"Take care of them!" - Ukrainian women are urged to pay more attention to breast health

4 October 2013 10:27  14747299 048050
"Take care of them!" - Ukrainian women are urged to pay more attention to breast health

On October 1, the project "Take care of them!", aimed at carrying out in October a series of the public awareness activities on the prevention of breast cancer, started in Ukraine.

Breast cancer ranks first in the structure of cancer diseases of the female population of Ukraine as well as of the most economically developed countries. The incidence of this disease in Ukraine over the past 50 years has increased more than fourfold - from 17.6 to 70.9 per 100 thousand females - and has no tendency to decrease, causing great concern among Ukrainian oncologists.

Among those who fell ill with breast cancer, 25.6% are women aged 30-54 years. That is, individuals of reproductive and working age, which leads to a significant loss of life potential of female population of Ukraine.

The key to the fight against breast cancer is its early detection, which can improve treatment outcomes and survival of patients. Eearly cancer is asymptomatic or manifests itself vaguely. Therefore women are recommended to conduct monthly self-check of breast for the presence of any changes in size, shape or contour, the appearance of lumps the size of a pea or larger, changes of the skin of the breast or nipple (wrinkled skin, flaking or inflammation), redness of the skin of the breast or nipple, swollen lymph nodes. In addition to self-checks, every woman over 18 should annually be screened at mammologist and after reaching 40 years - preventive examinations: mammologist examination, mammography and ultrasound examination. According to the National Cancer Registry, in 2011 in Ukraine preventive examinations revealed 27.9% of cases of breast cancer among the female population.

Over 30% of breast cancer cases today are diagnosed at later stages - the third or even the fourth stage. Women go to the doctor too late. Prevention and early diagnosis allow for the most efficient treatment and prevention of disability.

To prevent breast cancer, doctors recommend a healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition, physical activity, avoiding alcohol abuse, overweight and obesity can eventually lead to a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer in the long run. Also included here is the right choice of underwear and breastfeeding.

As part of project, female staff of the media are invited to undergo the screening for breast cancer. On the specified days women under age 40 can have breast ultrasound and older women - mammograms, and receive professional advice of an oncologist and oncogynaecologist. The project aims to draw journalists' attention to the seriousness of risk of breast cancer. And also to inform the media, and with their help all Ukrainians about the key factors in prevention of breast cancer and treatment of this disease. 

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