other risk factors are exposure to sunlight, germs, and a week immune system.

Conclusion

One risk factor alone may not cause cancer and so it is a combination of factors. However, we can reduce the impact of cancer by getting tested early and frequently. I know some people say they don’t want to know if they have cancer so they will not get tested. The thing if you know early, you will be able to get treated and increase your chance of living so that you can spend more time with your family and friends.

Do not be a death cancer statistic as too many of us are losing friends and family over cancer.  Let us do our best to fight this disease. Do you part by not engaging in the activities that cause cancer.

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