Great Advice from PV's Dr. Raul Morales Associated with Breast Cancer Awareness
Puerto Vallarta's Dr. Raul Morales Aceves, one of Mexico's top Hemotologists
Dear friends, on the occasion of the International Day against Breast Cancer commemorated on October 19th, we have dedicated this article to that effect.
You may have noticed that our local hospitals, in some health institutions and public and private institutions of any kind, reflect their enthusiasm for this cause illuminating their buildings with a Mexican pink. Many people carry a ribbon of the same color, which motivates our population being involved in this campaign, remembering that this disease is very aggressive.
Fortunately, with the new methods for early detection, comprehensive treatment and close monitoring, a greater number of women with breast cancer become survivors, so it is recognized that this campaign focuses on the early detection of this disease.
In Mexico, from 2006, breast cancer is considered to be the leading cause of death in women aged 22 and older, second to the causes of death from cervical cancer. Thanks to campaigns aimed at the early detection of this cancer, morbidity and mortality in the female population of Mexico are being significantly reduced.
According to official statistics from the Ministry of Health, every two hours a Mexican woman dies from this disease. Therefore, Mexico has developed multiple activities throughout the Republic in October in order to raise awareness with the population in promoting women's responsibility and interaction with her family and the rest of society, both to detect risk factors, as in the case of obesity, to promote better and healthier lifestyles.
The following steps are a simple way in maintaining health and serveillance for early detection of this malignant disease:
• Women over 40 should have a mammogram twice yearly.
• Exercise and maintain an active lifestyle, and by all means avoid obesity as it is considered a major factor precipitating the onset of breast cancer.
• Practice healthy nutrition habits, drink water or healthful drinks instead of soda or smoothies.
• Perform a self breast examination each morning, preferably sitting in front of a mirror and see that both breasts are the same size and symmetrical, paying attention to nipple areas, and palpated each breast which should be divided into quadrants. Include armpit areas to check for the presence or absence of palpable nodes or tumors. If you notice any abnormalities, seek medical attention immediately.
• Visit the doctor of your choice, whether public or private, who will have a history of your visits and will have a record in determining any changes.
If you follow these rules and share them with your family and friends, you will be contributing to the decline in breast cancer incidence and mortality in our Mexican women.
We must remember that when breast cancer occurs in young women, these patterns have biological characteristics or behave very aggressive, so we must emphasize that the authorities establish a specialized unit in each city dedicated exclusively to the care of suspicion or confirmation of breast cancer in young women under forty.
According to the revised statistics, the auto detection of a breast lump was the most common clinical manifestation (50%) cases, and concluded that the prevalence of advanced stages of breast cancer in this age group are caused by not being timely diagnosed. The young girls have very dense mammary glands that limit the mammogram screening sometimes making it difficult for early diagnosis.
We must insist that our women must make important changes in their habits as the following:
• Walking daily at least 20 blocks since according to the literature, this physical activity promotes better oxygenation of cells which helps reduce the risk of this cancer. In a recently published study for the American Association for Cancer Research, after menopause, if a woman walks for at least seven hours a week, they have a 14% less chance of developing this malignancy.
• Women should limit alcohol consumption because it has been published by the World Health Organization that 21% of deaths from breast cancer are closely linked to alcohol consumption, along with obesity and being sedentary.
• All women should avoid obesity. OMS studies have confirmed that the most important risk factor for this disease is obesity and the American Association of Cancer determined that this risk increases after menopause.
• Review in detail the family history of each woman, to find if there has been a history of breast cancer in sisters, aunts, mothers and grandmothers, and it should be taken into account to maintain closer surveillance in these women, as it has been stated that at least 30% of women with breast cancer have a history of having had a female member with this neoplasm.
Classic conventional treatment requires surgery, which can be anything from a single lumpectomy to a radical mastectomy, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and ideally these patients should receive the new cancer therapies as serious adoptive immunotherapy to eradicate residual disease to a minimum, and to improve the prognosis of these patients and even improve their healing.
If you have family member or friend who may have or be at risk for breast cancer in Puerto Vallarta, contact us to make an assessment of the particular case, totally free of charge, as during this month of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we all need to do whatever is necessary to improve the prognosis of our citizens.
This article was written with the collaboration of Dr. Estela Serratos and other distinguished members of the West Biomedical Center. If you have any questions or comments you can contact us by telephone at (322) 293-6161 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our office is located at Los Tules #140, Col. Díaz Ordaz, Puerto Vallarta.
Translated and edited by Team Angels
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