The Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

If you’re wondering how to check yourself for breast cancer, keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms.

The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. So it’s important to check your breasts regularly.

How should I check my breasts?

There’s no special technique and you don’t need special training to check your breasts. Everyone’s breasts are different, so get to know how your breasts normally look and feel. That way, it’s easier to spot anything unusual.

Remember to check the whole breast area, including your upper chest and armpits.

If you spot any changes to your breasts, make sure you get checked by your doctor as soon as possible.

What should I be looking for?

Lumps are important to look for and can be the first symptom of breast cancer for many women. But there are other signs and symptoms you should look out for.

Pain in your breasts is not normally a sign of breast cancer, but it can be if it is associated with other symptoms. While most pain is not usually a symptom, it’s important to look out for any pain that is unusual and persists over a period of time.

It’s as simple as TLC: Touch Look Check

TOUCH your breasts. Can you feel anything unusual? Lump – may not be seen, but might be felt.

Can you feel a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit? You might feel the lump, but not see it.

LOOK for changes. Is there any change in shape or texture?

Change to size or shape?

Can you see any change in size or shape? For example, one breast might become larger or lower than the other.

Change to skin texture

Is there any change in skin texture? This might be puckering or dimpling of the skin of the breast.

Colour change

Can you see a change in colour? The breast may look red or inflamed.

Change in nipples

Do either of your nipples look different? For example, one of them might become inverted (turned in) when it normally points out.

Nipple discharge

Have you noticed any unusual discharge from either of your nipples?

Rash or crusting

Can you see any rash or crusting of the nipple or surrounding area?

CHECK anything unusual with your doctor.

Have you felt or seen anything unusual? If so, make sure you get checked out by your doctor or nurse as soon as possible.

Having some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but it’s important to get checked out if you are worried.

If your doctor thinks you need any further testing, they will refer you to a breast clinic to see a specialist.

How often should I check my breasts?

It doesn’t matter when you check your breasts, as long as you check them regularly. This could be every month or every couple of months. You could check while you’re in the bath or shower, after the gym or before bed.

When you get to know your breasts, you might notice they change with age, or at different times of the month. For example, your breasts might feel tender and lumpy around the time of your period. You may also experience normal changes during pregnancy, when your breasts may get bigger and feel tender or sore.

Reference: Breast Cancer Now – https://breastcancernow.org/

 

Don’t You Want an Ideal Body?

Here’s why body shaming must stop right now.

I clearly remember the first time I was “fat shamed.” The phrase – fat shaming wasn’t popular back then. A fellow student looked at me and said, “How much do her parents feed her?” There were other students as well and I saw everyone nodding in agreement. There was no remorse or compassion. No one asked her to stop being rude. Everyone just continued with their conversations and I sat in a corner – feeling low.

Two decades later I still think about that experience. And the interesting thing is that people haven’t changed much. They still believe something is wrong with me. Fat shaming sadly has become socially acceptable to the point where it is now intolerable. Most women and even men believe it won’t hurt if your body is made a talking point.

In this era where we are obsessed with being skinny or tiny, I’d like to say a few things. We all have days when we don’t feel good about ourselves and the last thing I want is to be attacked about my weight. I have always been big. “You must wear black often; it is a slimming color.” Well, people – there is more than one type of physique. Are women with curves not allowed to wear colors and embrace their bodies as well?

I’m happy about how Body positivity promotes the different kinds of body frames. But there’s a lot to be done. Another rude question we often encounter is “when was the last time you had a healthy meal?” Okay, I can guarantee that this question is not helpful or kind. In fact, it is offensive and why would someone ask that in the first place. It is just plain rude.

It’s hard to be happy when I am judged for my size. Of course, I want to be healthy, but it does not mean I want to be skinny! Maybe I want to be more toned or muscular.

Fat shaming has got to the point where new people would remember you for how you look. You’d find dozens of obnoxious memes on social media. It’s upsetting to see my physique being subjected to unsolicited advice and jokes. Even celebs aren’t immune to fat shaming – it effects them as well.

People also need to realize skinny shaming has the same negative emotional impact as fat shaming. You can’t get away with a little smirk if you thought skinny shaming is acceptable. Remember that you should be cautious about the way you speak about the other person’s appearance. Normal decency should apply to conversations. Don’t let someone down to make yourself feel better. These harsh words can break someone’s ‘body’ confidence – forever!

Know that You are Awesome

No matter how much we try, there will be people in our lives that drag us down.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well, it can be hard to understand that we always have the option to choose our mindset.

Now I only focus on the opinions and the words of those who have a positive effect on my life. Yes, I refuse to be associated with those that worry little about me and only want to bring negativity into my life.

Today, I make the #choice to #bepositive. Remember that you can’t change everyone. But you can control your response. Learn to protect your self-confidence, self-esteem as well as your sanity.

#positivevibes #positivity #inspiration #loveyourself #standupforyourself #youareworthit #emotions #stayawayfromnegativity

Image Credits: tiny buddha.com, thegoodqoute

Product Review: The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

Salicylic acid is one of the most powerful ingredients for combating acne prone oily skin. Here’s why I like using the Ordinary Salicylic acid 2% Solution.

Salicylic Acid exfoliates the skin, even the inside of pores to fight the appearance of blemishes. This 2% beta hydroxy acid treatment solution makes skin ‘visibly clear’ with continued use. It is one of the few acids that can actually penetrate the pores and ‘clean’ them from within.

If your skin is prone to blackheads and pimples, using salicylic acid every day can keep them from coming back in the first place. With regular use, your skin will become softer, smoother and more even-toned.

When applied to the skin, salicylic acid removes impurities, excess sebum as well as dead cells before they could clog your pores and result in pimples. Because BHA dissolves excess sebum, dead cells and performs surface exfoliation, it helps even out the skin tone and gives your complexion a glow as well.

SALICYLIC ACID is ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. This means it can get rid of the redness that accompanies pimples and calm down inflamed skin.

Caution!

BHA or Salicylic acid is awesome for acne prone skin. However, just to be on the safe side, avoid salicylic acid if you have irritated skin. Also, avoid topical preparations containing salicylic acid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

About the Ordinary Salicylic 2% Solution

The product comes with a cute dropper. I apply a couple of watery-gel like drops on my nose (that’s where I get the most blackheads) and my chin. The solution doesn’t feel sticky, but it does foam a little which makes the application somewhat tacky.

Mirror Mirror on the wall, is the Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution the best of them All?

Pimples are evil and they always pop up before a big occasion. I apply a drop of the solution directly on the pimple. Does it get rid of nasty buggers? Well, The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution isn’t a magical potion. A pimple does look smaller the next morning, but you need to wait for a couple of days before it goes away – for good.

The Verdict:

After a week of use, my skin doesn’t look like a mess. It is a superhero for oily skin – it kicked blackheads and (most) pimples off my face.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% solution should definitely be part of your anti-acne skincare plan. I use it once daily (PM)*. Just make sure you don’t abuse the product or BHA would wreak some serious havoc on your skin.

*Always perform a patch test before using any skincare product, especially acids.

Are you using salicylic acid in your skincare routine? Share your experience in the comments below.

Image Credit: theordinary.com Clinical formulations with integrity.

It’s Okay to Not be Okay

Embrace your emotions. They’re part of being human.

We all feel sad at times. There are occasions where we feel joyful, happy, angry, proud, motivated, excited and plenty of other emotions also come into action. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Every day is not perfect. In fact, some days are worse than others.

You can feel sad, lonely, isolated, lost or dejected. It might be because of someone you love, a friend, or a real-life incident. Sometimes it’s what we read or see online that influences our emotions.

It’s easy for others to criticize a person for failing to be positive and happy. This is one reason we tend to suppress our emotions. Some people would even make us feel guilty for being sad.

There’s one thing I’ve realised. The intense feeling of sadness is the perfect chance to re-evaluate our priorities and discover what is really important to us. Remember that if we think about our unexplained feelings, rather than suppressing or ignoring them, we would know the things that need our attention.

Once you identify what needs to be changed, you can take control of your thoughts. You can also be more emotionally resilient.

Remember…

1. Everyone feels sad sometimes
2. You can manage your sadness
3. Expressing your emotions and feelings doesn’t make you a weak person.

“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared or anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you HUMAN.

Credits:

The Good Quote

Tiny Buddha

Learning-Mind.com

Believe Perform

#LoriDeschene #tinyBuddha #lifebalance #emotions #feelings #support #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness. #thegoodquote

Women Reproductive Health & Rights – Where Do We Stand?

We cannot afford to stay silent anymore.

Not many women in Pakistan have the rights to make choices and decisions about their sexual and reproductive health including when, or whether, to consider having children. Reproductive health rights aren’t just limited to pregnancy and bearing children. They include the right to respectful relationships, safe and quality health services and more importantly, easy access to effective contraception methods.

Unfortunately, not many women have a say in deciding the fate of an unplanned pregnancy. On the other hand, the majority of our population doesn’t have access to accurate information about contraception. The current situation of women reproductive health in Pakistan is disturbing. Most females lack easy access to contraception methods. Let’s not talk about the judgmental stares when a woman asks for a condom at a retail store! There is no concept of screening for STIs. Women die daily from pregnancy and childbirth complications which could be prevented. Lack of safe sex practices only adds to the problems.

It is important that women of all ages have timely access to accurate, and unbiased sexual and reproductive health information and services. What our society fails to understand is that access to reproductive health services is a basic human right. Our women especially those in rural and even urban areas don’t have the information about their reproductive health and rights. They don’t seek medical help due to the associated stigma. If women want to take control of their reproductive health rights, they are discriminated against thanks to our deep-rooted traditions.

It is crucial for us, as a nation to understand that sex education, a woman’s ability to control her own body and easy access to the health facilities she needs is a fundamental right. Every woman, regardless of her age, caste, and religion or income level should be able to make decisions about her sexual health she feels is best for her.

While talking about women reproductive health rights often face backlash, KLIMAX is determined to change the status quo. The purpose of this article is to encourage women to take responsibility for sexual and reproductive health. In addition, the goal is to contribute to a behavior change.

Know the Different Contraception Types

There are many contraceptive methods available including pills, implants, IUDs, emergency contraception, and physical barriers (condoms and diaphragms).

Talk to your healthcare provider to know the contraception method that is right for you. Remember, you can talk openly about how the method works, the side effects (possible) and how affordable it is. Your doctor will recommend the best method depending on a number of factors including your medical history, overall health, and your lifestyle. You can discuss your options with your partner before making a final decision.

Every contraception method is different. For example, pills (oral contraception) need to be taken every day. IUDs or implants can last up to 3/5 years and offer long-acting reversible contraception. In addition to contraception, it is important to practice safe sex. Possibly the best way to reduce the risk of STIs is to use condoms.

If you opt for an implant which is usually placed in the upper arm, a low dose of progesterone will be released to prevent egg release each month. These implants can be easily removed and allow you to get pregnant later on.

Contraceptive injections usually are given every 12 to 14 weeks. This is another reliable and effective method of contraception. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small devices that are placed in the uterus and can last up to 5/10 years. They have to be inserted and removed by a doctor. Your periods can be affected as a possible side effect so make sure you consult your doctor.

Oral contraceptives or pills contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone. These pills are available as prescription medicines and are effective if used the right way. There are many types of oral contraceptives with different doses and hormones. Your healthcare provider will recommend the dosage that is right for you.

Physical methods of contraception include condoms (male/female) and diaphragm. As stated earlier, condoms also lessen the risk of STIs. Physical methods can be very effective if used the right way. Male condoms perhaps are the most affordable contraceptives. They can be bought from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription and can be ordered online as well. A diaphragm is a silicone dome-shaped structure that fits in the vagina.

To save women from judgmental stares and comments at retail stores, KLIMAX has launched its web store featuring a variety of reproductive health products including condoms. The products after placing an order will be delivered at your doorstep within 2 hours across all major cities in Pakistan and there are no delivery charges. This will ensure that you get the right product in time.

Natural methods of contraception include using the pull-out method and avoiding sex when a woman is potentially fertile. There are period tracking apps that allow you to know the days you are the most fertile.

There are permanent contraception methods as well that prevent pregnancy permanently. They include vasectomy for men and tubal ligation for women.

Results We Can Expect

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Results of Contraceptive Use
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Contraceptive Method Choice

Source: http://www.familyplanning2020.org/entities/97

We must understand that sex and pregnancy without a woman’s consent is a sexual violation. It’s never okay. If a woman says yes once, it doesn’t mean she’ll say yes every time! Respect her decision to use protection. She has every right to enjoy a safe, fulfilling relationship.

The day we realize the importance of consent, our society will become a better place with fewer incidents of sexual offenses, physical assault, and emotional abuse.

 

 

 

Just Being There Can Make All the Difference

It’s about being mentally and emotionally there for those who you care about.

Often we find our friends, loved ones feeling the weight of their worry and we want to tell them that they are not alone. There are many ways to be there for someone, but sincerity is what makes the difference.

If you want to be truly there for someone, you must listen with a heart of understanding. Don’t just listen to respond. Show that you genuinely care for the person going through troubled waters. Understand the reality of their situation and try not to be judgmental.

Sometimes being there for someone means you comfort with genuine encouragement. Yes, you can be vocal. Also, try to read between the lines. You must learn to identify what a person wants at that moment, but can’t ask for it. Sometimes ‘I’m fine’ may have a completely different meaning.

Learn to listen, not hear. Become attuned to how they speak, how they express themselves.  Absorb their body language, their tone of voice, their ticks.

Be protective, but not overly so. Do not let your love cloud you into not allowing them to be their own person. Let them speak for themselves. Let them be strong. Let them grow. Hold them tightly when they need it; give them space when they need it.

How To Truly Be There For Someone – Francesca Saunders

You must also realize that you need to be compassionate. Also, being there for your friend or loved one should be a natural response. Of course, you can’t be there all the time — BUT, you can be there when you want to.

There are days when you simply want someone to be there. Not to do or say something extraordinary, but to let us feel hopeful. Remember, being there for someone is what really matters. Your smile can be an instant mood lifter for someone.

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No Strings Attached

“Being there” is unconditional. You don’t demand anything from the person that you are there for. Similarly, the other person might not thank you at that point. But they will sooner or later realize how much you being there impacts them.

Even if your efforts are not appreciated, don’t lose hope nor be sad. If you really want to be there for someone, go ahead. But don’t fool yourself or anyone else into thinking that “you’ll be there” if you don’t mean it. Don’t offer to help if you can’t be there when a person needs you the most.

Being there for someone else is less about the physical stuff and more about being mentally present and emotionally available for more than just yourself. It does not guarantee a positive experience. But saying “I’ll be there no matter what happens, I do care, and I will care” can mean the world to the other person.

Image Credit: Pexels