Monday, April 15, 2024

There’s more to October than just trick or treating, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There’s more to October than just trick or treating, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Breast Cancer is a very serious disease that affects three out of 100 Filipinos before age 75 and one out of 100 will die before reaching 75.  Making women aware of how serious breast cancer is and how to look for signs and symptoms is very important.

Regular breast self-exam is one way to detect breast cancer early. If you’ve observed any breast changes and something doesn’t seem right, talk to your doctor right away!

A few months ago, I felt a lump on my right breast, I thought it will disappear on it’s own just like the lump I felt a few years back. I decided to get myself screened when it became painful. I had a breast ultrasound with BI-RADS (Breast Imaging, Reporting And Data Susyem) score of 3 – Which means probably normal but there’s a 2 percent chance of cancer, so a follow-up visit within 6 months is recommended. In my case, my doctor still reffered me to a surgeon to know if a surgical intervention is needed.

I was given 2 options:

  1. Core Needle Biopsy – A needle is used to remove a sample of the lump.  It is less invasive and less painful, but there is a chance that the specimen could be insufficient.
  2. Excision Biopsy – A type of breast-conserving energy also known as lumpectomy. An entire lump will be removed with some of the surrounding tissues.

I opted for the latter as it is the best option for me. It’s causing me discomfort and pain so I had it done yesterday and now waiting for the pathology result which will come out usually in a day or two. Waiting for the result is often the most difficult part of the whole process but instead of letting my mind wander during this anxious time to a worst case scenario, I am taking this time to congratulate myself for not ignoring it. I know my body, I know my risk and I know I will not be facing it alone, I have God, my family and friends to support me and a Doctor to provide guidance and recommendations.


The Medical City

The Medical City has exemplary team and procedures to help us fight breast cancer. They have Pet-CT Scan, which accurately diagnose and locate cancer. It increases patient comfort and reduces number of scans, thus saving you time and money. They also have this new highly targeted type of radiation therapy for early stage of breast cancer, the Intraoperative Radiation Therapy.  It eliminates multiple radiation treatments and dramatically lessens side effects of this procedure. 

Breast Cancer can be terrifying but being educated about your risk as well as the treatment is the key to battling it. I, together with my friend, decided to wear pink to show support on this advocacy to heighten public awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection as well as the best treatment options that The Medical City can provide.