Breast Cancer is one of the most common Cancers affecting people in the world today.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 2.3million new cases of Breast Cancer are diagnosed each year and about 685000 deaths are attributed to Breast Cancer annually.
According to experts at Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), Breast Cancer is listed third (3rd) among common Cancers diagnosed and it accounted for about 2639 new Cancer cases in 2020 in Uganda.
Sabasabaupdates brings a Q&A interview with Dr. Noleb Mugisha a specialist in Cancer diagnosis and treatment at Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) -the country’s only and best Cancer treatment facility, to share his expert opinion on how one can avoid contracting the disease but also; what one can do in case he or she is diagonized with Breast Cancer.
Question: How can a person know that they have Breast Cancer?
Doctor: Breast Cancer can be detected through cancer screening conducted by a professional healthcare expert. However, it comes as a swelling in the breast which can be detected manually. This swelling usually does not pain and it is a reason why many people who are diagnosed with Breast Cancer arrive late. They do not care since the swelling is not painful.
This swelling can appear in the armpit. Once you detect it, Breast Cancer can be a posibility.
In women, Breasr Cancer can cause a nipple discharge that is bloody -can be brown or real blood. This condition signals possible Cancer infection.
Question: What happens after the swelling is not attended to?
Doctor: This swelling can become big forming ulcerated to form an ulcer which looks like a wound. This however happens in the advanced stages of the disease.
Question: Do men, also, get Breast Cancer?
Doctor: Yes. Men also suffer from Breast Cancer. Actually, 1% of Cancer patients globally are men. At Uganda Cancer Institute, an average of 40 men every year are diagonized with Breast Cancer.
Whereas men have smaller breasts than women, they can also suffer Breast Cancer and therefore men should watch out for any swelling in their small breasts.
Question: What brings about Breast Cancer?
Doctor: The risk factors for cancer are about four; Family history is number one. Breast Cancer has a gene factor which means it runs in families.
*Delayed pregnancu is also a factor. Women who delay getting pregnant up to 40 years are at a higher risk of getting Breast Cancer.
*Women who do not breastfeed babies also risk Breast Cancer.
*Finally, you can add that -not going for Cancer screening can also lead to breast cancer since this disease is curable.
Question: Did you say Breast Cancer is curable?
Doctor: Yes. Breast Cancer is a curable Cancer especially if the disease is detected early. Nobody should sit there and think it is a death sentence for one to be diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Question: How is Breast Cancer treated?
Doctor: Breast Cancer can be treated by surgery (removing the cancerous part), chemotherapy (use of drugs), Radiotherapy (Destroying the cancerous cells by exposing them to high energy radiation). The patient is afterwards undergoes hormonal therapy for 5years mainly through swallowing tablets intended to destroy any surviving Cancer cells.
Question: Is that treatment available in Uganda?
Doctor: Yes. At Uganda Cancer Institute and it is free of charge. (He however notes that some requirements are expected to be provided by the patient). Regional centers in Mbarara can also provide certain services.
Question: How can one avoid contracting Breast Cancer?
Doctor: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, do regular physical exercise to reduce accumulation of fat in your body, but also go for regular Cancer screening.