|issues | healthy lifestyle | points | prevention | self exam | investigations|
A woman’s breasts are an integral part of her femininity and identity. The breasts are symbolic of female fertility; they nourish, nurture and comfort a woman’s children and they contribute to her sexuality and femininity. In fact, a woman’s breasts are so interwoven into the fabric of her very existence that she simply cannot imagine herself without them. The discovery of a suspicious lump is therefore a most traumatic experience for any woman.
It should be mandatory for every woman to examine her breasts on a monthly basis. Regular Breast Self Examinations (BSEs) could assist you in detecting any abnormalities of your breast or nipple. If, during a BSE, you become aware of a lump or notice an unusual discharge, the first thing that will probably run through your mind is: “Is it cancer?”
Remember that 9 out of 10 breast lumps are not malignant or cancerous. Detecting breast cancer early can save your breast and cure the cancer. However, in order to safely eliminate the possibility of breast cancer, it is imperative that you contact and see your doctor immediately. Do not let fear prevent you from making an appointment to see your doctor and do not self diagnose yourself (forget about the lump in the hope that it will disappear of its own accord). Taking immediate action could well save your life.
Breast care and disease management is a highly specialised medical arena and we’re not just talking about breast cancer. There are a number of benign or non-cancerous breast conditions and diseases that if correctly diagnosed, are relatively easy to treat and keep under control.
In October 2001, Netcare and renowned breast cancer specialist Dr Carol Benn, established South Africa’s first Breast Care Specialised Unit, dedicated to providing and recommending specialist breast care and disease management. There is a new breast centre established by the Gauteng Health department at the Helen Joseph Hospital for public patient’s. The Breast Care Specialised Unit offers:
Management of all breast diseases including: