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/

 

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.