At 35, you are a mother of two sweet kids doing household chores and taking care of the family. You suddenly have a feeling of some lump in your breast and you consult your gynecologist. A mammography is advised and unfortunately your reports are not positive- perhaps you are diagnosed with breast cancer. You come home from hospital, highly disheartened and sad. Your tears don't seem to end and it seems that to you that earth will explode today. You are lucky if your husband supports you and accepts you in such a situation as well.
It has been seen in many cases in India where men have married other healthy women due to family pressure and not bothered about supporting their wives diagnosed with breast cancer. The reason for such cases is but obvious- breast cancer treatment is quite costly with a single medicine dose costing as high as Rs.1 lakh.
If you are a government employee, you may get some benefit as government has CGHS and CHS health schemes which sponsor your treatment. If you have a medical insurance policy in your name, go through clauses to find if cancer is covered in the policy. If your financial conditions cannot support cancer treatment, several NGOs and cancer support organizations are there at your help- CPAA(Cancer Patients Aid Association and Roko Cancer to name a few.
Information on Breast Cancer
It has been seen that early diagnosis increases survival rate. So have a look at some useful information about breast cancer.
-Feeling of lump in your breast or underarm area
-If your nipple stays flat or inverted(not since birth)
-Sudden increase in breast size
-If your breast is always warm and hot to touch sometimes, it may be inflammatory breast cancer
-Get mammography done every year when you are above 30 years age.
-Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you find any symptoms.
Here is how you can conduct a self examination:
1. Stand in front of a mirror and look for any visible changes in breasts such as puckering, dimpling or changes in size or shape of breasts. Squeeze each nipple and check for any discharge. Repeat these steps placing your hands on your hips, over your head, and at your side.
2. Raise your right arm and examine carefully every part of your left breast. Move in increasingly smaller circles, from outside to in, using the pads of your index and middle fingers. Gently press and feel for lumps or thickenings if any. Now repeat with your left arm and right breast.
3. Put a pillow under your right shoulder, and your right hand behind your head while you lay down. Again gently massage and feel your breast for lumps or other changes. Now repeat the same with towel under left shoulder with left hand behind head.